Title: Place branding architecture for eco-tourism

Authors: Rajagopal, Amritanshu Rajagopal

Addresses: Graduate School of Administration and Management (EGADE), Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, ITESM, Mexico City Campus, 222, Calle del Puente, Col. Ejidos de Huipulco, Tlalpan, 14380, DF Mexico. ' Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, ITESM, Mexico City Campus, 222, Calle del Puente, Col. Ejidos de Huipulco, Tlalpan, 14380, DF Mexico

Abstract: The number of international tourists leaning on ecological attractions is rapidly increasing and as the demand for access to eco-tourism is outpacing capacity, some companies are in race to drive profit by creating destinations. Such trend in tourism industry as an outgrowth of globalisation has paved the path for place branding. The concept of place branding has run over various social, political and economic conflicts in developing as strong brand perspectives; there is a need to define and implement brand architecture strategies to empower place branding concept. Broadly, brand architecture is concerned with the pedigree of brands of a firm, role of specific brands and the relationship between sub-brands. The paper discusses the stages of brand architecture and role of brand audit to manage the brand portfolio of an eco-tourism firm. Discussion in the paper also delineates the managerial perspectives in optimising the performance of ecological place brands.

Keywords: eco-tourism; rural tourism; leisure services; brand architecture; brand audit; brand value; brand positioning; customer choice; brand personality; branding strategy; place branding.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLTM.2009.021991

International Journal of Leisure and Tourism Marketing, 2009 Vol.1 No.1, pp.58 - 69

Published online: 15 Dec 2008 *

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