Tourism Branding: Communities in Action: Volume 1

Cover of Tourism Branding: Communities in Action

Table of contents

(23 chapters)

Academic inquiries have predominantly treated destination branding as a marketing phenomenon that happens to involve tourists as customers in a marketplace. The practice of it has been entrenched in deploying tactical marketing tools such as attention-grabbing slogans. This opening chapter provides a critical review of destination and place branding literature, as well as a synopsis of each of the 15 chapters assembled in this state-of-the-art collection. Considering tourism branding as a community affair, this volume is distinguished from previous publications by adopting a global and more multidisciplinary approach and by placing the subject of tourism branding outside of the conventional domains of marketing and destination. By having the host community at the central stage, many chapters explicitly consider different stakeholders in the process of branding. Built on theoretical foundations with both empirical findings and practical cases, this book brings together different perspectives and offers an intellectual and open dialogue among academics and practitioners of the field.

The study explores the issue of branding in tourism from the perspective of two processes related to globalization: the expansion of the world market and the use of information and communication technologies. The question addressed is how these processes affect tourism branding. This chapter shows that while the global market expansion in tourism enhances the relevance of brands, the digitalization of the experience made by the tourists and the expansion of virtual communities both represent an unprecedented challenge to the research and practice of tourism branding. The analysis reveals an empowerment of the tourists which may affect the residents, employees, and managers’ roles in branding. The chapter ends with new organizational strategies of brand enhancement which take into consideration the digitalization era.

As more destinations jump on the bandwagon of branding, their marketing organizations increasingly employ the Internet as a convenient medium for promotion. This chapter argues that instead of extending their brand communications to the Web by simply digitizing the logos, taglines, and other elements, destinations can build brands virtually in an internet-mediated environment where virtual experience takes place. The study examines how branding can be achieved through building virtualized destination image. It adopts the concepts of telepresence, virtual experience, and integrated informational response and explains how online and offline communication stimuli can affect various components of virtualized image. This expands and modifies the conventional image constructs by specifying information sources as antecedents through telepresence and integrated behavioral responses as consequences. The relationships between the image, its antecedents, and consequences, and among the image constructs are illustrated through 14 propositions. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the net community in which residents and other stakeholders of communities actively participate in virtually building a strong destination brand.

Destination brand equity is a recent line of enquiry within the academic community. The topic is still not well understood from a theoretical standpoint. This chapter attempts to frame the conceptual question of how to develop brand equity by providing some theoretical constructs for the nature of destination. Brand characteristics with respect to tangible and experiential products are examined, followed by the identification of its dimensions. Awareness, image, loyalty, quality, and value are identified as different dimensions existing within destination brands. Research that has dealt with these dimensions is discussed, with suggestions on how to build brand equity using market characteristics and their relationship to the different dimensions. Case studies are used to illustrate some of the main points from the theoretical discourse, including the issue of who controls brand identity under different development scenarios.

This chapter integrates brand identity and equity as a two-dimensional approach to destination branding. By incorporating the supply- and demand-side perspectives, the approach enables different destination stakeholders to be included in this process. Drawing on general branding and marketing literature, the study presents a three-part framework for building and implementing a destination brand. It illustrates consumer-based equity as consisting of the four dimensions: awareness, image, perceived quality, and loyalty. The chapter also offers a critical synthesis of destination image studies and recognizes the important research advancement from image to branding.

Collaboration has become a key paradigm in community-based tourism literature. Yet, it has not been well understood in destination branding. This chapter delineates a conceptual model to better describe and explain the nature and dynamism of collaborative branding for destinations. The model is based on a review of theoretical constructs of interorganizational collaboration process and the reconciliation of two product branding models. It suggests that the model begins in a context of environmental forces and evolves sequentially through the phrases of problem-setting, direction-setting, implementation, evaluation, and outcome.

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.

This chapter examines residents’ attitudes toward the use of local cuisine and culinary establishments in developing a destination brand. Analyses were based on a sample of residents in Taiwan. Three distinctive groups were identified: “indifferent,” “ambivalent,” and “supportive.” Residents belonging to the latter category had the most interest in being involved in promoting culinary cuisine to international tourists. The ambivalent group was conservative in making recommendations to international tourists about local food. The indifferent members had a low level of support for using culinary tourism. Generally, residents were likely to recommend snacks at local night markets and seafood-based cuisine at Chinese restaurants to international tourists. The chapter concludes with a discussion of implications for developing effective destination branding strategies through culinary tourism.

