Destination Branding

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Advertising and Branding of Tourism Destinations: Justice or Limitation? Tourism is one of the biggest employment and service industries in many countries of the world. It attracts and promotes, in many cases, much-needed foreign exchange while at the same time stimulating economic development in other industries such as transportation, retail, property development, catering and hospitality. In today's highly competitive tourism market, many destinations varying from individual resorts to countries are adopting branding techniques similar to those used by huge multinational companies like 'Coca Cola', 'Nike' and 'Sony' in an effort to differentiate their identities and to emphasize the uniqueness of their product. Morgan et al (2004) Competition in the tourism industry is high as one destination can easily be substituted by another hence the industry has created and introduced country or destination brands. A brand is a name, term, sign or symbol that is used to identify and essentially distinguish the goods and services of one seller from another. Dibb et al (1997 pg 264) Countries and destinations can be marketed on a wide range of attributes some of which include, historical importance, cultures, value for money, climate and weather and many more. Some destinations simply become popular because of the growing affordability of air and sea travel by many people in many countries. The growth of international organisations such as the European Union has also encouraged regional travel by member states. Other factors that have encouraged more tourism are the international trends in eco and sustainable tourism. More and more people are becoming environmentally aware and try to experience the uniqueness of eco-tourism destination from the usual mass tourism destinations. Every tourist destination in the world has a "brand image" and through careful development, the brand serves to differentiate a destination from competing destinations. However, some...
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