Summer Palace

IntroductionAs a market manager of The National Tourism Administration of China, I received the instructions from the management level, which is to identify a target market to develop sustainable future for the imperial garden – Summer Palace, so that attract more travelers.

The report is to going to introduce the Summer Palace at the beginning, conduct relevant market environment analysis and consequences of postmodern society, and identify the customers group and its motivation. Simultaneously, the consequence of postmodern society and the role of authenticity are also analyzed in the report. After that, the product/service analysis and market opportunity identification are focused on the last part of the main body of the report.

The detailed analysis of Summer PalaceThe background of the destinationChina is a culturally sophisticated country, with 5,000 years of history. Beijing, which attracts tens of thousands visitors for view every year, are economic, political and cultural center of the country. The ancient palaces, especially for Summer Palace, attract numerous travelers to understand the classic culture of the country every year. Summer Palace, the ingenious idea of garden art, in the history of Chinese foreign status, the world is a rare garden art. It has been added in the ‘World Culture Heritage’ in 1998.

It is the one of the best conserved and famous imperial gardens around the world, which located at the western outskirt of Beijing in China. It occupies an area of 293 hectares, and has halls,pavilions,corridors and bridges almost everywhere. Dozens of scenic spots are distributed in the Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, with spectacular and diverse architectural style.

A good view of green Longevity Hill, blue Kunming Lake, the magnificent buildings, various plants, and the combination of natural beauty and artificial beauty, demonstrate an exquisite peerless landscape painting with distinctive cultural characteristics of Chinese. It is a tombstone of classic Chinese building, in terms of the design of garden and construction.

Not only does the Summer Palace have magnificent ancient architecture for sightseeing, but provides a series of services to attract more domestic and international travelers and satisfied their demands, such as tourist guides, cruise, car battery, photography, shopping, and food and beverage service. In recent years, Summer Palace adheres to scientific management, protect the scenic resource strictly, and promote sustainable development, in order to protect the World Culture Heritage and promote the gradually increase building level of scenic spots. So, it strengthens the maintenance, repair, and renovation of the ancient building, promotes the comprehensive management of scenic spots and the surrounding environment, and restores the cultural atmospheres.

The analysis of marketing environmentThe government of China pays attention on the connection of culture and tourism to a large extent, and states the promotion of the cultural system and the speedy development of cultural industry by enhancing the depth of integration between culture and tourism. Hence, the political factor is favorable to Summer Palace, where plays crucial role on dissemination of culture.

With the rapid development of economy, the reasonable price of accommodation, catering, air seats and other available transports satisfied the travelers’ demands to a large extent, and the increase of the incomes motivate them seek a new experience. Compared to the past, people who live modern society, always tend to escape from the stress of work and the boredom of every life.

These social factors influence people desire to go travel to see and learn different culture of different places, and then gain new perspective of life. The used of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) make supply and demand become globalized. ICT is fully used by many travel agencies in order to provide the sufficient source of information and promote the online travel service and expand of the travel level. The adopted of Internet Technology brings a variety of different travel information and service to the passengers and industry such as the bookings of travel agency, airline, and hotels.

Cultural tourist plays more and more important role in Postmodern Society. More and more young would like to learn and explore the culture, history, arts and customs of foreign countries. Most young and middle – aged tourists are well – educated, willing to understand foreign countries and accept new ideas, combine the tourism and culture together, in order to gain high level enjoyment of spirit.

With the development of global economic integration, the increasingly communication and contact of different countries stimulate the motivation of the cultural tourism. Hence, the Summer Palace as cultural heritage satisfies these travelers’ needs. The spectacular architecture style and color of Summer Palace are preserved and maintenance perfectly every year by the government, it has being a popular cultural tourism resort, within the influence of postmodern society.

Customer identification and motivationsPearce (1988) developed the travel career ladder approach, which based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory. He suggests that self – esteem and development needs at the top level. The travelers escape from the work and stress of everyday life to go sightseeing, experience different cultures, develop the knowledge of destination area, enhance personal interests, and gain a new perspective on life. These travelers prefer to culture tourism to satisfy their needs.

Summer Palace as one of the most preserved imperial gardens, which is remarkable for its classic culture. Numerous visitors are influenced by the culture factor, and make decision to go to Summer Palace for travel. But who are the customers of Summer Palace that is visitors? The following table identifies the customers’ group of the imperial garden, and their motivations. Table: On leisure holiday

Categories of customers| Demographic segmentation: Children ( 6- 12 years old)Adolescence (15 – 19 years old)Young adult ( 19 – 25)Family establishment (25-55)Later years ( >55 )Geographic segmentation:Domestic customers and international customers.Behavioral segmentation:Architects, Historians, Artists.| Motivations of Customers| International customers|

* Experiencing new culture * Learning new things| | National customers| * Understand indigenous culture * Feeling the special atmosphere of classic culture * Relaxing| | CommonMotivations| * Sightseeing * Culture Tourism * Gain a sense of accomplishment * Gain a new perspective on life * Developing the knowledge of destination area.|

Sharply (1944) suggested that ‘the motivation to satisfy needs, combined with personal preferences, pushes the tourist into considering alternatively products; the final choice depends on the pull of alternative holidays or destinations.’ Hence, the authentic and cultural factor motivates the consumers to visit Summer Palace to see and understand the history of that country.

