Destination marketing aims at creating positive images to promote tourist destinations for social and economic benefits. A destination can be a geographically defined area but it also varies in scope depending on the perceptions of tourists. Depending on travel motivations and destination offerings, people visit destinations for various reasons such as seeking knowledge, getaway, relaxation, urban life, rural and pastoral peace, and authentic and unique experience. Destination marketing promotions can be done at various levels: local, regional, national, and international. Funding to destination marketing campaigns can be sought from the government and businesses. In the USA, the convention and visitor bureaus (CVBs) play an important role in planning and developing destination marketing activities. These CVBs are partly financed through room taxes. In other countries or regions, government tourist offices design, coordinate, and administer tourism policies that exert influence on how destinations are introduced and promoted to various markets. Both public and private sectors may seek different interests in destination marketing efforts. Destination marketing organizations (DMOs) such as CVBs are in the ideal position to unite all constituents toward destination management in order to create a unique destination brand experience for visitors. Local residents’ attitudes and support toward tourism development in the area are essential to ensure successful marketing campaigns for the destination. Sustain ability of tourist destinations is on top of the development agenda.
To effectively market destinations and fully understand tourists’ destination choice, various scholarly research approaches have emerged. From the perspective of destination image, destination marketers are concerned with how to create positive images to affect actual and potential tourists’ destination choice. The destination branding approach brings in the synergy effect of a cluster of destinations such as cobranding. In the meanwhile, brand identity can also be created. Destination marketers are seeking innovative ways to build tourists’ loyalty to the destination.
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