What Is New in Place Branding: Concepts, Issues, and Practices

A special issue of Tourism and Hospitality (ISSN 2673-5768).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2021) | Viewed by 15884

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Planning and Regional Development, School of Engineering, University of Thessaly (UTH), Volos, Greece
Interests: place branding; tourism/cultural/sports planning and development; urban and cultural tourism; event planning; time planning; urban regeneration; cultural heritage

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Place branding aims to attract four main “groups”: tourists, businesses, residents, and human resources. An interesting contradiction arises from the fact that although tourists are considered to be the most crucial group in place branding, the spatial dimension in tourism marketing has not gained the deserved research interest. As time passes, it seems that there are more questions than answers concerning place branding in the tourism and hospitality industries.

Place identity has gained special importance in recent years when place branding has shifted to social instead of economic approaches that emphasized competition. Is place branding a relatively new phenomenon, the logical evolution of place marketing, or part of it? If the aim is a viable and effective place branding, as well as tourism and hospitality, then a strategic approach to planning is required. Thus, place branding should emphasize the future, but how can it deal with the present and how much does it rely on the past? What are the attributes of a strategic tourist marketing plan (STMP), and should it be based on research? How can its success and failure be evaluated? How, and at what depth, can results be measured? Are slogans and logos as crucial as most people believe? Is imitation or necessity the main motivation for the elaboration of the STMP? Assuming that place branding, like tourism, is a viable condition for development, does this mean that it is also necessary?

Tourism and hospitality, as well as place branding, will not be the same in the coming years, mainly due to the emergence and/or growth of the following indicative factors (which could function as potential topics for the Special Issue):

  • Climate change
  • COVID-19
  • Overtourism
  • Special interest tourism
  • Creativity/ innovation
  • Initiatives beyond the traditional stakeholder participation (e.g., co-creation)
  • An approach going beyond GDP (e.g., focusing on quality of life)

Prof. Dr. Alex Deffner
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • place branding
  • place identity
  • strategic planning
  • special interest tourism
  • innovation and creativity
  • COVID-19
  • climate change
  • co-creation
  • quality of life

