Advertising and sales promotion are only part of the process that bridges the gap between production and consumption. Tourism as an industry has flourished in the last few years. Advertising can be given credit for the growth of ‘tourism industry’. Destinations like Venice, Paris, Switzerland, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, India and many more have become popular amongst tourists. Ethics play an important role for promotion of tourism.
When ethics come in picture advertisements of tourist destinations can be criticized on the on the basis that:
They create psychological pressure
They act as a form of unreasonable persuasion
They are often deceptive and manipulative in nature
They prevent a person from making a rational choice by befuddling his thoughts through false impression and providing confusing information
Talking globally, nations like Thailand have been promoted on account of massage parlors and prostitution. Cheap packages are offered by various agents in different countries to let men exploit Thai women. This has become the generalized opinion of women of Thailand because of such indecent portrayal.
Malaysia, which is advertised as ‘Malaysia-truly Asia’, because of the exaggerated tagline has witnessed an increase in tourists from all over the world.
People are lured into visiting a nation which stands out as a symbol for the entire continent, as per the tagline.
The Indian State of Kashmir which is a war torn state now is projected as a peaceful and beautiful valley, a perfect place for admiring natural beauty, does not come clean as far as ethical advertising is concerned.
The deceptive image puts at stake the personal security of the tourists visiting.
At the same time, positive impact of advertising in tourism should also be appreciated. Advertising has helped hugely, many nations to grow in terms of economy. The optimistic class believes that advertising:
Gives an opportunity to various countries and landscapes to be appreciated by people from all across the world.
Gives the chance to such destinations to grow and rise in terms of economy and it provides employment too.
Healthy competition in tourism industry helps these destinations to develop and do better so that they can out do others and attract more tourists
Thailand, Malaysia, Maldives, Singapore, Bali are small countries which have risen in terms of economy because of the ever expanding tourism industry.
Taking examples nationally, states like Madhya Pradesh which were not earlier conventionally known as holiday spots, now attract both national and foreign tourists. Credit should be given to advertising since it has made more people aware of its rich cultural heritage.
Similarly, north east India, (the less developed and not well knitted to the whole country portion of the country) has become an international tourist destination. Rajasthan, Kerela, Agra and Goa are amongst other locations whose economy mainly relies on tourism industry.
With both positive and negative implications of advertising, we understand that the job of advertisers is to inform and not persuade. At the same time it is important for customers to realize that they should act and think prudently.