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Tourists’ perceived congruence between nation- and region-brands: A quantitative analysis

Abstract : Tourism scholarship and practitioners have long been highly concerned with understanding the destination images perceived by potential tourists, as well as their attitudes towards the place, their motivations or perceived self-congruence recognizing it plays a critical role in their decision-making. Thereby, this study aims at analyzing the fit between a country and a region in the context of destination branding by focusing on one stakeholder’s perception: the tourists of the region. Adapting Caldwell and Freire’s (2004) scales on destination-brand dimensions, we analyse whether non-visitors from a foreign country see a fit between the nation-/region-brand dyad in terms of their functional or representational brand dimensions. Tourists’ perceptions about a place are altered after their first actual experience of the place. We focus on non-visitors who have some knowledge about either one of the regions under study. France and two French regions with strong place-brand equity, namely the Alsace and Auvergne regions, were selected for the study. To carry out this research, 1047 emails were sent to the students and faculty members of one midland university in England displaying a link towards a standardized online questionnaire. The questionnaire was structured into two parts, and was built so that all respondents answered part one on destination France. Then, several screening questions on respondents’ familiarity towards the Alsace and/or Auvergne regions were inserted so as to ensure only respondents who had heard about the place, but had never visited it could proceed with the second part of the survey. A total of 118 surveys representing an overall 11.4 per cent response rate were coded for data analysis. We obtained 23 responses for the France/Alsace dyad, and 39 responses for the France/Auvergne one. Data were processed through AFC and ANOVA. Results confirm Caldwell and Freire’s (2004) transposition of the two-dimension brand model (De Chernatony & McWilliam, 1990) to the context of regional branding. Moreover, if non-visitors from England regard the nation-/region-brand dyad as being congruent at the destination brands’ functional dimension, they don’t perceive a fit at its representational dimension. This study focused only on foreign tourists’ perceived congruence of two combinations of nation-/region-brands where they had some knowledge about the region while having not had visited the region. Therefore, future research should broaden the results to other countries and their regions, and other stakeholders, like the visitors of the place. Also, while the destination image items used are derived from the literature, they were not tested by any process of qualitative research. This research provides a methodology to evaluate the congruence between two brand architectures, viz. nation- and region-brands, in a destination branding context. Caldwell and Freire (2004) concluded that nations, regions and cities needed to be branded differently. The managerial implications of this work are intended primarily for region-brand managers in agencies and local authorities, giving insights on how to position the country when designing a destination-brand for a region.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01128814
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Submitted on : Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 2:12:06 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 26, 2020 - 12:40:02 PM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-01128814, version 1

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Emeline Martin, Sonia Capelli. Tourists’ perceived congruence between nation- and region-brands: A quantitative analysis. The 5th International Conference on Destination Branding and Marketing (DBM-V), Dec 2014, Macau, Unknown Region. ⟨halshs-01128814⟩

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