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Title: A comparative analysis of the performance of traditional advertising media and online media for the promotion of tourism in KwaZulu-Natal
Authors: Madondo, Elvis 
Keywords: Traditional media;Online media;Tourism marketing
Issue Date: 23-Apr-2018
This is a comparative study of the performance of online media and traditional advertising media for the promotion of tourism in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Durban Tourism (2013: 1) states that although KZN has done well to attract and hold major events in the Durban City, the number of visitors has declined since the last five years. There is a need for ongoing efforts to promote the tourism industry for it to remain competitive and continue contributing to the welfare of the people. Modern age advertising is divided into two main groups, traditional media and online media advertising. In the past, the tourism industry and other business organisations relied heavily on traditional media to market their products and services (Strategic Direction 2016: 9). However, the advancement of network technologies and the increasing penetration of the Internet have prompted increasing numbers of organisations around the world to use online (Internet) advertising in order to attract more customers in cyberspace, and to enhance their product sales and company profile. Goyal and Sharma (2013: 46) further claim that the advent of online media in tourism business has altogether revolutionised the whole system of performing business and brought about new ways of promoting business. In light of these developments, many marketing practitioners fear that traditional media have entered a death spiral and are no longer competitive in doing meaningful business. They believe that traditional media will succumb to technology innovations that revolutionised the promotion industry (Chao et al. 2012: 12). In this contemporary tourism marketing environment, the performance of traditional advertising media and online media needs to be revealed in order to guide media choice decisions by tourism marketers and authorities.
This study employed a descriptive research design which aimed to achieve the objectives of the research through the use of mixed research methods. For this reason, two separate surveys were carried out. Non-probability sampling techniques were employed in recruiting the participants. The design employed two research instruments in the form of a structured questionnaire and structured interviews. Four hundred questionnaires were distributed to tourists at the Durban beachfront, Gateway Mall, Durban Station, and other public places that were convenient to the researcher and the researcher managed to get a 75% response rate. In addition to this, seven interviews were conducted with Durban Tourism and Tourism KwaZulu-

Natal authorities, as well as marketing managers of selected Hotels and Travel Agents.
The findings revealed that traditional media and online media are more or less equally competitive for the promotion of tourism. Traditional media is still effective for the promotion of tourism in this digital age, most especially in the domestic market. Though tourists used to turn to few sources, they now use various information outlets available at their disposal. Tourism marketers and authorities need to come to terms with traditional media and online media coexistence. There is no need to rely on one media to do it all. Where traditional media lacks, online media must be there to make up the difference and enhance the tourist’s experience. The results led to the creation of the tourism promotion framework which outlines that the tourism sector needs an integrated media choice approach. Further research on the same area covered by this study is required on an ongoing basis in order to keep abreast of the developments in the market. The media environment is unpredictable as completely different media can be developed and tastes and preferences of people change.
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree: PhD: Management Sciences (Marketing), Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2018.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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