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 2594 KiB  
Article
Branding Places through Experiential Tourism: A Survey on the Features of the Experiential Product and Enterprises in Greek Regions
by Athena Yiannakou, Angelina Apostolou, Vasiliki Birou-Athanasiou, Apostolos Papagiannakis and Athina Vitopoulou
Tour. Hosp. 2022, 3(2), 435-450; https://doi.org/10.3390/tourhosp3020028 - 16 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3346
Abstract
The focus of experiential tourism is for the consumer or visitor to experience the tourist destination and to actively interact with local people, cultures, and the place itself. In fact, it can be seen as a form of tourism that builds upon place [...] Read more.
The focus of experiential tourism is for the consumer or visitor to experience the tourist destination and to actively interact with local people, cultures, and the place itself. In fact, it can be seen as a form of tourism that builds upon place identities, both tangible and intangible, by energetically introducing the visitor to the culture, history, nature, traditions, cuisine, and social life of a place. In doing so, the emotional, physical, or spiritual experience of the consumer becomes a dynamic source of place branding. The paper investigates the main features of experiential tourism in the Greek regions of Central Macedonia, and Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, and discusses their interactions with place identity. Our methodology consists of a qualitative survey based on semi-structured interviews with stakeholders and a thematic analysis to trace the main features of the experiential product and enterprises that develop such products. The paper concludes that experiential tourism in Greece bears many of the features highlighted in the literature. Furthermore, our findings underline some new aspects, especially the links between the experiential product, small and well-qualified enterprises, and a place’s tangible and intangible identities, which make experiential tourism an opportunity for locales and their branding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What Is New in Place Branding: Concepts, Issues, and Practices)
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20 pages, 2025 KiB  
Article
Resource Mapping and Place Branding as a Strategy Approach in an Attempt to Establish Cross-Border Areas of Greece and Albania as Tourism Destinations
by Alex Deffner, Eva Psatha and Nicholas Karachalis
Tour. Hosp. 2022, 3(1), 80-99; https://doi.org/10.3390/tourhosp3010006 - 19 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3250
Abstract
Although place branding in cross-border (c-b) areas is challenging, various c-b areas with common eco-natural and cultural characteristics are popular tourist brands in their own right. The emergence of c-b areas as destinations is not surprising since international borders are often natural formations, [...] Read more.
Although place branding in cross-border (c-b) areas is challenging, various c-b areas with common eco-natural and cultural characteristics are popular tourist brands in their own right. The emergence of c-b areas as destinations is not surprising since international borders are often natural formations, which may be popular tourist attractions. Due to historical and political circumstances, the Greek–Albanian c-b area has not experienced tourism development. It bears a weak image, and although individual destinations can be found in both border areas, they do not currently form a single place brand. Thus, place branding that aims to enhance the c-b area’s attractiveness should start with building a single identity by finding common competitive characteristics upon which it can be based. This paper analyzes part of the ‘Culture Plus’ project, which aims to identify significant common eco-natural and cultural resources in the Greek–Albanian c-b area. The resources were documented using local visits, interviews, and consultations. The most significant ones were comparatively evaluated to identify the vital common assets that can support place branding efforts, with encouraging results regarding the potential branding of the unique hidden identity of the c-b area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What Is New in Place Branding: Concepts, Issues, and Practices)
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16 pages, 788 KiB  
Article
Place Brand Co-Creation through Storytelling: Benefits, Risks and Preconditions
by Ioana S. Stoica, Mihalis Kavaratzis, Christina Schwabenland and Markus Haag
Tour. Hosp. 2022, 3(1), 15-30; https://doi.org/10.3390/tourhosp3010002 - 30 Dec 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4584
Abstract
Co-creation in place branding is used as an umbrella term for the complex brand meaning emerging through stakeholders’ participation in place activities, their contribution, collaborations and interchange of ideas and resources. Co-creation is often an aspiration for places to create and promote their [...] Read more.
Co-creation in place branding is used as an umbrella term for the complex brand meaning emerging through stakeholders’ participation in place activities, their contribution, collaborations and interchange of ideas and resources. Co-creation is often an aspiration for places to create and promote their brands collectively. In this context, storytelling—an old technique used in corporate marketing to instigate brand stakeholders’ participation—serves as a method which facilitates place brand co-creation through shared place stories. With the rise of online interactions, the chances of place stakeholders’ participation in brand meaning creation increase, and place stories are effective in allowing diverse place meanings to emerge from various stakeholders. However, when storytelling emerges as a marketing tactic, mostly from a top-down campaign, the stories are not always accepted by all place stakeholders, and they create contrasting brand meanings. The paper aims to investigate the benefits and risks of participation in “Many Voices One Town” (2018), a top-down campaign from Luton, UK, which used storytelling to instigate place brand co-creation. The campaign was created by the Luton Council with an external advertising agency. The campaign attempted to tackle the town’s segregation issues and foster community cohesion through the promotion of seven selected Lutonians’ stories about their diverse and multicultural experiences of living in Luton. The study employs a qualitative methodology to analyse the MVOT case study. Interviews with the council and participants in the campaign and netnographic data from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were used to gain an insight into residents’ participation in a top-down approach and examine the outcomes of co-creation. Residents’ participation in such a campaign shows numerous benefits but also risks for the place brand. The findings show that participation can sometimes intensify disputes about the town if people’s needs are not properly addressed. The study highlights the importance of open communication between all parties involved in the process, bringing into focus the need for careful coordination of top-down initiatives in line with stakeholders’ needs. It also demonstrates the ‘power of the people’ in the sense that stakeholder engagement with the shared stories led to negative outcomes that were not predicted by the Council. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What Is New in Place Branding: Concepts, Issues, and Practices)
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14 pages, 613 KiB  
Article
Place Branding through Resource Integration and Gastro-Cultural Experiences: A Transnational Perspective
by Stella Kladou and Nikolaos Trihas
Tour. Hosp. 2022, 3(1), 1-14; https://doi.org/10.3390/tourhosp3010001 - 24 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3203
Abstract
Place branding often builds upon gastro-cultural features. Yet, the convergence point between gastro-cultural place identity and the experience on offer could (and should) further benefit from contemporary studies in emerging fields, such as value co-creation and the identity-based approach to place branding. This [...] Read more.
Place branding often builds upon gastro-cultural features. Yet, the convergence point between gastro-cultural place identity and the experience on offer could (and should) further benefit from contemporary studies in emerging fields, such as value co-creation and the identity-based approach to place branding. This study contributes towards this direction by examining the practices of relevant actors with main place branding authority. Drawing from their online information and presence, a thematic analysis of relevant brands in Greece and Turkey illustrates that operand and operant resource integration reflect the synergies developed between the gastronomic culture in, for, of the place. Further, actors’ intention to co-create the brand influences and is influenced by the brand. Theoretical and practical insights are derived from this study, which may direct future research and inform policymakers about sustainable, inclusive approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What Is New in Place Branding: Concepts, Issues, and Practices)
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