This chapter adopts a sociological perspective to examine the phenomenon of destination branding. Invoking the social exchange theory as the foundation and its complex exchange system as its framework, the chapter elaborates the uniqueness of rural destination as a social structure rather than a market or organizational entity. A branding model for rural destinations is proposed and illustrated through a case study. The model advocates a community-based approach to image research as a platform on which the branding process takes place. The chapter reports the comparative findings on the image as projected by a destination marketing organization, perceived by current and potential tourists, and desired by local residents. By highlighting the role of host community's participation in tourism branding, the study informs its definition as a continuing process to create affective experiences through building a unique identity and sustaining a consistent image that emotionally bond with residents and resonate with tourists.
Cai, L.A. (2009), "Chapter 7 TOURISM BRANDING IN A SOCIAL EXCHANGE SYSTEM", Cai, L.A., Gartner, W.C. and María Munar, A. (Ed.) Tourism Branding: Communities in Action (Bridging Tourism Theory and Practice, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 89-104. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2042-1443(2009)0000001009Download as .RIS
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