The existence of sustainable tourism marketing mix (STMM) is inseparable from the increasingly mature of sustainable tourism marketing (STM) and sustainable marketing mix (SMM) concepts. Reviews of STM have passed their popularity in the late 1990s to 2005, and have now entered a stable and constant phase. On the other hand, for the ten years of SMM study has tended to increase even though in the number of discussions still does not exceed STM studies. Many studies have been recorded and presented in the form of textbooks or journal articles relating to both. In 2010, Pomering tried to initiate a combination of both in an STMM conceptual framework. Regrettably, this STMM development has been stalled since 2014, and there was only one last article published in 2017. In this latest study, he initiated how all the construct elements of STMM influence the formation of value for the customers, clients, partners, and society at large. Unfortunately, the existence of STMM is still a concept that has not been tested empirically until now. He explicitly stated that the empirical study needed, of course, this is to strengthen the concept he built. Basically what he is trying to express is that STMM is an answer to the problem of sustainable tourism marketing strategy faced by most STDs.
Research on STMM has so far been minimal. There were only eight articles with varying quality and relevance, from all of that only Pomering is quite consistent (though rarely) publishing the results of the study on this subject. Smyrnov tried to mention STMM in the context of its geography approach which is irrelevant with our purpose, while Meler and Magaš superficially reviewed STMM related to the behavior and the need for implementation of new policies and strategies. Some other publications even do plagiarism without citing the original source. This phenomenon intrigues us to conduct further studies on STMM.
Conceptually, the SMM or STMM provides a refreshing new idea, which along with the changing behavior of the world community about consumerism, also changes the perspective of industry and organizations in marketing a product. Researchers have revealed this paradigm shift. The face of marketing has changed from the encouragement of unnecessary consumption, promoting a culture of materialism and a relentless search for unattainable manifestations to become processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. The change from the “bad” marketing starting point to the “good” direction is the hope contained in the concept of sustainable marketing that is in line with the demands of the global world for a better future. This change is also in line with the messages raised repeatedly at world-scale meetings at the UN.
Pomering initiated the STMM model by consolidating several previous SMM concepts that were cross-tabulated with Population, Planet, and Profit or known as Triple Bottom Line (TBL).
He argued the STMM model he built is entirely appropriate to address the sustainable tourism marketing mix demands. However, the author believed that the cross-tabulation to TBL was outdated, not comprehensive and sufficient responding to today’s global demands. As we know that the UN in 2015 has formulated five critical dimensions: people, prosperity, planet, partnership, and peace. Traditionally viewed through the lens of three core elements – social inclusion, economic growth, and environmental protection – the concept of sustainable development has been taken on meaning with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, which builds upon traditional approaches by adding two critical components: partnership and peace. We believed this model could better answer the phenomenon of STMM today.
Besides, the conceptual framework proposed by Pomering is not implementable because there are no clear indicators. We cannot formulate which conditions are ideal for the population, what and how the marketing mix can benefit the Planet and how much profit the organization deserves. The absence of clear indicators results in not being able to make concise, comprehensive and balanced assessments of the conditions or fundamental aspects of a phenomenon. Several other studies have attempted to determine the indicators of sustainable tourism measurement, and the development of these indicators will be discussed in more depth later. (ay)