Previous destination marketing and management literature has focused on destination governance and destination branding. However, these two topics have been investigated separately. Adopting a supply-side perspective, the aim of this paper is to analyse the relationship between governance, branding strategy and the positioning of a tourism destination, in order to understand how different governance models, by altering structures and processes, affect the destination brand strategy and positioning. To achieve this objective, this paper starts with a review of literature on destination governance and branding, followed by an empirical study of Portofino (Liguria in northern Italy), one of the most famous Italian tourist destinations. The literature review suggest us to consider that destination governance modes affect destination branding on three layers, i.e.: 1) the rules that regulate the internal functioning of a DMO (Destination Management Organisation 2) the instruments of coordination and involvement a DMO can use in order to nurture the relationship with stakeholders 3) internal marketing and communication that can be used in order to create a systemic consciousness and coordination among stakeholders. With regard to the rules that regulate the internal functioning of a DMO, we refer to the aspects relating to the organisational structure of the DMO and its funding strategies. As regards the relationship between stakeholders (network structure), the following dimensions should be considered: network centrality, density, embeddedness, commitment, trust, collaboration and reciprocity. Finally, the instruments of coordination and involvement that a DMO can use to nurture relationships with stakeholders and become able to exert authority and leadership over them are related to mechanisms of coordination (i.e: communication, meetings, interlocking directorates, etc) and participation (i.e: focus groups and surveys). In the empirical investigation, a case study approach was adopted because the research is exploratory in the sense that for the first time destination governance and branding were studied together. In particular, both qualitative and quantitative data were gathered in order to enforce the structure of the research. Data was gathered through DMO internal documents, in-depth interviews with managers involved in destination governance and, lastly, through a questionnaire returned from a number of tourist organisations chosen from a list provided by the DMO, the public body instructed to keep the official register (the overall numbers of tourist organisations in the destination studied). Participants were invited to fill the questionnaire by e-mail. The overall findings of the research suggest that internal marketing and branding are an important basis for destination brand and positioning. As a consequence, these results draw the destination manager’s attention to the necessity of carrying out both internal and external marketing and branding operations. This is because only under these conditions is it possible to develop a holistic and effective destination image and therefore achieve a unique destination brand positioning.
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|Titolo:||Destination governance and branding: The Portofino Case Study|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2011|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||4.1 Contributo in Atti di convegno|