Community destination branding : potential and paradox

Murdy, Samantha and Alexander, Matthew (2015) Community destination branding : potential and paradox. In: World Marketing Congress, 2015-07-14 - 2015-10-18.

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For destinations to compete in a context of global competition they rely on their destination image as a way to position themselves and resonate with prospective visitors (Di Marino, 2008). As such, the branding of destinations is an important strategy to implement, allowing differentiation between competitors, and providing a competitive advantage. Once branded, it is far easier for a prospective visitor to remember, as well as to form positive perceptions and emotional connections with a destination (Agres & Dubitsky, 1996; de Chernatony & McDonald, 2003). The image of the destination is created in part through the identity of the community. However, many small communities struggle to make their voices heard (Taylor, 1995), and in some instances do not feel as though they are competing amongst other small neighbouring communities (TDM, 2014). Given that the level of esteem that a city, or community’s name “evokes has a direct impact on the health of its tourism, economic development, prestige, and respect” (Baker, 2012, p. 19) active community involvement in destination branding is potentially an omission from the literature.