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Public relation is the process through which an company make efforts to establish cordial business relations with their customers and clients. It is essential for the firms to understand the needs and wants of the customers so that they can design their services as per them in the travel and tourism industry (Beaver, 2005). This report discusses the role, scope and importance of public relations as a promotional tool for marketing and promotion in tourist destination like London in the international market. The second assignment is about application of PR and promotional tools used by TUI organization in order to promote their tourism services.
London is the capital city of the England and the United Kingdom. It is the highly populated city in UK. It is a leading global city having strengths in field of arts, education, media, fashion and tourism. It is also known as the world's cultural capital. In terms of international arrivals, it is world's most visited city. Along with that it is also having the world's largest city airport system. It became the first ever city to conduct the modern summer Olympic games three times. The city is also enclosed with people from different cultures and backgrounds and more than 300 languages are spoken within it. London is having four world heritage sites which are greater sites of attraction and these includes Tower of London, the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey and St Margaret's Church (The Economy, 2014). It is a very popular destination for tourism and it is one of its major revenue generating industry. It attracts over 14 million international visitors every year, tagging it as the most visited city of Europe. British Museum, Madam Tussauds etc are legend destinations in the history of tourism in London.
Public relation in travel and tourism plays an essential role because these tools are used extensively in strategic marketing activities and is integrated with marketing communications. Visit Britain, a tourist board of Great Britain is acting as a public relation tool for the promotion of tourism service in London. It is incorporated under the Development of Tourism Act 1969.
Government of the London has been using this promotional tool since many years and it has helped then in gaining the attention of the tourists from different parts of the world (Butterick, 2011). The Visit Britain is making all possible efforts to establish rules and provisions which can enhance the value of then tourists visiting the nation. It is helping in building the value of inbound tourism to London. It is acting as a strategic body for inbound tourism and the national tourism agency. It is funded by department for culture, media and sport. It is playing unique role in raising London’s profile worldwide, increasing the value of tourism exports and developing Britain’s visitor economy. It is making favourable perceptions about the London destination because the success of the industry relies on different sectors.
All different companies along with the government create positive relationship with the public with the public by using promotional medium such as Facebook, YouTube and blogs (Kumar, 2012). All these tools are used to promote the destination and to create a positive image in the minds of the existing and incoming tourists. Different types of travel and tourism companies had also added their contribution in the promoting London as the most renowned tourist destinations. Their role is to establish healthy and fine relations with the customers so that they can be motivated to visit London again and again (Jefkins, 2007).
Through public relations customers can be informed about the new services and destinations. It is very similar to the advertising and it facilitates to create more awareness about the destination and hence this increased the business and revenue for the economy. In order to meet the needs and aspirations of the tourists, the government of London is required to use public relation as a tool for marketing and promotion (Henslowe, 2003). In the present context there are numerous destinations where the people can go and enjoy the tourism services hence it will not be wrong to say that the level of competition is high in this industry. This tool will play significant role in promoting London as famous tourist destination in the international market (Bowen, 2014). The PR strategy not only helps in attracting the visitors towards the destination but also keeps them happy and satisfied so that they can wish to visit the place again. Further it identifies the target market segment for the government and travel & tourism firms. Hence the role and scope of public relation as promotional tool is enclosed with central and crucial importance.
In the travel and tourism sector it is important to develop mutual understanding with the public including government, media, general public, tourism departments. It is evident that people from all parts of the country tend to visit London for travelling and business purposes. These people belong to different caste, regional and ethnic groups (Becker, Sprigg and Cosmas 2014).
