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Public Relation and Promotion in Travel & Tourism Assignment
Diploma in Travel and Tourism
Unit Number and Title
Public Relation and Promotion in Travel and Tourism
Public relation and promotion in the travel and tourism assignment explores the role of public relations in the travel and tourism sector and its importance in business promotion. The tourist destination chosen for discussion is Guangzhou, the third biggest city in China with a population of 12 million. The city is famous for trading. Despite its growing economy with the export and import during the trade fairs the city has various vibrant sightseeing resources that includes The Yuexiu Park, Zhenhai tower, white cloud mountains, square canon, temple of the Chen Family, temple of Bright Filial. The temples are full with beautiful murals. The people in Guangzhou believe in Buddhism. Travellers usually come here to relax shop and eat. The city has largest number of restaurants and is a birthplace of Chinese food. The government here is open-minded and is ready to invest in the development of the city. Public relations in tourism play a vital role as it is used in marketing activities. The purpose of the assignment is to develop the skills to design, plan, cost and evaluate Guangzhou as a tourist destination by using public relation media and channels. Public relation can be described as an important management tool and an integral aspect in integration of the organization and its publics (Cooper et al, 2008).
1 a: role and scope of public relations as a promotional tool in guangzhou
The destination chosen for discussion is Guangzhou. It is a famous historical city of china. The Pearl River flows through the city .The brief introduction to the tourist sights in the city are the Yuexiu Park, which is the largest park and has a mountain named Yuexiu. The most beautiful attraction of the park is its stunning landscapes. The city also has number of ancient relics as an example Zhenhai tower, square canon site also, Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family, which is full with beautiful murals. A cable car can be taken to reach the top of the mountains to enjoy the scenic beauty of White Cloud Mountains and in the night a boat tour to have the splendid night view of the city.
The city is located to the south of tropic of cancer, which makes it humid and wet during summers and mild and dry during winters. The city has a long monsoon season. Buddhism is the most noticeable religion. The temple of Bright Filial is the oldest Buddhist temple in the city. The Buddhist monks come here to preach and bring brilliance to the temple. The city is connected to international states by air Guangzhou International Airport and is connected to local and national places by railways and roads. Guangzhou hosted the 16th Asian games in 2001, FIFA women’s world cup in 1991, world table tennis championships in 2008.Guangzhou is famous for its Canton Fair, which is held twice every year. This is the largest fair in China and it attracts many international tourists and business representatives (Yong, 2007).
Tourism in Guangzhou is very vast and is divided among various sectors that include temples, parks and gardens, hotels and many historical buildings. There are various steps involved in the practice of public relations in tourism that includes motivating the customer’s desire to visit a place, making arrangements for the people to reach the destination, making sure that the customer’s are happy and comfortable during the stay and on the top of all the security of the people travelling to the destination.
The tourism can be promoted by using various promotional techniques described as follows:
- Use of technology- Widespread adoption of computer technology and Internet has led to increase in number of promotional messages, use of spam is used to advertise via e-mail.
- Press release- Articles in newspaper, magazines and television helps to promote the destination.
- Leaflets- This technique is often used to send mail shots to potential customers.
- Brochures- Travel brochures are produced by travel operator and retailers to promote the tourism of the destination.
- Focus group- This technique is used to explore ideas, attitudes and new approaches.
- Personal interviews- These are carried out face to face and can be very expensive techniques out of all others and are used very less.
- Telephone surveys- This is the fastest way of gathering information. A phone survey allows opinions to be tested further.
A well-planned trip can also sometimes end in a sad way. There are various reasons like the flights are late, local coach buses are missed out by the tour members, unfavourable climatic conditions. This is the time when public relations come in picture. A personal touch can really mean a lot during this time, which can be done by showing the customers a “make good” gesture such as giving free drinks or free meals. A good and cheerful tour director or the manager of the hotel can soothe guests. Treating the travellers well is very important.
