Can regional destinations really have a brand personality?

Murphy, Laurie, Moscardo, Gianna, and Benckendorff, Pierre (2006) Can regional destinations really have a brand personality? In: Papers from Cutting Edge Research in Tourism: new directions, challenges and applications. pp. 1-16. From: Cutting Edge Research in Tourism: new directions, challenges and applications, 6-9 June 2006, Guildford, UK.

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Despite a growing body of work on destination branding in general, particularly at a country or nation level, there has been little investigation of whether or not tourists do attribute brand personality characteristics to tourism destinations or whether an emotional connection exists based on tourists' perceived self-image and the 'brand personality' of destinations. The aim of this study was to determine which elements of destination brands, if any, are included by tourists in their destination images. This aim was broken into three more specific research questions - Do tourists use brand personality characteristics in their destination images? Can tourists articulate an emotional response to a destination image? Do tourists make connections between destination images and their self-identity? The study involved a survey of tourists' perceptions of two branded regional tourism destinations - Cairns and the Whitsundays in Queensland, Australia. A total of 480 surveys were collected, with a response rate of 62%. Of the surveys collected, 464 were usable. The results suggested that tourists do not use personality characteristics very much in their unprompted verbal descriptions of destination images preferring to offer physical attributes and available activities. The most common emotional responses for both destinations fell into the pleasant, but not aroused category. A substantial proportion of the responses did not, however, fall into an emotional category. The last section of the analysis explored connections between destination images and tourists' self-identity using Sirgy and Su's (2000) measures of self-congruity. A relatively high number of respondents had difficulties using the scales to rate the two destinations. The answer to the overall aim in the present study was that most tourists could ascribe brand personality characteristics and describe emotional responses to destinations but a substantial minority (27%) could not.

Item ID: 4368
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-1-84469-012-1
Keywords: brand personality; destination branding; regional destinations; tourism
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Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2009 04:28
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150603 Tourism Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900302 Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism @ 100%
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