The purpose of this paper is to provide a suggestion for the research framework on tourists as target groups for planning city branding strategies with reference to possible differences for tourists having a different country of origin. This framework was applied to analyze and compare the perception of Banja Luka city brand (Bosnia and Herzegovina) by four main target group by country of origin.
The suggested research framework combines qualitative generation of tourist’s city brand associations and brand personality with quantitative measurements of city brand perception (scale developed following the framework of Anholts’ (2006) City Brand Index adjusted to tourists as target groups).
The developed research framework was demonstrated in the example of Banja Luka main target groups. Three dimensions of city brand which largely coincide Anholt’s (2006) dimensions were extracted: tourist attractiveness, life standard and safe and pleasant atmosphere. Differences between analyzed countries were found in city brand perception, brand associations, brand personality, but also in all other analyzed categories.
Possible limitation of the study is the fact that results were interpreted including both those who have visited Banja Luka and those who are not personally familiar with it.
Practical implications of research findings are demonstrated in form of branding suggestions focused on particular target groups.
The study suggests a research framework on tourists as target groups in the city branding process. Also, it contributes to a very scarce research on differences in city brand perception by target groups by country of origin, but also to the literature related to Banja Luka city brand and tourism development.
Kovačić, S., Milenković, N., Slivar, I. and Rancic, M. (2019), "Shaping city brand strategies based on the tourists’ brand perception: report on Banja Luka main target groups", International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 371-396. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJTC-08-2018-0061
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