Whether you’re a destination marketer working hard to come up with a distinctive brand to attract visitors– or a museum curator or heritage site manager developing a new promotion plan to boost audiences and supporters– or even an individual tourist trying to decide on a personal itinerary– the public perception of your destination is all-important. And it may not be perceived exactly the way you intended…
In the last few years, tourism researchers have focused on this problem and have developed several methods of evaluating destination images. Yuksel Ekinci and Sameer Hosan, of the School of Management, University of Surrey, UK, for example, published a study highlighting three main destination qualities that tourists perceive:
EXCITEMENT: Is the destination unique, cutting edge, and innovative or is it just another generic vacation venue?
CONVIVIALITY: Is the destination friendly, family oriented, and charming or is it cold and impersonal?
In other studies, additional attributes of destination personality, such as ACCESSIBILITY, RELIABILITY, and SOPHISTICATION, have been added to the list.
Every destination marketer believes that their locale or site deserves high marks on all of these qualities, but that is not always how visitors feel. What makes this especially crucial for destination marketers is that the way their messages are received and validated by visitors’ experience is an important factor in determining whether potential visitors will choose it — and no less important– whether they will make return visits and recommend it to friends.
How does your destination’s brand mesh with its perceived personality and what characteristics can you more effectively communicate? It always helps to see things through a fresh perspective. That’s why we’ve prepared a short quiz that matches destination characteristics with the personalities of famous fantasy locations.