PR in the travel and tourism industry: shaping a favourable image

By May 17, 2019Blog

Travel and Tourism is one of the world’s largest economic sectors. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the industry supports 1 in 10 jobs (319 million) worldwide and generates 10.4% of global GDP. In 2018, the Travel and Tourism industry experienced 3.9% growth, compared to that of the global economy (3.2%).

Along with advertising and marketing, public relations consultancy plays an important role in promoting and shaping a favourable image of brands, creating a desire to travel, persuading consumers to purchase tourist products and services, increasing engagement with target audiences and more.

According to research commended by Sherlock Communications and conducted by Toluna Insights, the majority of Latin Americans says that informative content from destinations and travel brands (e.g. posts in travel blogs and trade publications) can influence their decisions in planning their trip.

When it comes to the travel and tourism industry, public relations can effortlessly provide greater connections with audiences by communicating key messages in the right channel at the convenient moment, and moreover, is largely inexpensive when compared to advertising campaigns.

In order to succeed in a highly competitive market, there are many tools that should be taken into consideration. Take a look at some of the actions your public relations agency can help you execute to leverage your business objectives in the market you choose.  

 

1.Strategic social media campaigns

Due to the explosive growth of information technology in the last decade, the internet has become the most used channel by travellers to book their trips. According to Sherlock Communications’ research, Brazil and Argentina are leading countries in engaging with content on the web. 56% of Brazilians said they would consider a travel decision if a friend shared an article, photo or info on the destination on social media and 33% would do so if an influencer they follow posted a photo or video.

In Argentina, 30% of travellers said they are influenced by content shared by their friends and people they know, while 18% of Argentines would consider tips from travel influencers among other options. As the online trend accelerates, having a strategic social media plan that aligns with a PR proposition can help raise awareness for tourism industry brands all over LatAm.

2.Website optimisation and local version

In addition to investing in an accurate social media presence, tourism industry brands need to make sure their website is available and updated to anyone who is interested in knowing more about them. Work with your PR agency so your content and landing pages are optimised with the current rankings for search engine optimisation (SEO) and provide information in the native language of the market you are targeting.

3.Rich and engaging content (listicles, fact sheets, announcement releases, etc.)

Counting on recommendations from influencers, people and media they trust plays an important role in the decision to purchase a trip, product or service for Latin American travellers. A strategic PR campaign can help your company build a complete press kit containing information on every detail making it easier to proactively answer incoming media enquiries, interviews and comment opportunities.

4.Targeted press trips and media coverage

Inviting journalists and influencers on press trips is also a good way to generate and model a positive image about a destination, experience, attraction, product or service. They also give a first-hand story to share with key audiences.

5.Partnering with important travel agencies and tourism bodies.

Travellers worldwide are more and more independent when it comes to planning and personalising their own trip, but travel agencies are still an important factor to help organize their trips. In Uruguay, for example, one study shows that 46% prefer to leave the country with a full package defined by their travel agent.

To assist tourism professionals to promote their destinations, experiences, products and services, it’s important to include special materials in your PR plan for Latin America. This includes Spanish and Portuguese language materials about touristic products, services and advice on offer.

6.Participation in fairs and organising events.

Professional organisation and attendance in events and fairs have become another recommended tool that collaborates actively in the pursuit of companies’ PR and Communication objectives. Participating in events organised by third parties, such as fairs and exhibitions, shows a significant opportunity to make direct contact with consumers or users of a specific product or service, and to promote binding actions with potential buyers and others.

Hosting an event has also become very effective within the lower budget options that a company can apply to achieve specific and timely results among target audiences. Seize the opportunity to call attention for your brand by promoting actions during major travel events in Latin America, such as ABAV Expo, WTM Latin America and Fit America Latina.

 

Public relations should be an integral part of all tourism and travel companies’ ongoing marketing plan. Businesses that use their knowledge on their goals, target audiences, and key messages to identify the best tactics and include the recommended ones across multiple platforms and channels have more chances to fully achieve success in Latin America.

 

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