As tourism is termed as a very big industry, like other industry it also sells its product to the potential tourist. But there is a big difference in the tourism product and other products. As tourism is termed as a smokeless industry and unlike other product it has not its own entity or a single item but it is the combination of different products, services and attractions.
A tourism product is the sum of the physical and psychological experience got by tourist during their traveling to the destination. It is the composite product, as the combination of different services like tourist attraction, transport, accommodation and of entertainment which provide tourist satisfaction. Each of the components of a tourist product is supplied by individual providers of services like hotel companies, airlines, travel agencies, etc.
The tourist product can be analyzed in terms of its attraction, accessibility and accommodation.
Attractions: Of the three basic components of a tourist product, attractions are very important. Unless there is an attraction, the tourist will not be motivated to go to a particular place. Attractions are those elements in a product which determine the choice made by particular tourist to visit one particular destination rather than another. The attractions could be cultural, like sites and areas of archaeological interest, historical buildings and monuments, flora and fauna, beach resorts, mountains, national parks or events like trade fairs, exhibitions, arts and music festivals, games, etc.
inventory of the various attractions which are of significance in tourism are given below:
Inventory of Tourist Attractions
Cultural: Sites and areas of archaeological interest, Historical buildings and Monuments, Places of historical significance, Museums, Modern Culture, Political and Educational institutions,
Religious Institutions Traditions: National Festivals, Arts and Handicrafts, Music, Folklore,
Native life and Customs Scenic: National Parks, Wildlife, Flora and Fauna, Beach Resorts, Mountain Resorts.
Entertainment: Participation and Viewing sports, Amusement and Recreation Parks Zones and Oceanariums, Cinemas and Theatres, Night Life and Cuisine.
OTHERS: Climate, Health resorts or Spas, Unique characteristics not available elsewhere.
Accessibility: It is the means of transport used to reach the area where attractions are located. Tourism mode of transport may be a motor car, a coach, an airplane, a ship or a train which enables the tourist to reach his predetermined destination. Availability of transportation determines the value of the destination, easy accessibility of a place, increase the value of destination or vice versa.
Accommodation: Accommodation plays an important role and very basic to tourist destinations. The demand for accommodation away from home is met by a variety of facilities, which is home away from home. There is a large number of varieties are available in the accommodation. . There has been an increasing demand for more non- traditional and informal types of accommodation. The latest trends in accommodation are holiday villages. In recent years there has been an increase in the popularity of such accommodation.
Some times accommodation in itself attracts a large number of tourists simply because there is a first class luxury hotel or resort which provides excellent services and facilities. , many resorts have gained a reputation for their excellent cuisine, services and facilities
CHARACTERISTICS OF TOURISM PRODUCT
By now, you must have understood what a tourism product is. Now let us look
at some of its characteristics:-
1) Intangible: Tourism is an intangible product means tourism is such kind of product which can not be touched or seen and there is no transfer of ownership, But the facilities are available for specified time and for a specified use. For e.g. a room in the hotel is available for a specified time.
2) Psychological: The main motive to purchase tourism product is to satisfy the psychological need after using the product, by getting experience while interacting with a new environment. And experiences also motivate others to purchase that product.
3) Highly Perishable: Tourism product is highly perishable in nature means one can not store the product for a long time. Production and consumption take place while tourist is available. If the product remains unused, the chances are lost i.e. if tourists do not purchase it. A travel agent or tourism operator who sells a tourism product cannot store it. Production can only take place if the customer is actually present. And once consumption begins, it cannot be stopped, interrupted or modified. If the product remains unused, the chances are lost i.e. if tourists do not visit a particular place, the opportunity at that time is lost. It is due to tourism reason that heavy discount is offered by hotels and transport generating organizations during off season.
4) Composite Product: Tourist product is the combination of different products. It has not a single entity in itself. In the experience of a visit to a particular place, various service providers contributes like transportation The tourist product cannot be provided by a single enterprise unlike a manufactured product. The tourist product covers the complete experience of a visit to a particular place. And many providers contribute to tourism experience. For instance, airline supplies seats, a hotel provides rooms and restaurants, travel agents make bookings for stay and sightseeing, etc.
5) Unstable Demand: Tourism demand is influenced by seasonal, economic political and others such factors. There are certain times of the year which see a greater demand than others. At these times there is a greater strain on services like hotel bookings, employment and the transport system, etc.