The Role and Power of Stakeholders in Branding Post-Mature Destinations: A Case Study of Calella
Perez, Zaida Rodrigo
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The main aim of this thesis is to explore the relevance of destination branding strategies for destinations in decline and to identify the role of stakeholders in those strategies through a case study of Calella in the Costa de Barcelona- Maresme, Spain. Five research objectives, encompassing a critique of relevant literature, conceptual discussion and empirical research, assist in accomplishing the overall aim. Key concepts that underpin the study are: the role and power of stakeholders and stakeholder management in destination management; the TALC; destination regeneration strategies; destination branding. The study adopts a case study approach, employing four main types of complementary sources: semi- structured interviews, structured interviews, archives and personal observations. The findings provide empirical evidence highlighting that a positive place image is a necessity for an effective destination brand and that stakeholder involvement is paramount for the successful development of destination branding strategies. In the case study destination of Calella it emerges that there is a mismatch between the expectations of stakeholders in the private and public sectors, where the former seem uninterested in adopting a holistic approach and prioritise their own personal business goals - even if these are contrary to the interests of the wider resort community. In addition, there is little community involvement or representation in local decision-making and strategy development. These findings have practical implications for the tourism industry, specifically for post-mature seaside resorts and especially for Calella itself. Recommendations include: enhancing the effective involvement of stakeholders in destination management decisions to increase 'buy-in', 'ownership' and 'self-identification' with marketing and branding strategies.
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