Destination Image Perceived by Different Stakeholders: A Case of Fortress of Suomenlinna

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för tjänstevetenskap

Abstract: Destination image is a concept that can be interpreted in different ways. Image sender and receiver may perceive different images due to diverse information sources, purposes, goals and so on. This thesis is going to explore the destination image held by different stakeholders. From demand perspective, how tourists view the destination image; from supply aspect, how destination authority attempts to project and promote the destination image from a marketing perspective; and how the local residents view the place they reside and the impact of tourism in their own ways. Qualitative and quantitative methodologies are implemented in this study. Semi-structured interview with the tourism manager in the destination displays a view of how the destination authority intends to project the image to the public. Online content analysis is used to investigate the destination image perceived by tourists who have visited Fortress of Suomenlinna and wrote reviews on the Tripadvisor website. While a quantitative survey with the use of questionnaires is applied to local residents and tourists in order to capture the residents’ image of Suomenlinna compared to tourists based on the constructs of the destination image proposed in García et al.’s model, in addition, the residents’ general attitudes towards tourism in Suomenlinna. After the data analysis on three stakeholders respectively, a discussion on whether the image perceived by three stakeholders in Suomenlinna matches the destination marketing theory that the success of a destination lies in the congruence of the destination image and brand perceived by different stakeholders. The result finds out that there is similarities/ agreement and differences/ disagreement of image perceived by three stakeholders. However, due to the different interest priority, there might be some conflicts in some issues.

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