The tourist destination is defined as a geographical area with an offering composed of a mix of interdependent elements to build a satisfactory experience for tourist targets. The integration of these elements — such as attractions, facilities, infrastructure, transportation, hospitality, retailing, entertainment, handicrafts — defines the tourist destination product (TDP) as a complex and unitary offering system, based on the several and interdependent links among the local resources, the marketing organizations and the firms that produce and provide services in a tourist destination (Grängsjö, 2003; Weaver and Oppermann, 2000). However, the constellation of stakeholders — the ’tourism stakeholder system‘, as defined by Weaver and Oppermann (2000) — could be coordinated in a co-evolutive dynamic, which makes the approach to the development of a tourist destination a complex aim. In fact, each of the several local stakeholders could have different goals and strategies, different visions of the destination’s growth, different resources, competencies and knowledge bases, and a different approach to tourist destination marketing. The reasoning developed in this research concerns the tourist destination and the management thereof from a customer-based perspective and, more generally from the perspective of stakeholder-based theory (Freeman, 1984). In spite of the complexity of the phenomenon, in the hyper-competitive context of the tourism market (D’Aveni, 1994), co-operation between different actors operating at the destination and influencing the perceived value delivered to the tourists is a must, and not (merely) a strategic option to strengthen the competitive position of the place. One of the most valuable resources of a tourist destination is the destination brand (Cai, 2002; Gnoth, 2002; Hankinson, 2001, 2004; Kaplanidou, Vogt, 2003) because it gives expression to the identity and distinctive character of the tourist destination product. The destination brand plays its role on two levels: first it is the cognitive link with the perceptive and evaluative system of the customer; moreover, it is a means to align the behaviour of the several stakeholders involved to market the area as a unified tourist destination product. In other words, the brand is seen as a relational resource, both towards the customers and towards the many other local stakeholders (local firms and other tourist destination organizations) involved to offer the single element of the tourist destination product. Therefore, the brand creates trust (Busacca, 2000; Costabile, 2001; Vicari, 1995) and social capital (Coleman, 1990; Fukuyama, 1995; Lipparini, 2002; Lanza, 2002) in the tourist stakeholder system of the destination. Destination branding also enables the achievement of tourism policies, which should also be co-ordinated with a regional development strategic plan. In order to appreciate the complexity of destination management, this paper proposes a multilevel cluster-based model as a general growth strategy for tourist destinations. The ideas presented here are based upon the assumptions of resource-based theory (Barney, 1991; Grant, 1991; Hamel and Prahalad, 1994; Peteraf, 1993), cluster-based theory (Becattini, 1989; Marshal, 1920; Porter, 1998) and the more recent marketing literature on destination branding (Cai, 2002; Gnoth, 2002; Hankinson, 2001, 2004; Kaplanidou and Vogt, 2003). The destination brand’s resource synthesizes the image, reliability and personality of the place (Kaplanidou and Vogt, 2003), as perceived by customers on the basis of their cognitive models and their interactions with the place’s identity. Therefore, in our assumption, it is a resource of considerable strategic value. More specifically, there are three fundamental aims of this paper: • to define the role of the local place-specific resources — cultural, historical, landscape and environment resources — in the sustaining the competitiveness of a specific destination area with a high intensity of tourist resources. In accordance with Peteraf’s ’cornerstones‘ model of competitive advantage, the place-specific resources of a tourist destination are unique and distinctive (highly heterogeneous), defensible by ex-post and ex-ante limits to the competition (from other destinations), and imperfectly mobile (they cannot be traded); • to propose a hypothesis of tourist destination growth consistent with a cluster-based perspective. The proposed model of strategic growth is based on an integrated multi-layer (three layers) cluster framework: the meta-cluster level (first layer), the meso-cluster level (second layer), and the micro-cluster level (third layer); and • to configure a model of destination branding, with the identification of the main destination brand value driver as key to defining the brand identity and the brand knowledge from the tourist’s perspective. The latter could be a useful means to increase the value of the local heterogeneous resources system from the point of view of the potential tourist. In this model we defined two kinds of destination brand equity. The first is defined in the perspective of the the DMOs (or policy makers, development agency, and so on), in other words the responsible of the destination management. It’s the Projected Destination Brand Equity. The second is defined in the perspective of tourist as Perceived Destination Brand Equity. communicated to the tourist targets; the second is perceived by tourists from the consumer-based perspective.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.