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Presented by Dr David Beirman May 19, 2011. Mapping the Future Bangkok Thailand.

Theme 1. Defining Reputation and perception in a Tourism Context  A component of social identity. Socially based.  Reputation is defined by significant others.  A fundamental instrument of social order.

 In tourism, your market will determine both your

perceptual image in the market and reputation (which in most instances means your standing)  Critical to reputation management is the ability to understand how significant stakeholders and prospective customers regard you in relation to your competitors.  Consistent Delivery on promises and claims.

Thailand’s Tourism Image as the Thai Tourism industry and TAT would like to see it


Theme 1. The Importance of Perception in Defining Business and Destination Reputation  Perception and reputation is

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frequently more influential than the facts. Global Examples: SARS in 2003 and Swine Flu 2009/11. Political unrest in Egypt 2011. The impact of earthquake, tsunami & Nuclear fallout following the 2011 tsunami on destination Japan. Unrest in the Middle East and its impact on tourism The current economic “recession”. Depicting a modest tourism downturn as a crisis. “If it bleeds it leads” Tabloid News editors.

Key Concepts in Perception Analysis

Governors of Tourism Perception   

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News media in all forms. Web and blog sites. Lifestyle and travel Media incl. guidebooks. Trade press. Government travel advisories. Cruise ship operators Airlines. Word of mouth and family opinions. Major tour wholesalers. Travel agency chains.

Key Stakeholders in Shaping of Thailand’s Tourism reputation    

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Airlines servicing Thailand. Foreign Tour Operators which include Thai product. Travel agents in key source market countries Internet booking sites. Travel Insurance providers in source markets. Foreign Diplomatic legations in Thailand (travel advisories) Media both news and tourism orientated publications, Electronic media, travel editors and journalists. Regional Tourism Associations including PATA, ASEAN Tourism and APEC

Theme 2. Understanding What makes a Destination Competitive ď Ž

J Brent Ritchie and Geoffrey Crouch in their seminal work, The Competitive Destination (2003) CABI Publishing UK/USA provide extensive coverage of the qualities which make for a competitive destination and by inference a destination which will enjoy a good reputation.

The DCI Model (Destination Competitive Index). Key to ongoing Reputation Measurement Ritchie and Crouch (2003) DCI




Index MA

Core Indicator


The DCI Model  Indicator 1: Economic Performance  Criteria:  24 out of 163 total index criteria  20 quantitative and 4 qualitative criteria

 Some Criteria Examples:  Total visitor expenditures (secondary data)  Ratio of travel/tourism employee compensation to overall employee

compensation (secondary data)  Ease of starting a tourism-related business (expert opinion)  Travel and tourism GDP/overall GDP (secondary data)

The DCI Model  Indicator 2: Sustainability  Criteria:  60 out of 163 total index criteria  7 quantitative and 53 qualitative criteria

 Some Criteria Examples:

Preservation of natural capital (expert opinion) Maintenance of ecological integrity (expert opinion) Resident access to tourism infrastructure (resident survey) Level of political support in facilitating tourism efforts (expert opinion)  Taxes generated from tourism expenditures (secondary data)  Visitor perception of destination having reached its tourism carrying capacity (visitor survey)    

The DCI Model  Indicator 3: Visitor Satisfaction  Criteria:  32 out of 163 total index criteria  2 quantitative and 30 qualitative criteria

 Some Criteria Examples:  Perceived richness of destination culture and history    

(visitor survey) Satisfaction with overall destination quality of service (visitor survey) Level of repeat visitation (secondary data) Perception of resident hospitality (visitor survey) Quality of the destination experience (visitor survey)

The DCI Model  Indicator 4: Management Action  Criteria:

 47 out of 163 total index criteria  10 quantitative and 37 qualitative criteria  Some Criteria Examples:

 Satisfaction with destination management (DM) action in dealing with

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competitive pressures (expert opinion) Quality of involvement in human resource development programming and support (expert opinion) Satisfaction with destination materials to help with trip planning (visitor survey) Number of quality special events (secondary data) Average visa fees per visitor (secondary data)

Steps to Destination success Implementation and results Goal congruence Competitor congruence Between enemies and allies Market congruence Categories, Nature and size of demand, Seasonality

Ability to mobilise , train and deploy resources Factor endowments including natural resources, knowledge, capital and infrastructure

Theme 3.Working With The Media both Trade and Consumer to Build or Restore Business or Destination Reputation. ď‚— 1. Business to Business Media is a valuable ally if

you treat it with respect and not just as a mouthpiece. Paying for positive advertising does not guarantee your destination or business positive editorial.