1 b: diversity of publics within a travel and tourism context
In order to publicize the tourism profile, there is a need to associate the happenings with the potentials of the local people and strengthening the relationship that are building at the base level. The industry is cyclic and the responsibility of public relation is very important in all phases (McCabe, 2009).
Efficient public relation starts by establishing reliability within the organization before expressing into media or any other method. It is very difficult to imagine a market process without public relations. Both are interconnected and the best results are only achieved when they go hand in hand. There are various types of public relation in travel and tourism that are divided into basic groups that covers majority of the public in tourist destination. They are-
- Internal public relation
- Relationship with the government
- Domestic public relation
- International public relation
- Media Relations.
Public relation is often being mixed up with media. But they are completely different things with a different goal and overall effect. Advertising is focused on promotion of products with no aim to encourage the customers to buy their services. On the other hand, public relation is a positive way of marketing the products and services. It mainly helps in creating a positive publicity about a company so that it attains a good reputation in public and the customers are more likely to choose products from that particular company. Middleton et al, (2009) inferred that public relation is just about influencing opinion and behaviour. The major role of public relations is to present a positive outlook of any tourist destination. All the sectors need a good public relation to gain popularity among the visitors. It helps in attracting customers and keeping them entertained from the time they arrive in the destination till the time of their departure.
2: internal and external environmental within the context of setting goals and objectives using pr and promotional skills
Now- a-days the value of the PR work can be proved by setting the goals and objectives that can be easily achieved. A goal is achieved only when the objectives related to it are met. Thus both of them are inter-related. It helps to improve the links between the participants and thus create valuable results. The internal environment can be explained with the help of SWOT analysis and external environment can be explained with the help of PESTLE analysis.
Swot analysis for internal environment
Pestle analysis for external environment
HOW THE FACTORS ARE AFFECTING THE ENVIRONMENT
Communist party governs Guangzhou. There is a stable political environment in Guangzhou. Chinese government is open to all foreign direct investors, which has resulted in a great economic growth. There are many risks due to the expanding economy of Guangzhou. The government is taking steps to enforce strict legal systems and hold the global market place.
The infrastructure of Guangzhou is very complex and consists of services like power, water, telecom, railways, airports, banking etc. The shipping company here is ranked as one of the largest and is providing services to all the major ports of the world (Xinhua net, 2003).
Guangzhou has a population of around 12 million. It is the third largest city of China. Because of the growing education, there are more number of students and has increased the literacy rates of around 92.8%. The health care system in Guangzhou is increasing day by day.
There are around 500 million Internet users. China has crafted the world’s fastest supercomputer- Tianhe-1A. The technology in Guangzhou is very cheap and is having world’s third largest system in railway networks.
In order to have foreign investors the government of Guangzhou has set up complete law system. All the laws are in accordance with the model of the WTO.
Tax incentives for the industrialized segment are provided for the Promotion of Investment. The sectors in which the investment can be made in order to earn profit are IT, real estate, tourism, environment and manufacturing.
Shortage of clean drinking water because the industry effluents are discharged directly into the water bodies is one of the major environmental factors. There is a lot of air pollution because the city relies maximum on coal, which results in high emission of green house gases.
3: design of public relation plan to achieve the target objectives
A public relation plan focuses on a specific objective that can increase the step-in in the country and thus raising its economic growth. It builds up good relations. Public relation plans are complex and have long life. They need proper planning, which includes the analysis of the situation, setting of objectives, targeting the correct audience, using various promotional techniques to make people aware of the objectives and finally evaluating the result of the plan. Public relation is a field of fun and excitement but it also requires a can- do attitude to attain success (David, 2006).
- Production:With the advancements in technology many new industries are coming up rapidly. The industrial output of the three main industries: Electronic, automobile and petrochemical industry constitutes around one-third of the total city’s output value. Guangzhou has 34 industrial sectors out of China’s 40 major industrial sectors.
- Marketing strategies:The best way to make people attracted towards this destination is by various public relation techniques which includes tasks like: press release, seminars, distributing brochures, blogs, digital marketing, advertising in newspapers and magazines.
