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Destination brand images: a business tourism perspective

Graham Hankinson (Department of Business and Service Sector Studies, London Metropolitan University, London, UK)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 1 January 2005




Most studies of destination brand images have been conducted from the perspective of the leisure tourist. This study identifies brand images from a business tourist perspective (people visiting destinations for business meetings, incentive events, conferences and exhibitions) and tests their relationship with perceived quality and commercial criteria.


Data on the brand image attributes associated with 15 UK destinations promoting themselves as business tourism centres were collected via repertory grid analysis from a sample of 25 organisations using business tourism facilities. A self‐completion questionnaire was used to measure managers’ ratings of the perceived quality of each destination and the commercial criteria used to select a destination. The data were analysed using content analysis, exploratory factor analysis and correlation analysis.


The content analysis identified eight clusters of brand image attributes. Subsequent factor analysis identified three underlying dimensions – overall destination attractiveness, functionality, and ambience. While all three were correlated with perceived quality, commercial criteria were dominated by a destination's functional rather than ambience attributes.


The results of the study provide a more informed and systematic basis on which to develop a destination's business tourism positioning strategy by providing a framework for selecting relevant brand image attributes.



Hankinson, G. (2005), "Destination brand images: a business tourism perspective", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 24-32.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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