THE IMPORTANCE OF RELATIONSHIP MARKETING FOR THE SUSTAINABILITY OF ACCOMMODATION IN THE NATURE TOURISM
The tourism industry in Portugal is being forced to reposition itself, due to competition from multi-track younger destinations and the democratization resulting from low-cost flights. The markets, which are mostly sensitive to price, have started to have multi-offerings. The low-cost flights have reduced distances and travel costs, placing on the market a number of destinations that did not until recently exist or were off-route. Sun and sea destinations are thus forced to rethink their products by stressing other attractions that in some cases have little or nothing to do with the traditional beach. It becomes imperative to focus on differentiation, promoting authentic products with strong local identity, targeted at markets where price is not the only variable in the purchase decision. Currently, nature tourism has assumed an important role as being the solution to desertified areas. It is critical to understand the motivations and expectations of tourists who are interested in nature tourism and therefore to successfully replicate the model for other regions that might be at a very late stage of maturation or decline. We will present a set of conclusions and recommendations that we think are crucial to the success of business accommodation establishments towards sustainability.
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