- Customer:According to Jefkin, there are 8 basic publics: community, employees, suppliers, distributor, customer, potential employees, opinion leaders and financial markets.
The target audiences are the international tourists, customers or business entrepreneurs. These are the people who visit the place for the purpose of relaxation (Cass, 2007).
Porter’s strategy:Porter's generic strategies explain how a company practices economical benefit in the competitive market. According to Porter (1980), there are three strategies that can be applied to any business. They are:
- Cost leadership: The organization minimizes their cost based on mass production of goods and services. Marketing services should use best pricing policy.
- Focus:It focuses on the buyers who are coming to Guangzhou for business and investment. A company can use either cost focus or differentiation focus.
- Differentiation:It includes differentiation of manufactured products that are unique and are widely accepted in global market.
Figure: porter's generic strategies
Out of these three strategies, porter claimed to use any one else there will be a risk of wasting resources from the business. The strategies give an overview of communication between minimization of cost, focusing on market strategy and differentiation strategy. These strategies lead to place the products in markets in such a way that the outcomes are maximum profit and improvement in competition.
The major role of a public relation is to create a positive outlook of a tourist destination. Public relation is very important in tour and travel industry as it explains every aspect of the organization in terms of customers, media and shareholders. Creating and maintaining a good public reputation is a difficult and cyclic process. If there is no public relation, it becomes very difficult to attract customers and influence their need and decisions. But, when a public relation in a particular target group is achieved, it needs to be maintained in a way to keep it on a higher level. Setting the goals and objectives can prove the value of public relation. They give focus and direction to create programmes. The travel and tourism sector is hugely affected by poor performing economy. The country should apply proper public relation plans and tools to target audience. Media and public relations go hand in hand and tourism industry should use it as an important tool in mode of advertisement. The tourism sector should develop effective public relation plans to various destinations in order to increase the economy of the country by attracting various travellers. Public relation is the best mode of advertising for the industry since it reaches a higher number of the target audience (Nucifora, 2000).
Public relation is used to enhance relations with the customers and thereby helps in saving a lot of money. It promotes to improve the understanding between the customer and operator, which can be further used to create awareness of the existing products and various facilities to the customer. It helps to remove the myth the customers have in their mind regarding a particular product or destination. Public Relations serves both in public's interest and private interests of businesses, associations, non-profit organizations and governments. It helps an organization and its publics to adapt mutually with each other and explain the policy of organization through communication media. The scope of Public relation is wide and it includes various individuals in day-to-day business. It basically deals with creating assets and investing which further improves the economy of the country (Grunig, 2001).
Travel and tourism deals in selling services to their clients (Borges, 2009). Hence public relations and promotion are used widely in this sector. This assignment focuses on implementation of media strategy for Thomas Cook. Thomas Cook is a UK based travel and tourism organization. It has a well-known name in the package holiday industry. Thomas Cook has a good reputation in the tour and travel industry. This is just because of its brand image that helps people trust and choose Thomas Cook. The company has a good market share because of customer loyalty. The two main strengths of the company are its strong financial position and amazingly strong customer base. The assignment also explains importance of PR in Thomas Cook and hence evaluates the effectiveness of PR in travel and tourism businesses.
3 a media suitable for the public relations campaign and the relationship between public relations in the travel and tourism sector and the media.
PR in Thomas cook: Public relations include activities that help to build a strong public image. The activities of PR help to inform people about the firm and its products. An effective PR includes successful advertising, good promotional techniques and application of well-designed PR map. A PR map explains what information is to be provided to whom and what is the budget for the work to be done. Thomas Cook has hired various specialists and PR managers for its process of monetary services. Various marketing strategies used by Thomas Cook include tactical marketing, Guerrilla marketing, pragmatic approach and viral marketing (Perry, 2000). The group individuals relate promotion to publicity of a product directly. Public relations are an important tool for promotion in travel and tourism sector. It has various different purposes like promoting an event or a tourist destination, building brand image of a company, attracting customers and many others.
