The above conceptual model depicts the interdisciplinary forces at play in the relationship between tourist destination development and its brand image. First of all tourist destination development is a function of natural and cultural resources the destination is endowed with, its history and heritage, as well as the political and legal system of the country, which could positively or negatively influence the development of a destination including the infrastructure. Tourism and economic development have reciprocity in their relationship, with each influencing the other overall favorably.
This is not to say that all the consequences of tourism on economy are positive. Marzuki identifies various positive as well as negative economic impacts of tourism but overall concludes that the economic benefits of tourism are greater than its economic costs. An earlier study by Ritchie identifies positive as well as negative impacts of tourism on the cultural, economic, physical, political, psychological, and social dimensions.
The point is that tourism has both positive and negative repercussions on a variety of areas. The question therefore is keeping in mind these multidisciplinary impacts of tourism, how can a marketer help increase the positive impacts and minimize the negative ones.
The task of tourism marketers therefore is not simply to build a brand image to attract tourists but to improve the sustainability of tourism. Tourism marketing therefore needs to be carried out keeping in mind the long term consequences of tourism on various dimensions as identified in Ritchie This is not an easy task and requires an understanding of the processes and influences which are responsible for formation of the destination brand image.
In the Conceptual Model Figure 1 developed in our research we identify three components of the Tourist destination brand image corresponding to the three stages of consumption. These are Pre-consumption stage, During-consumption stage, and Postconsumption stage. In the pre-consumption stage, the brand image results from the marketing communications promoting destination characteristics to the tourists by the tourism industry stakeholders as well as from the positive or negative word of mouth the tourists receive from other travelers.
Social influences therefore are important in the pre-consumption stage in formation of the brand image along with the marketing communications. An understanding of the psychological processes involved in forming tourist perceptions of the destination is therefore very relevant for development of destination image. Their post-consumption responses form the third component of the destination brand image. Each of these three components of Tourist destination brand image is relevant for all the stakeholders in the tourism industry.
The tourism policy makers, destination organizations and service providers have to be set up such that they "seek to provide high-quality visitor experiences that are profitable to destination stakeholders while ensuring that the destination is not compromised in terms of its environmental, social, and cultural integrity" Goeldner et al.
The development of the tourist destinations should be carried out such that it creates a memorable tourist experience and a favorable brand image which in turn will result in positive word of mouth and repeat business for a particular tourist destination and at the same time improves the sustainability of tourist destination. Aaker, D. Managing brand equity: Capitalizing on the value of a brand name.
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Economic psychology provides evidence about the behavior of consumers that is instrumental for the development of economic theory as well as for marketing, consumer policy, and research on travel and tourism. Economic Psychology of Travel and Tourism stimulates new approaches to the study of travel and tourism. Chapters contain empirical studies and explore conceptual and theoretical perspectives of the sociopsychological mechanisms that underlie travel and tourism demand and the economics of destinations.