Perception of Destination Branding Measures

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Perception of Destination Branding Measures: A Case Study of Alexandria Destination Marketing Organizations suzan bakri hassan mohamed soliman abdel hamid Fayoum University, Egypt h o s n y a l b o h a i ry Authority Office, Alexandria, Egypt s u p p l i e r s a n d o r g a n i z e r s in the tourism sector seek to attract tourists by differentiating and marketing their products and services. While developing their marketing and sale methods they are now more and more using branding as one of their major tools, especially in the current intense global competition. Destination branding is not yet fully used in the tourism business sector of various countries such as Egypt. This study aims to investigate the branding perspective of destination marketing organizations (d m o’s) in Alexandria. To achieve a high result, a survey approach was used to collect data from 100 respondents, official and public sectors using a completed questionnaire technique, a Likert scale and statistical models to test and interpret the research outcomes. The research findings explained that marketing organizations in Alexandria have not enough awareness of any destination branding’s concept and that they are only implementing parts of a branding process.

i n t ro d u c t i o n As tourism is one of the largest sources of economic activity in the world, travel and tourism generates economic activity worldwide representing over 12% of total global g d p (u n w t o 2006). The industry also accounts for over 200 million jobs direct and indirect. Tourism is not only one of the world’s largest, but also one of its fastest growing industries. The importance of tourism and the entry of many new vo lu me 3 | number 2

S. Bakri Hassan, M. Soliman Abdel Hamid, and H. Al Bohairy

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destinations into the market have forced all to emulate and compete in the battle at a global level (Riege et al. 2001) to win many tourist markets (Konecnik 2002). This intense global competition in the tourism industry forces destinations to develop strong, unique, and competitive destination brands. Most tourist boards spend lots of money on ‘selling’ the country around the world. Blue skies, golden sands, and snow-capped mountains are only a tiny part of the reality of a country, but because these images are often so aggressively promoted, they have a disproportionate effect on people’s perceptions of the country as a whole (Klooster 2004), so branding is the best solution for tourist destinations. The concept of branding a tourist destination is not well known in Egypt until now. This research aims to shed light on the importance of branding for destinations, to investigate the branding perspective of destination marketing organizations (d m o’s) in Alexandria, as well as to show how far parts of any branding concept are or are not implemented. r e v i e w o f t h e l i t e r at u r e Destination Branding Most tourism activities take place at a particular destination, therefore the destination itself forms a pillar of any modelling that is done for the tourism system (Pike 2004). Destination can be seen as an area that includes all services and goods a tourist consumes during his or her stay (Terzibasoglu 2004; w t o 2007). This destination appeal shape should transfer to a unique and competitive destination brand which expresses the reality of the destination and conveys the tourist perspective. The destination marketing organizations (d m o’s) and the enterprises are involved in the building and marketing of destination tourist services (Grängsjö 2003). This is why a tourist destination concept should focus on both customers and producers. The marketing success of a destination is dependent not only on the called push factors (market demand forces) but also on the pull factors (supply-side factors), that have a major impact on the branding success of a particular destination (http://fama2.us.es). ijems

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