The Role of Brands in Dialectical Relationships Between Destination and Tourist Products

by Tonino Pencarelli and Simone Splendiani

in Marketing Innovations for Sustainable Destinations, A.Fyall, M.Kozac, L.Andreu, J.Gnoth, S.Sibila Lebe (Eds), Goodfellow Publishers, 2009.

3rd Advances in Tourism Marketing Conference (ATMC) Bournemouth (UK), September 6-9, 2009.


The objective of this paper is primarily to point out the conceptual differences between tourist destination and tourist products. An important concept is the presence of a dialectical and very strong relationship due to the fact that tourist products, possessing highly experiential content, are extremely affected by the location in which
they are provided (destination). If the concepts tend to overlap on the demand side, on the supply-side the clear distinction between the two can not be missed: products are the result of activities carried out by the supply system located in the destination. The third section discusses some approaches to managing destination, both those highlighted in the literature and those emerging in practice. In particular, resulting from
innovative and original interpretation, we analyse some new trends which raise questions about validity of the traditional approach to Destination Management. These strategies – and linked organizational solutions – do not focus on geographical area, but on the ability to propose specific offers towards target-segments, so that we can more appropriately talk about Product Management instead of Destination Management.
The paper then discusses destination brands and destination branding. More than one brand and different branding activities may coexist in the same destination. It is critical to manage this factor, especially in the context of fragmentation and lack of a strategic leader.
The concluding paragraph makes some proposals useful to policy-makers
regarding the management of critical issues related to branding of destinations and tourist products.



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