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Table 1: Top 10 visitors to London over last 10 years nation wise
The above table shows the number of visitors arrived in London for the period of last ten years. Business of travel and tourism in the nation has grown by ups and downs over the years. 16.8 million people, travelled to the country in gaining a 43.5% increase in the year 2013. Hence this clearly shows that country provides tourism services to a very wide and diversified customer base. It can be seen that there is a hardcore rise in the tourists from Germany, France and Italy. Apart from the tourists, there are different types of pressure groups, policymakers and the suppliers of service components (Lages and Simkin, 2013). In order to boost the tourism profile it is essential to integrate with the activities with the expectations of the locals and to strengthen the relationship building at the grassroots level. Various type of tourist departments are established at different places of London. These departments help in solving the queries and complain of the visitors. This also contributes towards creating a positive image in the minds of the tourists related to the destination (Marcotte and Bourdeau 2012). Further there are tourism companies which design the tours and packages of the tourists. They also make effective efforts to give exceptional and amazing tourism experiences to their clients.
Undertake an audit of the internal and external environments within the context of setting relevant goals and objectives for the campaign using a range of PR and promotion skills
Political – London is a part of UK which is one of the most prosperous and influential countries across the world. It has a large role to play in relation to globalization. Political factors such as governmental laws & regulations related to travel & tourism affects the London tourism industry.
Economic – Factors such as GDP, purchasing power, living standard, income level, inflation, recession etc affects the London as a tourism destination. UK is still in the clutches of 2008 financial crisis.
Social – London faces number of challenges with respect to maintaining the level of tourism services. People from different nations, culture, religion, background etc also visits London in search of leisure hence it puts an impact on tourism services in the destination.
Technology – At present social media marketing and mobile marketing is in focus. Tourism authorities in London have to make use of these promotional tools in order to reach large number of tourists.
Legal – It is also essential to maintain control and discipline in the tourism services. It can be done by framing laws and regulations which can improve the tourism services.
The various internal goals of the Public relation are as follows:
PR shows the application of different methods that the company can easily use to provide all the information about their products, services and existing image in front of the customers, employees and other stakeholders. One of the major aim of public relation tool is to influence the people so that they can easily establish good relations about the company and its offerings (Hill, 2013). It has been seen that advertising is similar with the PR because it is related with promoting and gaining the acceptance of the public from all the services and products of the firms. But still PR is little different because the main goal is to establish good relations with the masses. There are different steps to perform public relation activity which starts when a specific travel and tourism company make efforts to gain all the factors which affect the perceptions of the travel and tourism sector (Meng, 2014). In the next step, all the policies in the context of the campaign are introduced so that it can be performed in most appropriate manner. In the next stage all the strategies and approaches are stated and defined so that desired outcomes can be achieved. In the next stage communications with the public is made by using different type of mediums such as press conferencing, social media etc (Steyn, 2007). In the next stage entities make efforts to receive feedbacks from the public so that they can design their services according to the wants of the people. At the last stage company implements the changes.
The above diagram shows the public relation plan for Visit Britain tourist Board in respect with the objectives stated earlier. The steps involved in the plan are as follows:
Objective – The objective of the Plan are as follows:
Message – The major focus is on developing a public relation plan related to Visit Britain. It will promote healthy and good relations between the organization and the public by making a strong communication.
Finding of facts, collection of data and research - All the facts related to the tourist's destination such as London are identified. Continuous efforts related to development of good reputation of the tourism industry are made. The improvements which are needed in the services of the different departments of the company are identified (Becker, Sprigg and Cosmas, 2014). All significant facts are analyzed as they are very important for the development process. All the problems and opportunities which are present in the country are also collected.
Planning and programming - Different strategies are established in order to solve all the issues which are discovered in the above stage. Public relation also helps the government and the organization in developing the path for the purpose of making strategies for the nation (Lages and Simkin, 2013).
Action, relation and communication - PR tool helps in building healthy and good relations between the organization and the public by making a strong communication. Feedbacks of the public are collected from the websites so that strategies can be modified accordingly (Marcotte and Bourdeau 2012).
Use of Media – Different channels of social media such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter etc will be used for the promotion of London. Social media will help in reaching a large number of audience in very quick span of time. It is expected that this will promote the tourism services in UK.
