Community‐based tourism development - a designerly approach to destination branding
Övrigt konferensbidrag, 2013

The purpose of this paper is to widen the sometimes too managerial view of place and destination branding into the discipline of design. By using a designerly approach, the concept of capturing and building brand equity is seen as an evolutionary and creative process, open to the involvement of the community. This is in contrast to the tapping of a place’s identity into common values that could apply for any place in the world, and the use of linear processes without taking advantages of the specific conditions for the place. Theoretical perspectives are obtained from two angles: place branding with an emphasis to marketing, and design theory with a participatory approach. In order to exemplify the role of design in a place branding context, the authors’ own experiences of being actively involved in the development process at an ecotourism destination in Kenya are declared. By adopting an open approach and the process of reflection in action, the authors continuously reframed the problem setting, developed and adapted actions throughout in order to suit the specific context. Both practical and theoretical results were obtained. Practical ideas and actions for development were produced, that takes the local needs, prerequisites, and its unique features into consideration. Five main implications for adopting a designerly way into the field of place branding were outlined: connection to context, open process, community participation, idea generation and communication through visualization. The contribution is a better understanding of the benefits of design, as well as an understanding of the importance of the specific context in place branding.

destination branding

local communities

participatory design

resident involvement


Eva Maria Jernsand

Mistra Urban Futures

Göteborgs universitet

Helena Kraff

Mistra Urban Futures

Göteborgs universitet

Proceedings of the 22nd Nordic Symposium in Tourism and Hospitality Research: Innovation and value creation in experience‐based tourism, September 24-27, Bodö and Lofoten Islands





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