Assessing and prioritizing components of marketing mix (7P) in developing rural tourism (A case study of Amol and Babol)



Extended Abstract
1- Introduction
The 7p marketing mix model is one of themain concerns oftourismplanningand marketing. This study, through combining the seven components (Place, Price, Product, Promotion, People, Process, Physical Evidence and also Political & social situation) in the form of comprehensive marketing mix (7P) model, tries to a) investigate existingsituation of components of marketing mixgeographyof ruraltourismintwo cities: Amoland Babol and b) prioritize these components for developing the geography ofruraltourism in the studied region.
This study is a descriptive-analytic one which was conducted through survey. The population of the study is all employees of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organizationin Amol and Babol who are involved in the tourism affairs and 38 individuals were selected. Data were collected through referring to the above-mentioned organizations and random sampling method was applied. Data obtained were analyzed applying SPSS software.
In this study, based on the opinion of organizations' experts, the two components of promotion and people were found to have the most effect on the development of rural tourism in Babol and Amol. In this ranking, planning and the place of tourism attraction were in the fourth and fifth places. The noticeable factor in this ranking was the price component which got the last rank both in the mean test and the ranking obtained from theinfluenceontourism development. Thisshows that the price variable had no significant effect onselectingrural areasofAmoland Babolcityas a tourist destinationand cannot be considered as a hindering factor for their travel to these cities.
The results of this study show that the two components of promotion, people and staff have the most significant effect in the development of rural tourism in the two studied areas. Finally, it was found that the mixture composed of the 7 mentioned components can well define the current status of rural tourism in the studied area at the significance level of 0.005 and they can promote the rural development through rural tourism development. In fact, it should be mentioned that appropriate application of marketing mix components of rural tourism will result in visualization and proper positioning for the development of this industry. Creating proper position in the market of this industry can be a beneficial and efficient factor in developing rural tourism and increasing the number of tourists of these regions.