Westminster Abbey

An International Marketing Strategy for Westminster Abbey, London


The scope of this report is to explore international marketing Strategy to make rational decisions in tourism marketing. Understand how to attract tourists using these marketing strategies, with the help of literature on tourism and marketing.

The report mainly concentrates on three issues:

1) Review and evaluate main strategies and approaches of tourism and marketing.

2) How to attract tourists using these marketing strategies and literatures.

3) To illustrate key concepts to attract tourists to visit Westminster Abbey.

Objectives of this report:

1) To review and understand latest literature on tourism and marketing.

2) To understand the marketing strategies need, to attract tourists using these literature and strategies.

3) To understand the main concepts and issues and using them to attract visitors for Westminster Abbey.

The other main objective of this report is, to attract visitors to visit Britain and Westminster Abbey using these marketing strategies, literature reviews and methodologies.

Introduction to Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey has history of more than thousand years. In the middle if tenth century Benedictine priests came to this place and started a tradition of worshiping daily which is continued till today.

Westminster Abbey is the place where we can find more than 600 monuments. It can be said as a treasure house which contains pavements, paintings, stained glass, textiles etc. it is a place where many significant people are commemorated. It has the most important monumental sculpture which is the only one in United Kingdom.

Westminster Abbey maintains great contemporary relationships with Europe, America and other commonwealth countries. It has been called as “the parish church of the world”. Westminster abbey church is one of the heritage sites of UNESCO. This church was begun in 1245 by Henry III. It is also known as the main Gothic building of the country. The church is very famous as important persons of different countries are buried in Abbey. Approximately there are over 3000 famous people buried in this church it is the only choir school which is only dedicated to chorister's education in the country.(Ref: http://www.westminster-abbey.org/our-history [Accessed on 08 Jan 2010]).

It is known as a place to meet spiritual needs, it attracts visitors and tourists from the entire world due to its long history and as daily pray and worship goes on in the church. The most important religious part of Abbey is shrine of Edward Confessor which attracts pilgrims from all over the world.

Literature review

Tourism industry is known to be one of the most growing industries in the world this made travel and tourism as a global industry (WTTC, 1995). In terms of employment it is considered as the world's largest industry in the form of employment it is said that out of every 16 employees one will be working in tourism and travel industry worldwide (Mowlana and Smith, 1993). This has made travel and tourism industry as a major income for the nations.

From the analysis it can be known that around £12 billion pounds of amount was spent by the tourists in UK at 2002. A gross contribution of 4.9% to GDP was found in 2002 by overall tourists.

Therefore tourism plays an important role in global economy, the WTO (World tourism organization estimates that in 2000 tourism and travel generated about 10% of the world GDP which created millions of jobs all over the world. According to European commission there are around 8 million people who are employed by tourism sector of EU and there were around 7% of employees in tourism industry in UK at 2002.

(Ref: http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/rp2003/rp03-073.pdf [assessed 05 Jan 2010])

Marketing management

Policy makers and practitioners both underestimated the marketing offerings by the travel and tourism, this lead in misunderstanding value and nature of the discipline in marketing for the travel and tourism (March, 1994). There is a lack of work, considering issues of strategy in tourism and travel marketing processes therefore it requires a thorough analysis on the factors that are related to improve (Chon and Olsen, 1990; Bagnall, 1996). This shows that there is need to concentrate on strategic approach considering the tourism and travel internationally through which in international markets a competitive advantage can be formed (Boyd et al., 1995; Mazanec, 1994; Papadopoulos, 1989). Haywood (1990) says that a marketing concept does dependent on long term commitment to satisfy tourist's purpose and needs. Instead of relying on marketing communication operations it is important to use a more strategic approach to marketing (Faulkner, 1993).

Marketing strategy

There is an immediate need to know and address the marketing strategies in international tourism so that they can have an advantage to be in top compared to markets (Bagnall, 1996; Mazanec, 1994).

Here this research on marketing strategies shows how to overcome the deficiencies in tourism strategies. To overcome the deficiencies in tourism industry there are mainly three approaches that can be used.

1) The approach of consumer-oriented strategy.

2) The approach of competitor-oriented strategy.

3) The approach of trade orientation.

The consumer-oriented approach depends and gives importance on the marketing strategies which are internationally discussed at present. Competitor-oriented strategy gives importance on competition (Porter, 1990). These above two approaches does not give importance on the fact of intermediaries in tourism therefore a trade-oriented strategy which focus on intermediaries like demands, problems and desires is designed. Although there are three differentiation strategies on marketing above they make an overall strategy they cannot be taken as three choices of strategy.

