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Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2015
Thesis number: 14127
Destination branding as a tool for destination marketing organizations
Author: Ukkola, Matti
Title: Destination branding as a tool for destination marketing organizations
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; matkailu; tourism; brandit; brands; imago; image
Pages: 91
Key terms: destination branding; tourism; brand image
Abstract:
This thesis will be about destination branding, which is the process of branding tourism destinations. There has been earlier research about the importance of destination branding, but research about how destination branding should actually be done, and what kinds of tools should be used in the branding process, has been somewhat lacking.

In the beginning of the thesis, the idea of destination branding will be explained in detail. The importance of the topic of this thesis will be explained by making the importance of destination branding clear and by showing that there is a gap in the existing research of this area. The research question will also be presented.

After this there will be a more thorough look into the existing research in the area. The term destination branding will be defined and the role of destination branding organizations will be explained. General theory of destination branding will be discussed and examples of case studies of destination branding of particular countries or areas will be presented. These case examples are especially helpful for this thesis, because a similar case study approach is also the basis of this study.

After the literature review, the theoretical basis and the methodology will be explained. In the theoretical section, the framework which forms the basis of the analysis is presented, and in the methodology section the data that will be gathered and analyzed will be introduced. The principal data will consist of interviews and promotional materials of the destination marketing organizations of the two case countries, Italy and Spain. Interviews will be conducted with people interested in tourism, as well as a representative of ENIT, the destination marketing organization of Italy. The strategy of TurespaƱa, the Spanish destination marketing organization will also be analyzed based on their communicated strategy that can be found on their website.

In the analysis section, the current tourism situation in the case countries and their current branding strategies will be explained. The results of the interviews will be analyzed. The most important themes to arise from these interviews will be presented and these themes will be looked for when analyzing the promotional materials of the destination marketing organizations. These themes were various things that were deemed important in the destination branding process, like the use of unique as well as the most desired attributes as the basis of the brand image and the use of visuality in communicating the brand. While analyzing the promotional materials, these themes are the things that ideally should be found.

In the end, the main findings and the theoretical contributions of the thesis will be presented. Managerial implications will be explained and limitations of the study as well as ideas for further research will be discussed.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.