ď‚— 2 Business to consumer media involves overcoming inate skepticism. You need to earn trust and support not try to either buy it or assume it. A professional journalist has a highly tuned bullshit antennae.

What Makes News According to Rupert Murdoch ? Interview June 20, 1987  Crisis

 Scandal

 Conflict

 Rescue

 Crime

 Triumph over adversity

 Corruption

 Sporting Triumph

 Catharthis  Conquest

 Cataclysm

COMMON ASSUMPTIONS TO OVERCOME  The media is only interested in bad news.  The media is an adversary.

 The media is not interested in covering

solutions and recovery stories.  The media exaggerates problems.

Tourism in the Media    

PRINT Daily newspapers Local, weeklies Travel Specific magazines  Lifestyle magazines.  Billboards and posters

ELECTRONIC  Websites  E publications  Blogs  Social networks Facebook & Twitter  TV Travel and Lifestyle shows (Getaway)  TV and radio news.  Radio  AV ads and displays.

Correcting Potentially Negative Assumptions  Many in the media want to support tourism as tourism advertising supports the media.  The media will publish or broadcast your side of the story if you are prepared to give it.  Well presented good news is as marketable as bad news.  The media can be an ally if its treated accordingly.  Travel writers and travel trade press have natural affinity towards the promotion of tourism.

How can we best work with the Media to get our story across ?  Develop and nurture contacts. BUILD TRUST.  Ensure there are an active media spokespeople for all

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key source markets who are fluent and articulate in the relevant language. Ensure that person is readily contactable 24/7/365. Ensure there is a coherent, consistent and credible media line on all tourism matters, especially crisis related matters. Prepare factual answers to questions. Ensure the organization understands and is consistently keeping to the organization’s policy line.


The Core Elements of Reputation Management For Destinations and Tourism Companies  HONESTY  CONSISTENCY  RELIABILITY



The Ingredients of an Effective Tourism Recovery Media Campaign  Consumer and trade media targeted simultaneously.  Advertisements alone do not make a media campaign.

A good media campaign has to be news and articles and eyewitness accounts from credible source to the target audience..  An effective media campaign is proactive.  A media campaign has to be appealing and relevant to its target audience.  The campaign has to be multi-media in scope.

The Essential Tools of Good Media Relations  A readily contactable media spokeperson.  An up to date an accurate web site.  Ready access to the facts.  Make their job easy by providing well prepared media releases and credible contacts for interviews.  Enable the media to see the situation first hand.

 Honesty.

Correcting Negative Reports  Attack the content, not the journalist.  Ensure your facts are correct and verifiable.  Offer the reporter the opportunity to see

for him/herself.  Quote from or provide access to credible sources who can verify your side of the story.

Set the News Agenda  Responsive PR places you in the defensive.  Where possible initiate positive coverage.  Spread the news of positive developments.  On identifying supportive reporters offer

exclusives or preferential notice of a breaking story. Journalists love exclusives.

WEB SITE INCLUSIONS  Security advice for intending visitors. South Africa has     

used this strategy with great success Anticipate negative perceptions and address them Hot tips for a safe and enjoyable visit. Unique experiences in Thailand. A welcome from famous Citizens. Testimonials from celebrity visitors relevant to the source market. Thematic Tourism.

Targeting the Media for New Tourism initiatives    

Pick a niche market with potential for growth. Lifestyle TV programs have global audiences. Choose the socio-economic group you wish to target. Travmedia service specialises in articles for travel journalists globally.  Tourist organisations should be cautious in offering assistance to current affairs programs  Hosting a “Good Morning America/ Australia/ New Zealand” or similar program in your source market country is viable and gives excellent coverage for several days.  The 2010-11 Oprah in Australia Campaign has proven to be an effective marketing campaign for Tourism Australia.

Which Country’s Tourism Industry is getting media management Right ?  South Africa:

 Excellent leverage from 2010 World Cup.  Promotes a diversity of attractive tourism images.  Has positioned a high national crime rate from a

potential crisis to an avoidable hazard.  Is proactive in engagement of consumer and trade media  Invites carefully targeted travel professionals and media for familiarization trips.  Excellent inter-sectoral relations between SATOUR and other South African tourism stakeholders.