An Approach of consumer-oriented strategy

This is the first strategic approach using this consumer based or consumer oriented approach organizations can think and give importance on two strategies of marketing

1) An Marketing strategy which is undifferentiated (market or product coverage fully)

2) Marketing strategy which is differentiated (market specialisation, product specialisation or market/product specialisation) (Kotler, 1988; Day, 1990).

A marketing strategy which is undifferentiated gives importance on the minimum expectations of the markets which are targeted. Here marketing efforts does not concentrate on variances of the segments target rather, it only concentrates on segments like needs and behaviors.

In marketing strategy which is differentiated, gives importance to known and identify the consumer group's characteristics. This is done by making use of marketing instruments to create and use an approach for marketing and then choosing a program that is correct for particular segments (Kotler et al., 1994). Depending on the general marketing conditions the differentiation varies (Toyne and Walters, 1993).

The approach of competitor-orientated strategy

This approach focuses on the competition. Now a day's tourism industry is very uncertain and changing rapidly. As there are experienced consumers and new technologies are building there are many challenges and opportunities that to be faced by the industry. Here the role of the competitor oriented marketing strategy is to maintain, defend and develop the position of the organization. Thus private and public tourism organizations can struggle for leadership of cost price else they can make differ themselves by concentrating on quality of product leadership. A successful strategic position can be achieved by concentrating on market niches (Toyne and Walters, 1993; Day, 1990). The tourism market continues to segment itself as the market becomes more mature (Brett, 1992). In tourism organizations the approach to the niche marketing makes specific to a particular segment as the maturity increases in market (Jefferson, 1995). Also the intermediaries can specialize in other sectors then the holiday packages i.e. eco tourism can be given more prominence as it is a potential niche. There may be a trend to large tourism market due to the low cost availability of charter packages.

The approach of trade-orientation

The last approach mainly focuses on intermediaries, which is relevant to the tourism and travel industry. In a tourism chain the most important activity is the distribution of tourism products or services (Poon, 1993).

Here there are two different consideration that is to be taken they are firstly is to know about the degree of involvement of an organizations, in structuring and organizing the distribution channel of overseas. Secondly, the response and reaction of an organization for the distribution and marketing strategies, in overseas markets.

The activeness or passiveness of the organizations may result in four trade-oriented strategies considering the above approach. The four trade oriented strategies are co-operation, adaption, by-passing or conflicts (Meffert and Kimmeskamp, 1983).

Co-operation strategy: These types of strategies are used in vertical marketing. An example for this type of strategy is the information flow via a strictly distribution system which is regulated. These forums are interactive and changes on a different ranges through co-operative forms which are loose like no big commitments based i.e. they have a binding forces which are not reserved (Webster, 1992).

Adaption strategy: this strategy is distinguished by the reaction of tourism and travel organization. They are passive to the marketing strategies of intermediaries on considering the structure of the distribution channel and organizing of the channel.(Meffert, 1989). This type of passive behavior could not be applied to organization which is market oriented as it very scarce. Thus adaption strategy is not used in this research of tourism. Considering this type of strategy

By-passing: in this strategy distribution channel will control the tourism and travel organization when it is collaborated with the channel. Considering the intermediaries this strategy will not be suitable for tourism and travel organization.

Conflict strategy: structuring and organizing the distribution channel in the above co-operation strategy may result to conflict strategy. Here the activities of trade and communication strategy for marketing should be given importance and attention else the tourism and travel organization think to have their own ideas to resist the trade and to compete in the market

Thus the above three approaches discussed earlier can fit to all the strategies but there importance at particular time may be different and the result of accuracy may vary when emphasized.


Here as we now discussed about the literature review given by many recent authors now to understand the correct methodology to attract the tourists to Westminster Abbey London we consider a qualitative approach of research than a quantitative method. When considering research strategic travel and tourism and travel marketing phenomena should be understood correctly so the best choose is qualitative approach of research (Butler et al., 1963; Parkhe, 1993). This qualitative research method is well known in these situations when how questions are in front of us more for which a present considerations are to be made which is very difficult in research part (Yin, 1994).

Here the research is done by reading books of many authors, articles and journals to get the latest data and also by using the internet documents. Some of the outcomes of this research considering Westminster Abbey in London are given below.

Facts about Westminster Abbey London and London considered as whole.

