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Title: Destination brand confusion : an empirical examination of Thailand's destination image and branding
Author: Sangsue, Pisuda
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2013
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Fierce competition in the travel and tourism industry forces destinations to develop strong, unique and competitive destination image and branding. These play a vital role in a tourist's decision processes because it is impracticable to try the destination before a real visit. Moreover, the plethora of available information sources created by the existence of multiple communications channels, in combination with the employment of different interpretive strategies by tourists, creates the potential for brand confusion and highlights the potential importance of this issue for examination. The concept of brand confusion has been applied in some recent studies in marketing, but has not been investigated in the tourism context. This research therefore investigates brand confusion, drawn by potential tourists in early consideration stage of a travel destination choice represented by destination image and branding. The chosen context is Thailand, as the country appears to be a very suitable destination choice, due to its offering a broad variety of interests to visitors, from cultural and historical to fun and entertainment venues, while it has repeatedly attracted media attention in numerous areas, such as political riots and sex trafficking. An in-depth interview based on the photo elicitation approach has been employed in this study as it gave an opportunity to capture the occurrence of brand confusion, which is complex and involved with emotional state. Findings of the in-depth interview indicated two main types of brand confusion in tourists' destination: similarity and ambiguity brand confusion. In addition, their related-outcomes are also discussed. The different themes emerging during the analysis also revealed the antecedent of brand confusion, including pre-visitors' image and their information sources in framing destination image, positive and negative destination brand experiences. The thesis also contributes to the understanding of brand confusion of potential tourists at the early consideration stage of their decision-making. Theories and managerial implications are provided in the thesis. The originality of this study lies in providing insights into the relatively recently introduced concept of brand confusion, while it also explores the implications for designing effective marketing communications for tourist destinations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available