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A positioning strategy for a tourist destination, based on analysis of customer's perceptions and satisfactions

Gill, J. and Ibrahim, E.E.B. (2005) A positioning strategy for a tourist destination, based on analysis of customer's perceptions and satisfactions. Marketing Intelligence and Planning, 23 (2). pp. 172-188.

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The objectives of this research study were to measure the perception and satisfactions of consumers of the tourism product of Barbados, and to identify potential niche markets that could be used in the development of the destination's positioning strategy. Design/methodology/approach - Self-completion questionnaires were distributed to tourists visiting the island at the peak of the 2003 tourism season. The scales used were adapted from two authoritative sources. Data from 400 completed questionnaires were analysed quantitatively by a variety of statistical techniques, including factor analysis and multiple regression. Answers to open-ended questions were also used where necessary to explain top-of-mind attitudes to the tourism products consumed. Findings - Four possible niche markets are identified that can inform the development of the destination's repositioning strategy: recreational, sports, culture and eco-tourism. Research limitations/implications - The time frame of the study was two winter months in one year, and only actual visitors completed the questionnaire. The study did not assess their evaluation of the quality of the services provided and consumed. Practical implications/originality/value - The overall conclusions and discussion of the findings should provide a case-based framework for the practical planning and implementation of positioning strategies in the tourism context.