Visitors come to England considering tourism daytrips in 2008 were 872 million which gave the revenue if £39.3 billion.

London and south East England attracts almost 70% of inbound visitor volume.

Considering only London for this research the total inbound tourists were 53% who came for travelling and leisure to England and among them 11.8% and 53.8% of domestic and inbound visitors come to London and spent money around 14.3% and 56.9% respectively.

There was a survey conducted annually to the visitors in 2007 in were 5735 visitors took part according to it Westminster Abbey is one among the top ten attraction of England. According to the survey in 2007 there were around 1,05,8362 visitors who visited Westminster Abbey. (Ref: http://www.enjoyengland.com/Images/England%20factsheet_tcm21-170496.pdf [Accessed 6 Jan 2010]).

Some of the key principles needed to develop strategy and management of the development

Sustainable tourism

Any framework that is decided to attract customers should be long term oriented and developments which can create problems in environment such as high volume, short-term and opportunistic should not be used in the strategies. The tourism can be made sustainable only if physical environment management is taken care like securing cultural heritages and nature and creating a trained workforce can lead to sustainable tourism.


The tourism business should gain a sufficient profit so that there is a continues expansion of the business. If the business is making continues profit then the profit can be used to attract customers and can expect more profit so making profit in a business and investing back in assets is a key factor to attract customers.

Selective investment

The investment strategy is to be prepared for expansion of the business, there should be a clear idea of the target where the investment should be done and what will be the results of that investment. Investment can be made in public or private sector but there should be a perfect plan of the consequences that may happen.

Targeted marketing

As the technology is building day by day and there are too many changes going on rapidly. The future long run plans should not be done towards products, markets and segments as there may be change in technology rapidly. Therefore the target marketing should be continuously reviewed to give the best result.

Partnership between public and private sector

It is known that a successful destination which attracts too much tourists is the one whose partnerships are there between public and private sectors. If public and private sectors are in good cooperation then many strategies can be se dot attract customers in turn profit.

SWOT analysis



Has a long history since 1245.

UNESCO's historic world heritage site.

Important Gothic buildings in the country.

Only choir school in the country.

Over 3000 people are buried and full if painting and monuments.

Recent and current investment

Cultural heritage and tradition maintained.

Events and daily prayer to which attracts tourists.

Memories of violence.

Does not have enough funds to reinvest.

No good strategies from the organization.

Lack of marketing.

Less attraction to youngsters.

Lack of attraction due to many attractive places nearby.

Mixed marketing message.

Attraction availability.



It is situated in central place in London so this can attract tourist.

Improvement of tourism program done by the government.

Qualitative approach to attract visitors

Marketing effectiveness in attracting visitors to the area.

Can book tickets online and easy. Technological improvement.

The percentages of visitors are slowly going down so popularity decreasing.

Other places are in more demand and marketed more in UK

The exchange rate which is prevailing

the level of political stability and perceived level of peace in the community

Shows the state of economy life as there is a mix up of different community around the place.

UK's holidays rolling percentage change only from April 2007 to Oct 2009.

(Ref: http://www.enjoyengland.com/Images/UKTS%2012-month%20analysis%20-%200505-0910_tcm21-182044.pdf [Accessed on 7 Jan 2010])

Strategies and action plan considered in London to attract tourists.

Considering these criteria's listed below London tourism organization made an strategic action plan.

1) To gain significant uplift in tourism activities

2) To give outcomes that have long term plan for the London tourism growth

3) To support for wider strategies that can attract visitors in future.

Form the above percentage people travelling overseas from USA is around 30,789,000 in which 83.9% (25,832,000) does visit for leisure visit and 24% (7,389,000) under business visit. From this we can understand the key characteristics of USA travelers that they like to travel for leisure or holiday overseas a lot. USA travelers like to make leisure trips more when compared to business trips or conventions.

Results from the analysis

Here we draw final results from marketing strategies, literature reviews and methodology which are discussed above. These results shows the key findings about the distribution and marketing strategy which are used by the tourism and travel organization like LDA to address the USA markets. This also involves respondents and importance of perceptions. This result also includes the difference between the findings and the literature. The result depends on the strategies of tourism and travel marketing management by giving out important strategies depending on the organization position and its overseas market approach.

The results gives importance on all the three approaches that is customer-orientation, competitor-orientation and trade- oriented so we discuss them below.

1) The approach of consumer-oriented strategy.

