The travel industry
The travel industry in recent years has become an extremely lucrative and competitive market, with each travel operator having to try to promote their service in order to beat numerous forms of competition. Also, with the current financial climate, consumers are looking for the best value travel operators, so that they can still enjoy luxury outings, but will also seek the best deals possible to save money. Consequently, companies try to advertise their services in a variety of ways, to show the consumer why they provide the best value for money in relation to the quality of their services.
When comparing the two travel based texts, the different ways in which each text expresses their key ideas and perspectives thorough language and presentation is critical as to how well they appeal to their targeted audiences. The purpose, audience and type of each text are very different, causing a significant impact on how they convey their ideas and perspectives. The purpose of the Rail Information leaflet is to promote and inform the reader about off peak train tickets, as discounted prices will result in an increase in sales during off peak times.
The purpose of the article from Coach and Bus Week Magazine differs considerably, and it primarily tries to outline the problems of coach travel in terms of the quality of the hotels supplied by the operators, and as a secondary purpose it challenges the coach operators to ensure that their advertisements match the experience in reality. In addition to this, as the type of text is an article for a magazine called Coach and Bus Week, the audience is likely to be people very interested in coach and bus travel, and may also include coach operators who have invested money into this industry.
In contrast, the informative and promotional Rail Information Leaflet similarly appeals to a small audience, but is targeted at a different range of people, as it appeals to those living in the South East, with the main targeted group being families. So from looking at the purpose, audience and type of the texts, it is clear that they are very different as the leaflet aims to promote off peak train tickets to the local people, whereas the magazine article criticises a few aspects of coach travel to people interested in that industry.
The writers communicate the key ideas and perspectives of each text in different ways as a result of the purpose and audiences being dissimilar. With the Rail Information Leaflet, the main idea occurring throughout is that the off peak train ticket prices will be considerably lower, meaning the audience of people living in the South East will be able to save money when visiting the attractions. There is also the view that a shrewd customer will take advantage of these savings to plan a day out.
In comparison, the key idea of the Coach and Bus Weekly article is to show the people interested in the Coach industry that operators often try to find the cheapest possible hotels, showing how the expectation as advertised does not meet the real experience. These key ideas and perspectives of the texts are also communicated to the audiences in different ways, enabling them to understand the message the writer is trying to portray. The Coach and Bus Week magazine is intelligently structured to allow the audience to respect and acknowledge the contributor’s opinions.
Firstly, he gives a historical overview of coach travel, and then outlines his credentials to comment that he has ‘taken coach holidays for several years’. This allows the reader to respect the writer’s opinions on coach travel as he understands the industry very well, such as the unique selling point ‘to make the journey part of the holiday’, and as he is very experienced in going on coach holidays he is able to give validity to his opinions.
Throughout the article, he constantly reinstates the negative points of the hotels, and carefully explains how each one did not meet the expected standards, such as: ‘there is an area for ‘real’ guests and a separate area (and basic breakfast) for the coach party’, showing how the coach guests are being segregated and unfairly treated. At the end of the article, he finally delivers his verdict and challenge to the coach operators to ensure that the standard of the hotels advertised match the reality of the experience.
Similarly, the Rail Information leaflet is also structured in a way which allows the reader to understand the purpose of the text, such as the organisation of each attraction under separate subheadings, as each category represents a day out, such as a family visiting Battle Abbey to explore the Battle of Hastings. However, due to a completely different audience and purpose, there are also numerous differences in the ways in which the ideas are communicated.
Unlike the magazine article, there is repetition of the discounts available, constantly reminding the audience that these train tickets are discounts, and they will they be saving money, such as the deal ‘2FOR1’ being repeated 3 times in the London section of the leaflet. Furthermore, presentational devices are also critical in the leaflet in showing the key idea of saving money. From looking how the ideas and perspectives are communicated, it can be seen that the magazine article mainly uses intelligent structure and language to portray the key theme whereas the leaflet uses a combination of devices.
Presentational devices are used mainly in the Rail Information Leaflet and minimally in the Coach and Bus Week article to communicate the key ideas to the audiences. There are numerous presentational devices employed within the Rail Information Leaflet to appeal to the audience, and is helpful in enhancing the meaning of the leaflet. On the front page there are many bright colours such as many shades of pink and bright green grass to provide fun and up-beat aesthetics, with the large and bold ‘20% off’ standing out especially.
This catches the audience’s attention, making it clear to the audience that there is a financial benefit from using these off peak train tickets. The two places central London, containing Big Ben and the London Eye and South East London are very close to each other, showing how the trains are quick and convenient, with the ability to take you back and forth the destinations very quickly. This is further emphasised by the two stylish and sophisticated trains in the foreground, which also illustrates that travel is the key theme of the leaflet.
Other features include the many balloons which show exploration and adventure, with the older, more expensive prices being crossed out and the new discounted ones in bold, and the image bubbles in the leaflet which acts as a visual trigger to the readers by showing all the destinations in their best light. In comparison, the Coach and Bus Week magazine article contains hardly any presentational devices which add to the overall meaning of the text. Unlike the leaflet, where the texts and images are fairly balanced, there is a very uneven ratio of text and images, with a dense amount of text and only one image.
Despite only being one, the image does have a similar purpose to those in the leaflet, as it is a photo showing the poor dining standards in one of the four star hotels he went to, as there is a deglamorised notion of dining, which is similar to that of a canteen. There are also large speech marks at the beginning and end of the article, showing that it is a personal response. Overall, the leaflet contains far more presentational devices which help to explain the key ideas as well as adding to the meaning of the leaflet, whereas the magazine article contains very few, despite having a similar effect.
Language is another key component used in both texts to convey their ideas effectively, as many language devices are used in different ways to help engage the audience. The magazine article for Coach and Bus Week contains rhetorical questions throughout, which add to the meaning of the text by emphasising the idea of the hotels being of a poor quality. For a similar purpose, the contributor also employs repetition, which is shown primarily at the end of each paragraph with the phrase: ‘Quality Hotel.
I think not’ In contrast, the Rail Information leaflet also uses these two language devices, such as the special offers it is promoted being repeated throughout. The rhetorical questions used also share a persuasive purpose, but are used in a more enticing way in order for the local families to want to visit the advertised attractions, such as ‘Feeling Brace? ‘, tempting the audience to want to visit the London Dungeons. Another language device both texts use is to include language which is specific to the audience the text is targeted at.
For example, the coach and Bus week article includes phrases like: ‘we are able to afford several holidays’, which relates to that audience as he is suggesting that people reading the article are likely to have a fair amount of loose money they will be able to invest, showing how he is giving consumer power, and so making his article audience specific. Similarly, the Rail Information leaflet also includes language which appeals to the people likely to be reading, but in a more subtle way, as the phrase: ‘just a short train ride away’ will be well suited to families who do not have too much time on their hands.
Other language features in the leaflet include the use of active verbs like ‘Discover’, which helps to sell the attraction by presenting the experience as an exciting prospect. On the other hand, the magazine article does not need to promote or advertise anything, and includes different devices such as puns, which is shown in the title: Where are we going’, which has a literal translation, or can also refer to where the coach industry is heading in the future.