This chapter analyzes the attribute associations, supplied by experts, of top 10 destination brands in Spain. Using a sample of respondents that represents the domestic tourist population, the study examined how they perceive the importance of each of the attributes when selecting a holiday destination. They are rated for all the 10 brands as a whole and for each individually. Comparisons are made between each and the average of all other brands. The application of multidimensional scale method resulted in five distinct groups or competitive sets based on the similarities and disparities of tourists’ ratings of these attributes. For each, the study suggests how these sets are perceived as a whole and in comparison with each other. The chapter offers meaningful relationships between the respondents’ demographic and socioeconomic characteristics and their perceived importance of the destination brands’ attributes.

This chapter aims at casting some doubts on the idea that branding techniques can be easily adopted by destination management organizations. They lack many of the tools that have proved successful in marketing most goods and services. To shed some light on the issue, the chapter focuses on the imaging/branding policies of the Spanish National Tourism Organization between 1959 and 1979. If measured by the inflow of international tourists to the country, they should be deemed extremely well implemented. However, it is difficult to reach this conclusion. The study examines Spanish poster production—one of the most efficient promotional tools of the time—and draws some lessons on how it is possible to be successful in spite of their destination marketing organizations.

Despite the recent academic attention to branding, there seems to be no clear path for authorities to follow in establishing their destinations as distinctive and strategic brands. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a practical framework for destination authorities. Review of relevant literature reveals that branding in a destination context involves development and maintenance of positive image and identity using several elements such as names, logos, slogans, and color. These elements need to be distilled from destination characteristics and they can lead to strong brand equity. A comprehensive research framework with both qualitative and quantitative methods is suggested to assess these brand elements, meanings, and assets for both supply and demand sides of the market.

The chapter introduces a model of destination branding and reports a project that applied the model to examine the current image of Greece. The project was undertaken on behalf of the Greek national tourism organization by a binational consortium. Through conducting primary and secondary research on the public perception and self-portrayal of Greece, the project team found the current brand image and identity not to be in accordance with the country's reality. Indeed, although the brand image elements currently expressed are relevant, they represent only a small portion of a much larger existing offering. To that end, the team proposed new branding strategies based on the model, offering a series of recommendations on how to implement the strategies.

This chapter examines how the city of Copenhagen, Denmark, has been branding itself as a destination. A broad perspective is adopted to analyze three main issues. They are the relationship between destination branding and the national capacity to insource valuable resources, the need to reframe the concept of branding in a dialogical process with tourists, and the importance of networking centered on host community as a winning business model for cities. The chapter explains how Wonderful Copenhagen (WoCo), the destination management organization, achieves a winning global brand by dealing with various challenges surrounding these issues. The case enlightens the interconnection between branding and national political strategy.

The practice of destination branding for cities has been increasingly adopted by communities of all sizes and has enjoyed success to varying degrees. The focus of many of these branding initiatives has frequently been on the creative elements of logo, tagline, and advertising theme, with only limited consideration for the importance of generating stakeholder support and experience delivery. Active stakeholder engagement, to build the brand from the inside out during its planning process, has been shown to be an important factor in those initiatives that are considered more successful. This chapter highlights the need to engage stakeholders in the brand planning for destinations from the earliest stages. It illustrates a consultative model for destination brand planning, primary with a US case study, along with examples of some other cities.

There has been much research on city marketing, but some practical aspects remain unaddressed. One challenge is the development of a distinctive city identity. Traditional marketing tactics often ignore, deny, and marginalize the city identity. A more integrated and holistic approach is needed. As a complementary tool, city branding can overcome the shortcomings associated with traditional marketing. The purpose of this chapter is to show through case studies how two cities with different conditions went about developing their respective brand identities and illustrate how the identities were established through brand elements and promoted through coordinated marketing programs. Based on the two case studies, this chapter presents a process model for developing an identity in city branding. The model accommodates two different approaches to developing city identities. The first is applicable in the situation where a city is already strongly identified with its prominent existing heritage and cultural assets. The second is applicable in the situations where a city does not have prominent existing assets.

This chapter analyzes the corporate branding of Sol Meliá, the 12th largest hotel chain in the world. It illustrates how branding has been moving upwards and becoming the core of the company's organizational structure and corporate strategy. The case shows that the company's branding process represents a high level of research and analysis, a strong relationship between brand strategy and financial management, and an increased involvement of customers and employees. The evaluation of the company's brand equity provides a new powerful tool to structure the company's long-term strategy and to strengthen its position in the marketplace. Furthermore, Sol Meliá's branding strategy illustrates a change toward an open-networking innovation culture.

Julio Aramberri, Ph.D., is Professor of Tourism at Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Email: Previously, he worked for the Spanish Tourist Office in different capacities including the CEO position (1987–1990). He has recently been appointed to be the dean of the School of Cultural Studies at Hoa Sen University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. His areas of research are marketing, consumer behavior, and the sociology of travel and tourism. He has also published in other areas such as political sociology, US life and culture, and global challenges.

Cover of Tourism Branding: Communities in Action
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Book series
Bridging Tourism Theory and Practice
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
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