As Culler said (1981), most of the tourists pay attention on finding and experiencing the image or sign of cultural practices rather than understanding their basic meaning or function. Some travelers seek authentic experience that is different with the ordinary and their normal existence of everyday. Hence, Summer Palace as inanimate forms of culture, the historical buildings, and its tradition paintings attract tourists’ determination.

Meanwhile, the tourists’ decision – making process is influenced by the personal, psychological, and social factors. The personal factor affects the tourists’ decision making process, which based on making new friends, increasing the knowledge, experiencing different culture. The psychological factor affects the customers desire a destination where can make them escape from the personal or interpersonal environment and seek intrinsic psychological rewards from participation in tourism. The social influence as an extrinsic influence, affects the tourist motivation. The family owns an important place in the determination of the tourist product, especially for holiday trip.

Destination competitor analysisSummer Palace as one of the World Culture Heritages is remarkable for its ancient culture, distinct buildings, halls, pagodas, bridges, paintings and dispersed corridors. However, there are many other tourist resorts are included in the World Culture Site in China, such as the Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, The Great Wall, Classical Gardens of Suzhou,. All above the tourist spots can also be the competitors of Summer Palace.

The following table demonstrates the competitors of Summer Palace, and their provided product or service. Table: The identification of the competitors of Summer Palace

The Competitors| Introduction|The Great Wall| The world – famous ancient architecture is one of the great construction engineering, with a few thousand of history. It attracts lots of architects for observing. Additionally, many people from various countries like climbing the Great Wall.| Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties| It originally known as Forbidden City is the imperial palace of Ming and Qing dynasties. It is one of the largest and most complete ancient buildings in China, from the construction point of view.

The entire complex is imposing luxury, open layout symmetry, internal and external decoration magnificent glory, is the essence of ancient architectural art of China. Lots of visitors are attracted to come here, for learning the classic culture of China. It is a good choice for historians to investigate the history.| Classical Gardens of Suzhou| It concentrates the essence of the landscape architecture of Jiangnan of China, represents the different building style of different dynasties of Song, Yuan, Ming, Qing. It occupies an irreplaceable place in the history development of world garden. |

The analysis of Product / ServiceThe Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake is important constituent of the Summer Palace. Longevity is famous for grand buildings which are on its southern slope. They are The Cloud – Dispelling Hall, The Temple of Buddhist Virtue, and The Sea of Wisdom Temple, where are built along a north – south axis. The Cloud – Dispelling Hall is the most impressive architecture of the whole palace with red pillars and yellow tiles. The Temple of Buddhist Virtue is the emblem of the Summer Palace. The Sea of Wisdom Temple which located on the top of the Longevity Hill is decorated with glazed tiles in the outside of the hall.

These distinct buildings provide direct first information for the historians, architects, and artists. A 728 – meter – long corridor links the Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake together, and become the most famous and longest corridor in China. There are 14,000 colorful paintings in the corridor, which is categorized four kinds: landscape and scenic spots, beautiful flowers and birds, Chinese architecture, and human figures and classic stories. The Kunming Lake is an artificial lake, and represents the essence of traditional garden architecture of Chinese, which is ‘fairy hill within the sea’. More interestingly, there are a variety of services of cruise, including hand rowing, pedalo, electric boat, medium – sized boat and dragon boat, and large luxury antique boat in Kunming Lake.

The provided services of Summer PalaceSummer Palace provides the service of tourist guides, cruise, car battery, photography, shopping, and food and beverage service in order to attract more travelers and satisfied their demand from the bottom of heart, when they are visiting the palace…

Most of the tourists visit Summer Palace for sightseeing and learn the ancient culture. Hence, the attraction provides the tourist guides service for the domestic and international travelers. The tourist guides introduce the Summer Palace to the visitors from its history, especially for classic culture, and architecture style, painting in Chinese, English, Japanese and Russian. It’s very convenience for the tourists to learn new things.

On the other hand, services of the ancient costume pictures are provided in many tourist spots. The visitors can also spend ¥10 – ¥20 rent ancient clothes to take pictures with their own cameras. On the other hand, the inside and outside of Summer Palace opens a number of stores which based on handicrafts and cultural tourism merchandises to meet the shopping needs of tourists. There are a great many of larger shopping areas surround Summer Palace, they are Zhi Chun – Ting shopping, stone shopping, Octagon Pavilion shopping, and Suzhou Marketing Street areas respectively.

