As the over-visitation of tourist sites is being heavily criticized from an environmental point of view, several territories are starting to change the way they promote themselves, adopting a ” demarketing ” strategy.
What is a demarketing strategy?
Demarketing is a process in which a company develops strategies to reduce the consumption of a product. While traditional marketing often encourages customers to purchase more products, demarketing aims to limit a product’s reach. Companies can use it in a variety of situations to control product use, price, or demand. They may use these strategies for many reasons, including to conserve resources or increase demand.
The demarketing strategy in tourism
In tourism, demarketing consists in showing tourist places as they are, but also in adopting a strategy of silence. To avoid over-visitation, territories stop promoting certain tourist places.
Why do territories adopt this strategy?
For several decades, the increase in purchasing power and the decrease in the price of air tickets have made it possible for many people to travel. Amongst others, Russians and Chinese have started to want to travel the world and visit the most famous places. From these phenomena came the over-consumption of tourism, now exacerbated by social networks. Charging access to certain places to discourage tourists would be discriminatory. Thus, territories use this method to fight against over-visiting.
Has the health crisis pushed territories to adopt demarketing?
New behaviors appeared with the health crisis. The French, who could only travel within France, went to places they thought were not very popular. Except that everyone had the same idea at the same time.
Some territories are not ready to receive so many people at the same time. And when there is no system to control this flow, there are repercussions on the environment and the inhabitants.
Is demarketing the only cure for mass tourism?
Tourism marketing will not be sustainable, as the industry needs tourists to live. We need to turn more to slow marketing and encourage tourists to take their time. This requires rethinking the way we travel. We need to put an end to the over-consumption of tourism, but to do this we need to educate tourists so that they adopt more responsible behavior. In Wyoming in the United States, a natural park encourages visitors not to mention the place where they are on social networks for example. I think that all actors, institutional as well as private, must participate in this reflection.