DESTINATION BRANDING THE COMPARATIVE CASE STUDY OF

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DESTINATION BRANDING: THE COMPARATIVE CASE STUDY OF GUAM AND
VIETNAM
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DESTINATION BRANDING: THE COMPARATIVE CASE
STUDY OF GUAM AND VIETNAM
Thi Lan Huong Bui, University of Guam
Gerald S. A. Perez, Guam Visitors Bureau
ABSTRACT
In the context of a global recession, the tourism industry has struggled hard to battle
declines in sales turnover, particularly in countries where inbound tourism is a major economic
contributor to national output. To improve their competitiveness, many countries not only
promote their natural attractions but differentiate their destinations with branding strategies that
establish their unique positions to attract more international visitors and boost sales. This paper
is a comparative study of Japanese visitors and their behavior in Guam and Vietnam, both
destinations possessing many similarities in climate, culture, and beautiful beaches. Implications
for the tourism industry and branding are examined and justified by the high spending potential
of the Japanese market segment. Findings from this research can suggest successful paths to a
country’s branding strategy and tourism development.
INTRODUCTION
In the context of a global recession, the tourism industry has struggled hard to battle
declines in sales turnover, particularly in countries where inbound tourism is a major economic
contributor to national output. To improve their competitiveness, many countries not only
promote their natural attractions but also differentiate their destinations with branding strategies
that establish their unique position to attract more international visitors and to boost sales. The
challenge for destination marketers is how to differentiate their offering from competitors in a
growing competitive tourism market place.
In the tourism literature, many authors suggest that tourism destination branding
represents the most obvious means by which destinations can distinguish themselves from the
mass of commodity destinations around the world (Folyey, Fahy, 2004, cited by Fyall, Laesk,
2007). However, the need to attract visitors requires conscious branding strategies for the
different target visitor groups (Kotler, Gertner, 2002; Freire, 2002). Several countries were very
successful in applying the country branding concept, particularly New Zealand (Lodge, 2002),
Spain (Gilmore, 2002), France, Scotland (Olins, 2002), and the re-imaging of former Yugoslavia
Journal of International Business Research, Volume 9, Special Issue 2, 2010
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ENDNOTES
1
Stakeholders identified by the World Tourism Organization are political, commercial, travel businesses and
residents (WTO, 2009).
2
Between 1995 and 2007, the Asia-Pacific region’s share of total international arrivals increased from
18.7% to 25.7% ( Statistical yearbook for Asia and the Pacific, 2009)
3
Source: GSO (2009), Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the pacific 2009, Calculations by the author
4
A random quantitative survey sample of 1,985 departing Japanese visitors at Guam International airport
with a margin of error of 95 confidence level.
5
Hakuhodo’s survey of brand strengths of international tourist destinations with Tourist Destination Brand
Analyzer, January 31, 2005
6
To measure customer satisfaction for Guam, Qmark Research use Likert 7 point rating scale where 7= very
satisfied and 1= very dissatisfied.
7
Survey and analysis of the brand strength of 51 tourist destinations around the world with the sample of
1000 respondents: 600 in the metropolitan Tokyo and 400 in the Kansai region. Three elements of tourist
brand equity are captured as “experience value” (related to the experiences the destination offer),
“infrastructure value” (related to the location and the accommodations) and “information value” (related to
reputation and the accessibility of information).
Journal of International Business Research, Volume 9, Special Issue 2, 2010
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