Theme 4. Travel Advisories and Destination Reputation.  Understanding the basics of Diplomacy is vital for

destination tourism professionals.  Demanding a country’s government tone down a travel advisory because you don’t like it never works because you are calling on a government to publicly lose face with its citizens.  Changing negative travel advisories involves a negotiation process in which you need the support of advocates in the source market.  The Australian model which follows will be helpful.

Travel Advisories Become an Issue of Diplomatic Conflict  Following the Bali Bombing of 12 October

2002 Many Western governments issued negative travel advisories applying to Indonesia, and other SE Asian countries including Singapore, Malaysia Philippines and Thailand.  Fears of Al Q’aida related terrorism in many parts of SE Asia.

DFAT’s Approach to Advisories Post September 11 and Bali Bombings 2002 Primary concern the protection of Australian citizens abroad.  Political concerns that media judged “failure” to predict Bali required a cautious approach.  Heightened review of travel advisories and procedures.  Australian advisories should never be influenced by overt foreign pressure. 

The Problems of Resolving Disputes through conflict  Australia and other Western governments

can’t be seen to lose face by being perceived to change travel advisories in the face of foreign diplomatic pressure tactics.  Strident approach to Western advisories by SE Asian and SW Pacific nations is a barrier to review of advisories rather than a facilitator.  Thai Tourism Officials should build up contacts with the diplomatic legations of all key source market countries.

The Australian Travel Industry Developed a Role in Advisories  After 2002 the Australian Travel industry was

increasingly critical of travel advisories and their formulation.  Travel industry sought a say.  Governments suspicious of travel industry motives. Profit before safety. INCORRECT  PATA, UN World Tourism Organization and tourism industry leaders sought a more active role in influencing travel advisories from all tourism generating countries.

The Australian Charter for Safe Travel Model for a Cooperative Approach between Tourism Industry and Government Jan 2003 ANTOR sets up meeting between DFAT and travel industry leaders.  AFTA’s Mike Hatton establishes a committee of Australian Travel Industry leaders to negotiate with DFAT an agreement under the banner of the “Charter for Safe Travel”  The government seeks industry dissemination of travel advisories.  The Industry seeks a say in their content. 

Charter for Safe Travel Signed in Sydney June 11, 2003.  Industry agrees to disseminate advisories.

 Australian Government agrees to enhance consultation with industry through the

Smartraveller Advisory Group which involves representatives from all key outbound travel companies and associations. Regualar meetings with DFAT  DFAT makes itself available to discuss advisories with travel agents through travel industry seminars and consumer travel expos.

An International Example of the Cooperative Tourism Approach to Travel Advisories- Kenya 2003-4  In April 2003 UK, USA and Germany imposed negative

travel advisories on Kenya based on a perceived threat of terrorist attack.  May 2003 Kenyan Tourism leaders met with diplomats in closed meeting to negotiate what measures were required to overcome the advisories.  By July 2003 UK and USA lifted negative advisories based on Kenyan actions. US and Australia took much longer.  By adopting consultation rather than confrontation, Kenya’s tourism industry recovered with one year.

Global Approaches to Travel Advisories 

(a) (b) (c) (d) (e) 

Tourism Concern, UNWTO, PATA advocate a global approach towards ensuring that travel advisories are: Truthful. Specific to the problem area as opposed to a blanket assessment of a nation. Reflect changing conditions (timely). Avoid targeting bias against developing countries. Graded in accordance to an agreed level of threat to travellers. The last of this list is totally unrealistic for reasons I’ll explain.

Current Situation 2011 Australia the first country with an industry/ government agreement.  British industry signed an agreement in 2004.  Canada signed an agreement in 2005.  In 2011 only these three countries have govt/travel industry agreements on travel advisories. More should do the same.  Understanding that circumstances for travel generating countries are different.  Disputes - tourism generating countries and tourism receiving countries require diplomatic rather than a confrontational solutions. 

Theme 5. Avoiding Tourism’s Most Common Post “Negative Event” Recovery Trap   

Incentive based recovery should be financially sustainable. Focus on value adding rather than discounts. Avoid the financial striptease of dropping your prices and exposing your bottom line. Once a business strips prices. consumers will resist attempts to get dressed again. Price is a measure of how tourism businesses value their own reputation.

Thank you  Dr David Beirman  Senior Lecturer – Tourism University of TechnologySydney.  Founder (2000) and National Secretary Eastern Mediterranean Tourism Association.  Member: Smartraveller Advisory Group to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

5. Reputation Management  

5) Reputation Management By Dr. David Beirman, Senior Lecturer in Tourism, University of Tachnology, Sydney

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