The Role of Internal Marketing (IM) in Sustainable Destination Management: A Case Study of Grand Bay, Mauritius

By Vanessa GB. Gowreesunkar, Christopher Paul Cooper and Ramesh Durbarry.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper investigates about internal marketing (IM) at a tourism destination. Research reveals considerable work in the area, but, it is observed that the concept has always been examined within a confined setting. Tourists experience a medley of services at a destination so that satisfaction is measured through the evaluation of each service element separately. As such, marketing a tourist destination is a challenging task as many stakeholders are involved. The absence of IM in the overall marketing program at a destination confirms the gap in literature and calls for a re-examination of the concept. The host community, as a co-creator of the tourism offer has always been overlooked in the process of marketing. Therein lies the contribution of this paper. The study therefore seeks to address two gaps in literature – first to provide a renewed definition of IM at a tourism destination and second, it gauges into IM implications in the sustainability context. Using semi-structured interviews to cover all segments at the destination, the findings reveal that all the stakeholders know about marketing, but most people do not understand the term IM. The lack of communication between destination stakeholders and the loose connection that exist in the motives of individual co-creators of the tourism product confirms a missing IM in the overall marketing program which in turn impedes in sustaining the tourism destination.

Keywords: Internal Marketing, Destination Management, Sustainability, Mauritius

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.141-160. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.701MB).

Dr. Vanessa GB. Gowreesunkar

M.Phil /PhD Scholar, SOPSPAM, University of Technology, The Mount, La Tour Koenig Mauritius, Mauritius

Vanessa GB is currently a full time doctoral candidate enrolled at the University of Technology, Mauritius. In the year 2005, she was declared gold medalist by the University of Technology and was conferred an award by the Ministry of Tourism for ecotourism.She holds a first class BSc (Hons) in Tourism and Hospitality Management and bears other managerial qualifications. She won a scholarship to pursue her M.Phil/PhD and her area of study is internal marketing at tourism destination. She is a member of Skal International and keep tie with United Nations Small Island Developing State projects. She is also a registered trainer for tourism/hospitality management and German language and acts as moderator/verifier for tourism modules at the Mauritius Examination Syndicate. Prior to this, she was working as a Business Development Officer in a governmental organisation. She holds particular interest for internal marketing, tourism destination,sustainability issues and emotional intelligence.

Prof. Christopher Paul Cooper

Director, Christel DeHaan Tourism and Travel Research Institute, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK

Professor Chris Cooper has more than twenty-five years experience in the tourism sector, beginning his career in market planning and research with the UK’s largest tour operator, Thomson Travel, and has since worked as a researcher and teacher in every region of the world. Professor Cooper gained his undergraduate degree and PhD in Geography from University College London and working closely with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation he was responsible for establishing tourism as a subject at university level at the universities of Surrey and Bournemouth in the UK. Today, Professor Cooper works with international agencies in tourism research and education, such as the European Union, the International Labour Organization, the OECD and ASEAN but primarily with the UNWTO where he held the Chair of the UNWTO’s Education Council from 2005 - 2007. Professor Cooper was Co-Founder of Progress in Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation Research and the International Journal of Tourism Research and is currently the Co-Editor of Current Issues In Tourism . He is a member of the editorial board for leading tourism, hospitality and leisure journals. He has authored a number of leading textbooks in tourism, including Worldwide destinations - the geography of travel and tourism, Tourism principles and practice and Contemporary tourism . He is the co-editor of the influential book series ‘Aspects of Tourism’.Chris has formed strong relationships with the leading tourism education and research schools in the world. He holds four visiting professorships, three in China and one at the University of Innsbruck. Before joining the Christel deHaan Tourism and Travel Research Institute at the University of Nottingham in the UK, Chris spent 8 years at the University of Queensland, Australia building a highly successful tourism school.

Prof. Ramesh Durbarry

Head of School, School of Public Sector Policy and Management, University of Technology, Pointe aux Sables, La Tour Koenig Mauritius, Mauritius

Dr. Ramesh Durbarry has particular interest in applied economics and econometric modelling. He completed his PhD at the School of Economics, University of Nottingham in 1998. He has worked on projects for UNCTAD and EU. He has lectured Econometrics (theory and applied), Research Methods, Tourism Business, Markets and Strategy, Marketing Strategies for Tourism and Travel at both the undergradate and postgraduate levels. Ramesh is undertaking research on tourism and travel, tourism taxation, price sensitivity of tourism and the impact of the tourism sector on the economies of the United Kingdom, Balearic and Canary Islands and Malta. He is also specialising on the econometric modelling of tourism demand, both inbound and outbound, using single equation and system of equations models within static and dynamic contexts. Recent Publications: Blake, A., R. Durbarry, J.L. Eugenio-Martin, N. Gooroochurn, B. Hay, J. Lennon, M.T. Sinclair, G. Sugiyarto and I. Yeoman (2006) “Integrating forecasting and CGE models: The case of tourism in Scotland”, Tourism Management, Vol. 27(2): 292-305; Marie-Louise Mangion, Ramesh Durbarry, M. Thea Sinclair (2004/5) “Tourism Competitiveness: Price and Quality” paper accepted for publication in Tourism Economics (forthcoming); Z. Han, Durbarry, R and M.T. Sinclair (2005) ‘Modelling US Tourism Demand for European Destinations’, Tourism Management (forthcoming); Durbarry, R. (2005) ‘Tourism and Economic Development: Case Studies from the Indian Ocean Region’, Book Review, Tourism Management (forthcoming); and others.

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