In order to attract tourists in the highly competitive market, the management uses marketing and management tools that should be taken into consideration (Mill and Morrisson, 2002). The most important marketing tool is Public Relations (PR) as it plays a key role in advertising the locations, activities and identities. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role and importance of PR in the tourism and travel industry.
PR in travel and tourism has a very important role to play as it is used in strategic marketing activities and is integrated with marketing communications. The tourism industry is divided into many sectors including travel, tourist destinations, establishments, hotels lodgings and restaurants. The different sectors have their specific audience, public relation tools and convey different messages. The important role of PR is to create favourable perceptions about the tourist destination because success of the industry relies on the different sectors as explained by Deuschl (2006). The sectors need effective PR to gain popularity among the tourists. The PR department creates a positive impression in all the sectors in the travel and tourism industry.
The role of PR involves attracting customers and keeping them entertained after they arrive at the destination to their time of departure. The primary purpose of PR is to effectively support other marketing and sales activities attempting to build a positive image of a company, its services and products (Deuschl, 2006). PR help the organization to save money by enhancing relations with the public that constrain or enhance the ability of the entity to meet its obligations. PR is different from other marketing tools, most importantly advertising since it creates the launch of a brand and it has greater credibility. PR promotes improved understanding between the operators and customers. There has been increased competition in the tourism sector among the operators to create ...
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of society and organization on the other. Public relations, according to Harlow, aims to ascertain and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance and cooperation between an organization and its publics, and hence involves the management of problems or issues by helping the management to keep informed on and responsive to public opinion (Palaniappan & Ramachandraiah 2008).
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