The Separation of the Naive from the Reevaluated Destination Image by Using Benefit Segmentation and the Analysis of the Resulting Perceptions

Ourania Vitouladiti

Introduction

There is a consensus among authors and researchers regarding the importance of the tourism destination image (TDI), since it affects an individual’s subjective perception and behavior as well as destination choice (Ashworth and Goodall, 1990; Bigne et al., 2001; Chon, 1991, 1992; Echtner and Ritchie, 1993; Mansfeld, 1992; Stabler, 1988; Telisman-Kosuta, 1989). Destination image has become a very important issue in tourism marketing research, since many countries use promotion and global marketing to support their image and to compete with other destinations (Kamenidou et al., 2009).

This chapter, considering the importance of TDI and the significance of separating the two aspects of the image, is organized as follows. Section 2 incorporates the theoretical background, analyzes the notion of image and its two main typologies, and underlines the significance of their possible separation for marketing research. It expands on identified market segments based on benefit segmentation criteria, characterized by a mixture of motivations and desires. These elements allow for the formation of this chapter’s hypotheses. The market segments are used as the sample for the empirical analysis, whose methodology (including the description of the questionnaire) is presented in section 3. Section 4 portrays the research findings based on descriptive statistics and ANOVA analysis. Section 5 contains the concluding remarks and implications of the study. The final section, 6, elucidates the limitations of the study and sets an agenda for future research.

 
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