How has Monmouthshire, being a rural area successfully developed a competitive destination and how can it lead as an example to destinations of a similar scope?
Phillips, Courtney Paige
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this study was to analyse how rural destinations can create a competitive destination, despite their lack of stand-out appeal. With the use of Monmouthshire as a case study. With the county having developed a successful tourism industry, despite its rural location and lack of unique selling point. Understanding how this could lead to a model of practice. The projected consisted of five chapters, an introduction which provided the necessary background information and existing literature surrounding rural tourism, rural destinations, destination branding and destination competitiveness. With key themes arising, including the decrease in traditional rural activities and the rise in alternatives; such as food and drink. As well as the barriers rural destinations face in creating a strong destination brand. The methodology chapter outlines and justifies the chosen research methods for the study and justified why quantitative, qualitative and case study approaches were used. The next chapter presents the results of the chosen research methods, analysing and discussing the results of both questionnaires and interviews. The results demonstrated the key motivations for tourists to visit a rural tourist destination, giving insight of what components can contribute to creating a competitive destination. As well as participants thoughts on destination branding, the marketing of Monmouthshire and the impacts of tourism. Finally, the last chapter of the study concludes the project by reviewing the overall findings, how the researcher met the aims and objectives and making recommendations to rural destinations that have been identified through this project.
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