Title: Brand(ing) Kinmen: a tourism perspective

Authors: J.J. Zhang

Addresses: Department of Geography, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Abstract: The recent proliferation of academic works on |place branding| has led to a burgeoning interest in |island branding|. This paper posits that islands are geographical features that possess unique characteristics and experience distinctive circumstances and, thus, deserve to be analysed on their own terms. In particular, it explores the intricacies in the branding of Kinmen Island, Taiwan, as a battlefield tourism destination. This case study confronts the typical island lure – of sun, sand and sea – and creates an opportunity for some distinct positioning in the global tourism market. The discussion shows the importance for tourism planners to recognise the unique character of the island to localise development projects in terms of its geographical particularity and landscape identity. Furthermore, it is argued that the branding of Kinmen is not merely a top-down process; the Kinmen brand is a result of both top-down |imagineering| efforts by the state and the bottom-up branding practices of local entrepreneurs, Kinmen|s people and tourists. It is believed that tourists| identification of an island has to be substantiated by locals| self-recognition with the island|s identity to sustain any branding effort.

Keywords: island brands; branding; islands; battlefield tourism; local entrepreneurs; entrepreneurship; tourism planning; landscape identity; place experience; post-Cold War Taiwan; Kinmen Island.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2010.032402

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2010 Vol.9 No.4, pp.407 - 433

Published online: 02 Apr 2010 *

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