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TUI is a German based travel and tourism organization, performing its business operations in all the corners of the world. It is headquartered in Hanover but also marks its extreme presence in some European nations. At present it is the world's largest travel and tourism companies and also holds many subsidies of it. It is a well-integrated company in both in vertical as well as horizontal manner (Cho and Huh, 2010). It holds many many travel agencies, hotels, airlines, cruise ships, retail stores, etc all-round the globe. One of the big things is that it is listed on London stock exchange as well along with Frankfurt Stock Exchange. It was founded in the year 1923 and since then the organization has gained a great position and is still on the path of growth and development. It is now been merged with a British Tour Operator named First Choice.
It is very important for every firm to have proper development and maintain relation with community and number of stakeholders, so it is a very serious assignment that has to be accomplishing by administration of a business association. This circumstance occurs mainly due to involvement of number of elements and forces that can affect the business in both positive and negative manner (Capriotti and Moreno 2007). For the better accomplishment of activity and task there are wide range of communication mediums or tools that can be adopted by TUI to have success of campaign and rapid increase in sales or business. The communication techniques will allow firm to have effective and efficient communication system for better accomplishment of goals. The one of most important tool for effective communication is Print media. This tool is very crucial and vital method to have effective promotion with maintaining the better relations with the public (Capriotti and Moreno 2007). This communication and advertising system will also help TUI in development of business with having an expansion in wide range of customers. It will also allow firm to have better sales with sharing information in form of press release, etc.
The key major reason behind use of this technique is to have growth in business as well as growth of industry. It will provide better opportunity and allow firm to have wide and reach to potential customers. In other words, it can also be said that this tool is most useful for visiting the attractions firm because it provides far more advanced reach to customers and boost the business (Marcotte and Bourdeau, 2012). This tool will also motivate firm to have better reach to customers for a long term. Apart from this technique, social media and social networking sites is also most useful and beneficial tool for management. This will allow company to have better touch with a large number of consumers. It will also help in identification and understanding of various needs and wants of customers. Company can have promotion of business with having a proper use of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc (Becker, Sprigg and Cosmas 2014). These can be beneficial for company because it is not only tool to interact with target customers but also helps in better understating of customers perception and motivate to meet those needs.
The proper implementation of PR & promotional strategy is important for every organization to have success in business. It has also been identified that organization need to consider some skills before hiring public relation person (Becker, Sprigg and Cosmas 2014). One of the essential skill that I can suggest for better implementation of PR and promotional person and as well as activity is that person must have ability to communicate with people whether, it is written or oral skill. It has been spotted that it is most important capability that can make promotion activity effective. This skill will also beneficial for better implementation of public relation strategy as well as other business activities. While, communicating with number of clients, whether it is direct or indirect involved in submission of the various tactics, I can say that the better implementation of plan has a positive effect on individual activities (Lages and Simkin, 2013).
Communication plays a key role in understanding the needs and communicating the message. The improvement in communication skill will also allow person to have innovative ways to overcome the issues. It has also been determined that creativity is another important skill that can boost the business and promotional activity. The increase creativity will allow person to design and implement the effective PR strategies for increase in market share. As working in organization on post of PR person, i have to focus on creativity to have uniqueness in plan and tactics that are developed and implemented at workplace (Capriotti and Moreno 2007). The uniqueness and creativity of me has also improved my image in corporation and forced my colleagues and superiors to say that I am a very innovative person and always ready to take initiatives. My creative ability has also helped company and make it campaign success. The success of campaign has helped company to have increase in sale (Marcotte and Bourdeau, 2012).
Public relations are a very significant tool to promote the services of travel and tourism. London has proved to be an exotic location for promoting tourism and is contributing greatly towards increasing the revenue of the economy. It is important for government of every nation to adopt effective tourism strategies in order attract visitors in the country. The generated revenue can be utilized for further development and innovation under the industry.
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