Title: The role of expats, local residents and tourists in defining a destination: a branding case study for Abu Dhabi tourism

Authors: Nataša Slak Valek

Addresses: College of Communication and Media Sciences, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Abstract: This study seeks to contribute to understanding of destination branding literature by exploring the differences in destination brand perceptions for groups of people who on one hand, have a role in its creation and on the other, use the destination brand as a tool in attracting new visitors. Specifically, it looks at awareness of Abu Dhabi destination brand among three segments: Emirate's local residents, expat residents and international tourists in the process of visiting Abu Dhabi. The study was conducted using a quantitative survey method for data collection. The results for the three groups were compared using Pearson Chi-square tests, and differences among the three segments were compared and statistically tested. Significant differences between locals, expats and tourists were confirmed for both brand and slogan recognition. Previous studies have confirmed that locals represent a destination brand, but in a sustainable society expatriates should also be considered.

Keywords: expatriates; destination branding; Emirati; recall; recognition; sustainability; tourism; United Arab Emirates.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSOC.2017.10006590

International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2017 Vol.9 No.1, pp.76 - 93

Received: 21 Jun 2016
Accepted: 17 Aug 2016

Published online: 10 Aug 2017 *

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