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Image and tourism destinations

December 17, 2017

There is increasing competition in the tourism industry. Because of this and the cyclical nature of tourist destinations, many tourist hot spots are increasingly targeting new markets as part of their diversification strategy.

 

To do so, destinations need to focus on what has been described as one of the main criteria evaluated by tourists when choosing a holiday destination: Image. 

 

Indeed, destinations - as a product - are bought or selected before even being tried or experienced. Therefore their image and reputation is vital for competitiveness.

 

Although there is no consensus on a definition of a destination's image, the following definition is held as being the one that raises a general agreement: "A destination's image is a multi-faceted, composite construct, which consists of interrelated cognitive and affective evaluation woven into overall impression". 

 

Some destinations have the chance of "being famous for being famous", and so have a defined stronger image (positive or negative) among tourists. Every person can have an image of a destination - even without having visited it or having been exposed to any related information. The management of this representation is therefore of great significance for the destination's marketers; to the point that the destination's image must be considered as a strategic management tool to attract tourists. Furthermore, the management of a destination's image becomes even more important in cases where the destination has undergone a decay or urban decline.

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