Public relations in tourism


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Public relations in tourism

  1. 1. TRAVEL PROMOTIONThe goal of the tourism industry is to stimulate the public’s desire to travel and then turn this desire into the purchase of tickets Public relations plays an essential role in this process—not only in attracting visitors to destinations, but also in keeping them happy once they arrive
  2. 2. TRAVEL PROMOTIONTraditionally, the practice of travel public relations has involved three steps: Stimulating the public’s desire to visit a place Arranging for the travelers to reach it Making certain that visitors are comfortable, well treated, and entertained when they get there  Fear of terrorism has focused emphasis on a crucial new element of travel public relations—ensuring travelers’ safety
  3. 3. TRAVEL PROMOTIONInterest in travel can be stimulated through the following: Articles in magazines and newspapers Brochures distributed by travel agents or direct mail Internet presentations Travel films and videos  “Pure Michigan”Locations also solicit associations and companies, encouraging them to hold conventions in particular locations to encourage group travel Indianapolis Super Bowl
  4. 4. TRAVEL PROMOTIONSome publications have their own writing staffOthers hire freelance writers and photographersWell-done articles by PR practitioners about travel destinations often are published, too, as long as they are written in an informational manner without resorting to blatant salesmanship and “purple prose” Sensitive to public resistance to exaggeration, Condé Nast Traveler magazine carries the slogan “Truth in Travel” on its coverPersonal case study Allegiant Airlines
  5. 5. TRAVEL PROMOTIONHowever, O’Dwyer’s PR Services Report warns that “PR overkill” can result from the following: Indiscriminate distribution of news releases Nagging follow-up calls to editors about releases Ignorance about the publication being pitched with a story Excessive handling of writers on arranged trips so that they find it difficult to get a complete picture of the travel destination
  6. 6. TRAVEL PROMOTIONTreating travelers well is critical in the travel and tourist industry If a person spends a large sum on a trip, but then encounters poor accommodations, rude hotel clerks, misplaced luggage, and inferior sightseeing arrangements, he or she comes home angry Even more ominously for the destination, unhappy travelers readily tell their friends how bad the trip was
  7. 7. TRAVEL PROMOTIONEven the best arrangements go awry at times Planes are late Tour members miss the bus Bad weather riles tempersThis is where the personal touch means so much An attentive, cheerful tour director or hotel manager can soothe guests, and a “make-good” gesture such as a free drink or meal does wonders Careful training of travel personnel is essential  Many travelers, especially in foreign countries, are uneasy in strange surroundings and depend more on others than they would at home
  8. 8. APPEALS TO TARGET AUDIENCESTravel promoters identify target audiences, creating special appeals and trips for them Great Britain’s publicity in the U.S. is an example of a successful effort  It’s an appealing invitation to visit the country’s historic places and pageants  Promoters also highlight London theatrical tours, golf expeditions to famous courses in Scotland, genealogical research parties for those seeking family roots, and tours of famous cathedrals
  9. 9. APPEALS TO TARGET AUDIENCESPackaging is a key word in travel public relations A few of the niche travel packages offered include:  Cruises for family reunions or school groups  Family skiing vacations  University alumni study groups  Archaeological expeditions  Even trips to promote Tibet A package usually consists of prepaid arrangements for transportation, housing, most meals, and entertainment, with a professional escort to handle the details  Supplementary side trips often are offered for extra fees
  10. 10. APPEALS TO TARGET AUDIENCESThe largest special travel audience is people older than age 40The 60-plus age cohort makes up a large percentage of cruise ship passengers: A large percentage of cruise passengers, especially on longer voyages, are retirees Many retired persons have time to travel, and some have ample money to do so Hotels, motels, and airlines frequently offer discounts to attract this audience Alert travel promoters design trips with them in mind, including such niceties as pairing compatible widows to share cabins and arranging shore trips that require little walkingAs a means of keeping old-school loyalties alive, many colleges conduct alumni tours, which are heavily attended by senior citizens
  11. 11. TOURISM IN TIMES OF CRISISCrisis management is an important part of public relations in the travel industry, just as it is in corporate work Crises come in many forms, from dangerous political crises to small but embarrassing “blips”  Natalee Holloway case in Aruba  Royal Princess Cruise engine fire
  12. 12. TOURISM IN TIMES OF CRISISAruba is a popular destination for U.S. tourists; nearly 1 million visit the Caribbean island annually However, “its tranquil image of clear water, beautiful beaches, and swaying palm trees was considerably shaken when Natalee Holloway, an 18-year-old from Alabama on a class graduation trip, disappeared from one of Aruba’s resorts”  The disappearance—and the strong inference of foul play—became a major story in the print and broadcast media  At one point, 60 foreign reporters were on the island covering the case  Aruba had garnered more media coverage over Holloway than it had received in the last 20 years The Holloway story was a major crisis for the Aruba tourism industry  The story continued to garner headlines as Holloway’s mother gave extensive interviews and loudly complained about the lack of progress the Aruba police were making in finding her daughter  The Alabama legislature even got into the act and threatened a boycott of the island until the case was solved
  13. 13. TOURISM IN TIMES OF CRISISAruba’s PR firm, Quinn & Co. in New York, was originally retained to promote the island’s beaches and resorts, but had to immediately switch gears and do crisis management Centralized information about police investigation Regular updates on progress in the case Assured cruise lines, travel agents, and airlines that Aruba was safe and still an attractive destination The government also issued a statement:  “This comes as a shock to Aruba where crime against tourists is almost nonexistent”  Also noted the island’s repeat visitor rate of 40 percentIn Aruba, tourism is nearly back to normal today
  14. 14. TOURISM IN TIMES OF CRISISIn 2009, a Royal Princess Cruise ,in the fifth day of a 12-day Holy Land cruise, had an engine fire that disrupted the cruise The cruise ship was taken out of service and spokespeople were left to explain:  “We will be providing the affected passengers… a full refund of their fare, plus a future cruise credit equal to 25 percent of the cruise fare paid for these sailings. We are currently securing flights home for all passengers currently onboard Royal Princess, and they will be returning home over the weekend.”
  15. 15. TOURISM IN TIMES OF CRISISAmong numerous areas of concern, travel firms need to make certain that they provide equal facilities and service to allThey also need to ensure that their facilities and practices are environmentally sound or risk negative publicity
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