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Place branding and the representation of people at work: Exploring issues of tourism imagery and migrant labour in the Republic of Ireland

Baum, T.G. and Hearns, N. and Devine, F. (2008) Place branding and the representation of people at work: Exploring issues of tourism imagery and migrant labour in the Republic of Ireland. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 4 (1). pp. 45-60.

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Abstract

This paper addresses destination brand image in tourism marketing and assesses the contribution of tourism ' s workforce to such image and branding, considering the role that employees play in visitors ' interpretation of their experience of destination and place. The focus of this paper, therefore, is on the role of people in the image of place and the potential for contradiction in imagery as the people who inhabit and work within a place change over time. At the same time, both those who promote a destination and those consuming the place as visitors may well have expectations that are fixed in imagery that does not accord with that held within the wider community. The location of this paper is Ireland where the traditional promotion of the tourism brand has given a core role to images of people and the friendliness of the hospitality of Irish people, represented by largely homogeneous images. Recent growth in the ' Celtic tiger ' economy has induced unprecedented and large-scale migration from countries across the globe to Ireland, particularly into the tourism sector. This paper raises questions with regard to the branding of Ireland as a tourist destination in the light of major changes within the demography and ethnicity of its tourism workforce.