As we discussed above in literature this approach had defined two important strategies which are differentiated and undifferentiated considering consumer- orientation strategy in management (Becker, 1988; Kotler, 1988). But according to literature is has given overall review it does not give any suggestion on which consumer-oriented approach Westminster Abbey organization of London should expect to use in USA market. The approaches considered by the London tourism organization to reach the potential customers of USA and other countries where identical. Here organization gave importance on marketing approach which is selective and aimed to cover all the countries but some segments. This made the London tourism organization to think about some segments in large differential segments. This approach helped the organization to inform about variety of services and products in their destinations.

Therefore it can be considered as extensive marketing or mass marketing approach would not be correct, as all segments could not be covered by the organizations. But also no organization will use a single segment marketing approach as in this case. So due to some resources constraints some of the specific segments should be targeted which are important and it is nearly impossible to cover the entire market segment in all the countries.

2) The approach of competitor-oriented strategy.

As already discussed in literature the competitive oriented strategies in tourism and travel organization can take advantage of competition for the tourist destinations (Poon, 1993; Tse and Olsen, 1991). It does not fully agree with the literature of marketing strategy approach which was oriented to competition of price or value in the market. Here the main two needs which are necessary to achieve price or value leadership could not be easily gathered by the tourism organizations. But in reality number of visitors for London were more but to Westminster Abbey was comparatively very low it was in the tenth position in number of visitor visited in year although 70% of overseas tourists come to London. From this it is evident that price or value should be considered as a part and focused more on differentiation strategy (Porter, 1980).

The second recognized competitor-orientation strategy in literature was leadership in the quality of the product. Several authors say that differentiation strategy of a product quality should be considered as an important factor in finding out the competition in the international tourism industry (Go and Ritchie, 1990; Berry and Parasuram, 1991; Porter 1980). Therefore the result supports the literature completely as most of the visitors think that quality of the service or product destination is an important factor to travel to that destination. So strategies depending on product or service quality differentiation should be focused and relationships should be maintained with the industry partners so that they gain good results to attract visitors of the market.

The last strategy stated in the literature is important in many organizations like LDA as it can have one of its positions in the market which can be based either on service or product differentiation. The advantages based on price or value and qualitative advantage is dependent on the market differentiation. Porter (1980), Hodgson (1987) suggest that the combination of these advantages when directed to a target segment or market has its advantages.

3) The approach of trade orientation.

The third approach identified in the literature gives importance on distribution channel. It focuses on intermediaries and plays an important role in tourism and travel industry. According to literature there were four strategies of trade orientation among them co-operation strategy was the only research which has importance in marketing tourism and travel internationally.

Here distribution and marketing strategy are not directly directed to consumers rather they were first directed towards intermediaries this shows a strong support in research for co-operation. Thus only main specialists or intermediaries are provided marketing services by private and public organizations.

Overall, the strategies of marketing showed a interest to attract customers of USA but they could not fully cover all the segments to USA the segments of strategy were same to all other countries and did not give any particular importance to USA tourists. Although USA tourists had interest in travelling London and other places the marketing strategies gave importance for some particular segments or places where the differential strategy is used with the intermediaries to attract tourists. Also marketing strategy was mostly through media and advertising and did not give much importance to social and economic structure for the tourists. Therefore to attract tourists the distribution strategy should focus on establishing link with intermediaries like airline and tourisms packages, where they can suggest the places and make tourists to attract towards the place. Also should focus on marketing framework to attract overseas customers.


Calantone and Mazanec (1994) and March (1994) said that contribution to tourism and travel marketing is misrepresented or undervalued and also misused. Other authors like Chon and Olsen (1990) and Haywood (1990) said that the review literature indicates that research as addressed strategic marketing in tourism and travel. The research conducted here is only based only the perceptions and experiences which came to know there may be difference in the marketing strategies comparing the research result.

Here firstly it has been discussed about a three dimensional approach to know distribution and marketing strategies in both tourism organization and travel organizations like private and public. An action plan and the strategic gains needed are also looked into the table to know about the strategies and what are the action plans for these strategies. The SWOT analysis is done to know about the strength and weaknesses of the organization

In conclusion the research shows that tourism and travel is a dynamic industry so strategic marketing approaches should be adopted and examined continuously. These finding should show the way to develop a balanced strategic approach of marketing so that there is a competitive position in travel and tourism overseas market.

By adopting these strategies and continuously examine them to attract the tourist by giving importance on the tourist segment needs the Westminster Abbey organization can attract the tourist from all the countries. If some strategic segments are made to attract USA visitors then the tourist will be attracted to visit London and Westminster Abbey.


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