Cooperation and Competition Among Regions: The Umbrella Brand as a Tool for Tourism Competitiveness

Cooperation and Competition Among Regions: The Umbrella Brand as a Tool for Tourism Competitiveness

Arminda Almeida Santana (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain) and Sergio Moreno Gil (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2673-5.ch016
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Abstract

Many brands exist within the tourism industry. Territorial brands exist at local, regional, national, and supranational level where they overlap and are interrelated. Therefore, it is necessary that tourist destinations develop and manage their brands to obtain a strong differentiated position in the competitive market. This study analyzed relationships between destinations in the new global scenario. It aimed to improve brand architecture and increase tourist loyalty. A comprehensive analysis considering 6,964 tourists from 17 countries was applied. The study offered recommendations to destinations in order to expand the design of marketing activities, improve coopetition strategies, and advance competitiveness. The results confirmed that the destinations must adapt their promotional strategies to the new global landscape of interconnected business. In addition, they need to develop strategies for horizontal loyalty between destinations.
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Introduction

Geopolitics is becoming increasingly complex. In order to achieve a mutual benefit between regions, it is necessary to develop an analytical and strategic management perspective. This chapter will focus on the tourism industry. Tourism is one of the most important worldwide economic activities, representing 9.8% of world global gross domestic product (world GDP), as well as 1 out 11 jobs for the global economy in 2015 (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2015). In the case of Spain, where the present case study is located, the total contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP was 16.0% in 2015, furthermore, the industry supported 19.2% of total employment (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2015). The main purpose of this chapter will be to focus on relationships that collaborators and competitors face in the new global scenario. Thus, the promotional strategies of tourism destinations must evolve in the global interconnected business landscape.

Tourist destinations aim to manage a “brand architecture,” which establishes a valuable relationship between the portfolio of different brands (Harish, 2010). Brand architecture is a crucial issue for tourist destinations as they work to optimize portfolio of brands and the relationships between the brands (Datzira-Masip & Poluzzi, 2014). Strategic organization of the brands helps to avoid internal competition, it also adds value to the brands by achieving synergy and a multiplier effect (Harish, 2010).

On the other hand, growing competition between tourist destinations is an increasingly important trend (Mariani & Baggio, 2012). Table 1 shows a greater dispersion of tourists among “new” destinations with a significant increase in promotional investment and competition between these destinations to capture outbound markets. The current tourism trends show an increased number of holidays per tourist. Yet, the length of the holidays is shorter. Both the unstoppable growth of tourism and the increased number of destinations in the market (UNWTO, 2014) make necessary for destinations to develop strategies for obtaining a competitive advantage. Literature highlights collaboration and cooperation between tourist destinations as one relevant strategy (Fyall, Garrod, & Wang, 2012). In this example, the development of loyalty plays a key role in collaboration (Weaver & Lawton, 2011).

The fact that tourists share their holiday time between several destinations supports a collaborative and cooperative approach. It opens a discussion on the desirability of integrating various brands under one umbrella to promote consistent quality among destination partners and differentiate them from their competitors (Aaker, 2004; Keller, 2003). While destinations could increase profits through the efficient use of their brands, in the context of tourist destinations the concept of branding is relatively new (Blain, Levy, & Ritchie, 2005). Tourist literature has ignored the relationship between tourists to multiple destinations at the same time. Thus, this study aims to:

Explore the relationship between tourists and the different regions they visit within a set of competing destinations. Thus, it provides guidance on which regions to compete with in the brand architecture, with which to cooperate and how to guide the creation of an umbrella brand.

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