A marketing design approach to destination development
Sammanfattning: An increasing demand for environmental, socio - cultural and political aspects has led to that more integrated methods of tourism planning has evolved, which emphasize sustainability as a key fa c- tor. However, it is argued that the term sustainability is used carelessly and that the social aspect is often overlooked. In this thesis, local participation is dealt with a s an aspect of so cial sustain a- bility in tourism. Participation has gained ground due to its possibility to handle issues such as reluctance from communities and competing interests among stakeholders. There are too many projects that have failed, why participation is also motivated by increased effectiveness and eff i- ciency of initiatives. However, participation takes place in theory and planning documents but rarely in practice, and it could be argued that the level of participa tion is often low, considering local communit ies merely as passive informants. This is an espe cially interesting and important aspect in projects in developing countries, where unequal power relations is an issue that must be considered throughout, to avoid development workers seeing themselves as l egitimised civilisers. Two destination development processes have been identified in this thesis as moving towards a view that stakeholders should take part in the process : place branding and experience innova tion. It is however discussed how this particip ation can take place. Design allows for empathy, intu i- tion and user involvement, and the evolutionary nature of the design process fits well with how scholars describe place branding and experience innovation. The purpose with this thesis is to demonstrate how design can enhance participation in place branding and experience innovation in order to achieve sustainable destination develop ment. The case is an ecotourism site by Lake Victoria in Kenya where a collaborative and action - oriented approach is used for developing the destination. The active involveme nt as facil itator , partner and participant observer contributes to an in - depth understanding of the con text and the situation. The study reveals a process that is evolutionary and where visualisation as communication and idea generating tool is at the core. The theo retical contribution is a beginning of an understanding of how participatory processes in destination development can take place where marketing and design get the opportunity to collaborate. The practical contribution is inspiration, motivation and tools to work for sustainable destination development.
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