Webpage Design and Quality of Seaside Tourism Destinations: A Question of Collaboration

  •  Jens Blumrodt    
  •  Adrian Palmer    


The Internet has become increasingly important for promoting tourism destinations. Place branding has become an important marketing tool as destinations use it strategically and tactically to promote their unique advantages. However, at both a strategic and tactical level, place brands have to satisfy the needs of a wide range of stakeholders, often involving long and time consuming channels of negotiation before a strategy is agreed. A consequence is a frequent disjuncture between a place brand ‘as officials wish that it is’ and ‘as it actually is’. This exploratory research analyses different tourism office websites from French and English seaside tourism destinations. Our approach combines two different methods. First, we present the specific communicated images. Second, interviews with officials of these cities compare the communicated image to the desired one. Tourism seaside destination brand image is made up of specific brand image factors. We find that cities with a similar environment communicate elements of their natural settings as well as other brand elements but the communicated image does often not fit with the desired brand image. It is evident that the characteristics of collaboration between different entities impacts on the quality of designed websites.

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