Meanwhile, Summer Palace offers food and beverage service to the customers. There are numerous restaurants in the Palace, such as Wishful Fan Zhuang, Zhi Chun – Ting Restaurant, Tsinghua Xuan Restaurant, South Lake IslandRestaurant, and Han Kyodo Restaurant. Most of the food that these restaurants provided is based on the cuisine of ancient palace. Normally, these places are very busy in the lunch time, and no enough seats for the guests, sometimes. But there are some food retail outlets in many part of the palace.

The analysis of implications of authenticity and postmodernism As Mathieson and Wall (2006) once put it, the travelers are attracted by the inanimate forms of cultural, that is historical architecture and traditional arts and crafts. In other words, the tourists are attracted by the actual experience, in terms of the authenticity. Hence, the authentic factor motivates the travelers, who seek authentic experience that is out of the ordinary of the day – to – day life, to visit Summer Palace for viewing the historical buildings and the provided traditional crafts.

Sharply suggests (1993) that the holiday experience was characterized by the de – differentiation that has come to identify post – modernity. Postmodern tourists tend to learn and explore the culture, history, arts and customs of foreign countries.

They not only pay attention to the quality of product or service, but also emphasize the emotional needs, that are they have more strong feelings to experience different cultures, and then gain a new perspective of life. In terms of the postmodernism, the Summer Palace as royal garden is the symbol of ancient emperor of china. Importantly, it represents the classic architecture culture of China. Hence, the Summer Palace meets the postmodern tourists’ needs, in terms of experiencing new culture.

The identification of Market Opportunity The identification of new target market In order to keep sustainable future growth, Summer Palace identifies new target market, which consists of young and middle – age tourists from domestic and international countries, especially for internationals.

The Summer Palace is going to establish a special department for the target market, and provide the package services to young and middle – age, in order to satisfy the travelers’ needs and attract more visitors. These services include tourist guides, cruise, car battery, photography, shopping, and food and beverage to satisfy the customers’ needs, especially for the service of tourist guides, overcoming the language barriers. It is beneficial for the tourists to sightseeing and understands the different culture of different countries. These provided services improve the enjoyment of tourists, and convey the classic culture of China to the domestic and international travelers.

With the influence of postmodernism, the international tourism marketing has been changed since 1980s. The obvious change is the age level in the main consumption group, more specifically, the proportion of young and middle – age increase gradually, especially for western countries.

The praised of hard work of Protestant Ethic has little effects on people’s mind, even fade away gradually. Originally, the people who live in western countries advocate that the young should work hard for rich savings and spent it for experiencing travel in old ages. Hence, elders took higher market shares in the tourism market. But in recent years, increasingly young and middle – age penetrates the tourism market, in order to seek physical and mental relaxation and rich life experience in the tight spare time.

Most of the well – educated young has positive spirit to improve self – development after World War ‖. They think generally that recreational vacations are important to perform a person’s success, and become the main consumption group in the tourism market. In the European tourism market, the affluent young, who are higher – tech professionals and businessman, have enough financial ability to travel.

On the other hand, they have much high level consumption and different consumption pattern than their predecessors, due to the late marriage and childbearing. Many young advocate that the work and the entertainment are both important. Although some young limited by the low income, and have to choose hard – seat of train, and carry large packages of instant noodles for trip, they still keep high enthusiasm for travel, they are the most exuberant consumption group.

Additional reason for choosing the young and middle – age as target market is that most of them are well – educated, and enjoy cultural tourism to learn and explore the different culture and influenced by the postmodernism. They connect the tourism and culture together to broaden horizons and get to enjoy the high level spirit. With the development of global economic integration, the increasingly communication and contact of different countries stimulate the motivation of the cultural tourism. It occupies more and more vital place in Postmodern Society.

Summer Palace is remarkable for its historical architecture and traditional arts and crafts which are associated with cultural foundations that are perceived to be traditional. In terms of authenticity, all of the historical buildings are very different from the ordinary, so attract increasingly travelers from a variety of countries. All of the above leads to the Summer Palace achieve sustainable future growth.

ConclusionSummer Palace is the one of the best conserved and famous imperial gardens around the world, and is the symbol of the classic culture of China. With the influence of authenticity and postmodernism, it has been a popular cultural resort for the young and middle – age travelers to experience different culture, gain new perspective of life, and then achieves self – esteem and development.

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(27, December, 2009, Last updated) Summer PalaceAvailable from: Assessed: 01/12/2009

(01/08/2009, Last updated) The Influence of Postmodernism to Tourist Consumption Available from: Assessed: 4/12/2009

(27/12/2009, Last updated) The Sustainable Development to Summer Palace Available from: Assessed: 12/12/2009

(19/09/2007, Last updated) Summer Palace – The World Cultural Heritage Available from: Assessed: 20/12/2009

(23/11/2009) The Magnificent Imperial Garden – Summer PalaceAvailable from: 27/12/2009

(26/12/2009, Last updated) The authenticity to TourismAvailable from: 30/12/2009)

(26/12/2009, Last update) The Tourism Marketing in ChinaAvailable from: 02/01/2010

(09/01/2010, Last updated) Summer PalaceAvailable from: 10/01/2010