PR plays a significant role in the Travel and Tourism Industry. Beyond enticing travelers to a destination, PR professionals sometimes have the arduous task of creating and maintaining a safe, comfortable and enjoyable image of the destination. In this blog post I will discuss the three main elements in Travel and Tourism PR; The Good- Stimulating travelers interest in visiting a destination, The Bad– Managing crises and The Ugly- changing the perception; accepting flaws of the destination yet highlighting it.
Below, are the aforesaid elements more detailed!
The Good- Many countries depend heavily on the Travel and Tourism Industry to maintain their economy. Its sometimes their main source of foreign exchange and its very competitive in the international market.With this, PR firms are contracted across their target markets to ensure their destination is among the preferred choices for travelers. What’s better than creating avenues for press to experience the destination first hand? For destinations that promote niches such as events/cultural tourism or destination weddings. Press are invited to cover festivals/shows or sporting events. E.g Jazz festivals and Mardi Grass in New Orleans, Carnival in Brazil and the Caribbean.
The Bad- What does Natalee Holloway’s disappearance in Aruba and the Costa Concordia debacle have in common? Bad Press!! In this field, crises occur constantly, whether it is in the corporate environment, in the government or with a destination. This is a segment in PR that is often neglected and costs destinations millions in a matter of minutes. In this age of social media, PR professionals have to be verse in dealing with such sensitive crises and be able to act swiftly.
The Ugly- India, Mexico and South Africa are often portrayed as corrupt and crime-ridden countries in the media. They often show the bad in these countries which usually causes the public to have fear in visiting them. However, theres an “app” for that!! Not an Apple app but a PR app, which concentrates on changing the perceptions by accepting the faults and transforming the flaws into hidden treasures. For instance, Columbia launched a big PR campaign, Columbia, The only risk is wanting to stay, which created awareness on the beauty of this country. Communication professionals worked towards eliminating the distorted images people had of Columbia by putting together the aforementioned campaign, which gave information on the countries natural resources and positive elements.