Hotels' marketing mix responses at insecurity-stricken destinations: a study in the US–Mexico border
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate specific marketing mix activities and influencing factors in hotels coping with falling room demand derived from drug cartel-related risk and insecurity. Design/methodology/approach – A case study research was carried out using semistructured interviews with key informants (hotel managers) in two neighboring destinations at the US–Mexico border, an area where criminal organizations’ drug trafficking-related violence has impacted the hospitality industry. Findings – The research identifies factors that are internal (market segment diversification, type of ownership, magnitude of investments) and external (tourism promotion organizations, media coverage, tourist flow volume) to the firms as they affect their marketing mix implementation. Research limitations/implications – The research developed a framework to better understand the use of marketing mix practices and influencing factors in criminal insecurity contexts, which could be further studied in other risk and conflict scenarios. Practical implications – The pricing and communication tactics are employed more intensively, while product-service and distribution channel actions are used to a lesser extent. Greater emphasis should be placed on product-service, distribution and market segment diversification. Social implications – Considering the positive impacts that tourism and hospitality businesses have on local communities, it is recommended that the hotel sector works together with government and industry associations to improve the safety and security at tourism destinations. Originality/value – The research extends the extant knowledge in hospitality crisis management by investigating the full marketing mix tactics in hotels at destinations stricken by cartel-related organized crime, an understudied context in the literature.
RightsAttribution 4.0 International
CitationCruz-Milán, O. (2022), "Hotels' marketing mix responses at insecurity-stricken destinations: a study in the US–Mexico border", International Hospitality Review, Vol. 36 No. 1, pp. 131-155. https://doi.org/10.1108/IHR-09-2020-0054
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