Tourism Marketing

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African Journal of Business Management Vol. 4(5), pp. 722-728, May 2010 Available online at http://www.academicjournals.org/AJBM ISSN 1993-8233 © 2010 Academic Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Tourism marketing information and destination image management Arturo Molina1*, Mar Gómez1 and David Martín-Consuegra2
1

Department of Marketing, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Cobertizo San Pedro Mártir s/n. 45071 Toledo, Spain. 2 Department of Marketing, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Ronda de Toledo s/n. 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain. Accepted 25 March, 2010

Destination image is commonly accepted as an important aspect in successful tourism management and destination marketing. The information about a specific destination is an important means of promotion for the tourism industry and influences destination image. In this context, the purpose of this paper is to identify those destination features which contribute to build a positive destination image and to analyze the relationship between those features and the image induced by brochures. Accordingly, this study is based on previous research on the impact of tourist information sources in destination promotion, and argues that brochures, as tourist information sources, have an important influence on destination image. Based on previous theoretical discussion regarding image, an empirical research was conducted to test the relationship proposed here. Multiple item indicators from previous studies were employed. Results indicate that there is a relationship between information sources and destination image. Key words: Image management, brochures, tourist destination, information sources. INTRODUCTION Understanding how customers acquire information is important for marketing management decisions. This is especially true for services, travel and tourism products. Research has demonstrated that tourist information is a valuable concept in understanding destination image and the destination choice process of tourists. Information sources have been included in many research works as important factors for the analysis of tourist behavior. For instance, first, most of the tourist behavior models incorporated the search of external information as an important component (Bettman, 1979; Engel, Kollat et al., 1978; Gursoy and McCleary, 2004; Howard and Sheth, 1969; Mathieson and Wall, 1982; Schmoll, 1977; Um and Crompton, 1990; Woodside and Lysonski, 1989). Second, some studies have examined the influence of information sources on tourists’ preferences and intentions (Mayo, 1973; Milman and Pizam, 1995). Third, other studies have centered on the relationship between information sources, destination selection and travel decisions (Baloglu, 2000; Bieger and Laesser, 2004; Capella and Greco, 1987; Chen and Gursoy, 2000; Eagles, 2000; Getz and Sailor, 1993; Gitelson and Crompton, 1983; Goossens, 1994; Gursoy and McCleary, 2004; Mathieson and Wall, 1982; Santos, 1998; Schmoll, 1977; Sirakaya and Woodside, 2005; Um and Crompton, 1990; Wicks and Schuett, 1991, 1993; Woodside and Lysonski, 1989; Woodside et al., 2000; Woodside and Dubelaar, 2002). Finally, another important factor is image. Image plays an important role for destination marketers so as to differentiate their destination in this highly competitive market (Yilmaz et al., 2009). In this sense, formal (that is brochures) and informal information sources (that is relatives and friends), have an influence on the image formation of a tourist destination (Beerli and Martin, 2004; Crompton, 1979; Etzel and Wahlers, 1985). The role of information sources in forming destination images is also emphasized in Baloglu (2000); Baloglu and Mangaloglu (2001); Echtner and Ritchie (2003); Gursoy and McCleary (2004); Sönmez and Sirakaya (2002); Um and Crompton (1990) and Woodside and Lysonski (1989). On the other hand, tourists formulate images of alternative destinations, so image also emerges as a critical element

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