Uses of PR in Thomas cook
PR is used in Thomas Cook for the purposes listed below.
- Promotional Tool: PR plays a vital role in promoting an organization. The aim of promotion of an organization means creating a positive impact on customers. Thomas Cook promotes various activities, change in management or change in objectives. Public relation is necessary, as promotion will indulge press conferences, press releases and invitation of journalists to try new deals of the company.
- Communication Tool:PR is used for internal and external communication in Thomas Cook. Internal communication includes communication with employees and external means with customers, clients and shareholders about the business plans and objectives. This is done by media releases, conferences and invitation of guests for face-to-face communication (Philip, 2005).
- Creating Awareness: To create awareness of customer is an essential part to build a brand image of a company. This can be done by advertisements, supporting local charities and various other promotional methods. To create awareness among people is an important part of public relation activities as it helps to grasp attention of people and helps to create a base for building different relationships.
- Building Credibility: PR helps in successful operation of business. Thomas Cook believes in selling experience. This helps to create a positive experience of a person with the company. A simple advertisement promotion is not just enough for building a brand name but a well written article in newspaper makes a huge difference and this can be done by providing different types of offers to the journalists so that can write with their own experiences.
- Crisis Management:One of the most important tasks of PR in travel and tourism industry is to manage the negative effect on public. Negative rumors cannot be controlled. So, it has to be removed with the help of positive publicity with the help of PR.
3 b: PR and promotional skills and evaluate the effectiveness of the chosen media
Promotional skills used in Thomas cook:A PR activity is successful if the people involved in it are having appropriate skills and knowledge. An effective PR includes quality of information and not quantity of information. If the quality of information is good then it helps in success of a tourism company like Thomas Cook. Various skills used are:
- Quick recognition of opportunities: It is essential to see a good and creative opportunity and maximize it to achieve the maximum potential of PR. Good opportunity leads to success.
- Finding interesting information:It is necessary to find interesting information for the media. They are interested only in colorful and hot stories. It is essential to provide them information in a way so that they can promote the organization in a positive manner.
- Presentation of information: It is important to present information properly in an interesting and creative way so that it helps to build a positive image of the company in front of customers.
- Ability to build customer base:This is a skill that develops with experience. It can be done by concentrating on the needs of the customers and having a good communication with them so that best services can be offered to them.
Effectiveness of media in Thomas cooks: The word Media involves printing, on-line media, face-to-face communication, broadcasting media etc. Printed media includes newspapers, magazines, journals etc. that plays role in advertising and PR activities of Thomas Cook. Press release helps to cover attractions and services offered by Thomas Cook. The company also provides printed directories to its travelers that include contact information of attractions and sites of destination. Broadcasting includes radio, television and cinemas. Thomas Cook uses these widely in promoting their products and services. It covers a huge amount of customers at one point of time. One of the most common ways of promotion used these days is electronic media. Here PR is developed using websites, social media, e-mails etc. (Xiang, 2010). This also helps in real-time customer communication at a very low cost. Review website of Thomas Cook helps to provide free and real reviews of services offered by the company and experiences of customers. Various types of media have various advantages and disadvantages. The choice of correct media helps in careful work but it also depends on nature of work to be promoted. Media helps to promote products and services and bring messages to target audiences. So, it is very important for Thomas Cook to choose right media to have a good customer and financial base.
It is really difficult to understand the importance of public relations. It plays a great role in expansion of tourism business. It also helps to make profit in various changing circumstances. It is a new way of promoting a service. Public relations is all about creating and managing positive image of a company, its services and products. It helps to enhance the brand image of an organization. Thomas cook respects the privacy of the customers and engage them in a way so that they are satisfied with the services of the company. In order to meet the social marketing goals Thomas Cook is using a tool of cloud-based social monitoring that helps them to access the impact of ads and promotional activities.
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