The Key Parameters in Making and Managing Brands in Rural Geotourism Destinations of Isfahan Province (Case Study: Mesr and Garme Villages)

Document Type : علمی

Authors

Art University of Isfahan

Abstract

Extended abstract
1. INTRODUCTION
Increase in global competition, higher awareness of consumers and many other issues have made branding destinations an important and influential strategy in the field of tourism marketing. Due to the development of tourism in rural areas, attention to brand making and brand management with respect to the potentials of these destinations can influence the attraction of more tourists and provide better services and better customer trust.
2. THEORITICAL FRAMWORK
According to Lane (1994) rural tourism is the tourism which occurs in the country side. Some rural areas encompass geo-heritage and have high potential for promoting geo-tourism. Rural geo-tourism is nature tourism and takes place in the countryside which includes unique geological and geomorphological landscapes. In these villages, making and managing a geo-brand not only introduces geo-heritage of the territory as tourist attraction but also promotes local economy. Nowadays, brand is an important factor in influencing tourists in choosing a destination and the role of branding in marketing purposes is very important.
3. METHODOLOGY
This study was conducted in Isfahan Province (Mesr and Garme villages). This study has three major purposes: 1) to identify the important parameters in making and managing of a rural tourism brand in geotourism destinations; 2) to identify the challenges and problems of the failure of a rural tourism brand; and 3) to propose a rural geo-tourism brand for villages of Isfahan province which are known as desert tourism destinations. In order to achieve these goals, Delphi method was used to identify the key components in making and managing a rural tourism brand in geo-tourism destinations. Data were gathered through an interview and two questionnaires. Fifteen experts filled in the forms and data were collected through snowball sampling method. Then, the qualitative data were analyzed through coding method and the quantitative data were analyzed through SPSS software.
4. DISCUSSION
As previously mentioned, identifying the challenges and problems of the failure of a rural tourism brand is one of the objectives of the present research. In this regard, the researchers designed an interview form whose first question inquired the challenges and problems. The data were analyzed through qualitative method (using open coding procedure) and 21 codes were identified. The second question investigated the idea of experts about designing a geo-brand and seven codes were determined. Lastly, the third question explored key parameters for making and managing a rural tourism brand for a geo-tourism destination and 11 codes for making and 15 codes for managing a brand were identified. In the next step, the first questionnaire was designed and the responses were made on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 to 5 and the data was analyzed by using SPSS tools (Binomial test). Further analysis of the data from the second questionnaire and telephone questionnaire illustrated that experts reached a consensus on 9 key parameters in making and 10 key parameters in rural tourism brand management.
4. CONCLUSION
The results identified nine key parameters in making and ten key components in managing a tourism brand in rural areas with potential in geo-tourism. Furthermore, lack of marketing, mismanagement, lack of support from the local community and the public sector, lack of educational program for local people, the lack of using specific symbols of the region, lack of attention to cultural factors, lack of brand fits with the niche tourism of the region, lack of implementation of the brand and its applications correctly, lack of creativity in branding, lack of attention to the local community, misidentification of resources, lack of planning for identification of investment opportunities, tourism destination branding complexity, lack of attention to the economic benefits of a brand for the region, creating new experience for tourists, lack of tourism experts, lack of standardization of services and infrastructure, non-competitive destination, weakness of private sector investment in tourism development planning, the attention of tourism on intangible products and interdisciplinary have been the challenges faced in branding. Finally, it can be said that geo-tourism can be a tool for making brand in Mesr and Garme villages. In the nest step according to idea of experts a geo-brand was proposed for the villages.

Keywords


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