This paper addresses destination brand image in tourism marketing and assesses the contribution of tourism ' s workforce to such image and branding, considering the role that employees play in visitors ' interpretation of their experience of destination and place. The focus of this paper, therefore, is on the role of people in the image of place and the potential for contradiction in imagery as the people who inhabit and work within a place change over time. At the same time, both those who promote a destination and those consuming the place as visitors may well have expectations that are fixed in imagery that does not accord with that held within the wider community. The location of this paper is Ireland where the traditional promotion of the tourism brand has given a core role to images of people and the friendliness of the hospitality of Irish people, represented by largely homogeneous images. Recent growth in the ' Celtic tiger ' economy has induced unprecedented and large-scale migration from countries across the globe to Ireland, particularly into the tourism sector. This paper raises questions with regard to the branding of Ireland as a tourist destination in the light of major changes within the demography and ethnicity of its tourism workforce.
|Journal||Place Branding and Public Diplomacy|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 10 Apr 2008|
Bibliographical noteReference text: OF
Baum, Hearns and Devine
14 Place Branding and Public Diplomacy Vol. x, y, aa–bb © 2007 Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 1751-8040 $30.00
perhaps unparalleled at a national level,
encompassing non-national migration to both
urban and rural locations. Furthermore, the
Irish experience of such mobility is one of
intensity over a very short period of time, with
no signs of imminent abatement. Such changes
within the labour force, especially in work that
directly confronts the visitor in the ‘ boundary
spanning ’roles ( Bateson and Hoffman, 1999 )
that represent the tourism sector at point of
delivery provide challenges to both the
desirability and practicability of maintaining the
myth of traditional Irish service as represented
in brand marketing. Further questions can be
raised regarding the impact of tourism-related
migration on aspects of the culture of host
communities. Phillips and Thomas (2001) , in the
context of Wales, raise a range of questions
regarding the impact of in-bound tourism on
the status and use of the Welsh language. The
widespread in-migration of employees to rural
areas, in Ireland, may well raise similar concerns
in terms of both language and wider cultural
attributes and, as a consequence, act to dilute
the very features of Irish life that are core to
the marketing of the destination.
Tourism branding and marketing in Ireland
has either not woken up to the evident cultural
and economic change within society and, in
particular, tourism ’ s workforce or it has chosen
to ignore this reality in the perceived interests
of providing its main markets with images that
they expect from the country. A strategy, based
on the latter, may refl ect Azarya’s (2004)
argument that tourism destinations, seeking to
promote the ‘ primitive ’(and traditional images
of Ireland may be said to fall into this
classifi cation) need to promote their own
marginality. If they are not marginal to and
different from the everyday, globalised
experience of their visitors, they cannot attract
the attention of potential tourists. As a result,
‘ every effort is made … . to keep display as
genuine as possible, though still under tight
control. … . All [agencies] join forces in
maintaining this marginality, turn it into a
saleable commodity and maximise its
commercial value for all involved ’( Azarya, 2004:
964 ). Whichever explanation rings more true,
they run the real risk of fuelling visitor
dissatisfaction when expectations engendered by
marketing do not match the reality of their
interpretation in the heritage sites, hotels, pubs,
restaurants and airline check-in desks that
visitors use while in the country. Authenticity
of tourism representation, in this context, may
need to refl ect a contemporary reality rather
than a staged idyll, refl ective of a lost past.
Clearly, reconciling such representation in image
terms is a real challenge to tourism in Ireland
in branding, marketing and, indeed, in training
and development terms. A failure to address this
challenge may have serious long-term
consequences for Irish tourism at a destination
and individual business level as visitors recognise
the disparity between what the brand promises
and what reality actually delivers.
Anon . ( 2005 ) ‘ Flood of migrant workers turns out to be a
trickle ’ , accessed at www.personneltoday.com on
Azarya , V .( 2004 ) ‘ Globalization and international tourism in
developing countries: Marginality as a commercial
commodity ’ , Current Sociology, Vol. 52 , No. 6 , pp. 949 – 967 .
Bateson , J .and Hoffman , D .( 1999 ) ‘ Managing Services
Marketing ’ , The Dryden Press, Fort Worth, TX .
Baum , T .( 2002 ) ‘ Making or breaking the tourist experience:
The role of human resource management ’ , in Ryan, C (ed.)
‘ The Tourist Experience ’ , International Thomson, London,
UK , pp. 94 – 111 .
Baum , T .( 2006 ) ‘ Human Resource Management for Tourism,
Hospitality and Leisure. An International Perspective ’ ,
International Thomson, London, UK .
Bird , B .( 1989 ) ‘ Langkawi —from Mahsuri to Mahathir:
Tourism for Whom ? ’ , INSAN, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia .
Brown , D .( 1996 ) ‘ Genuine fakes ’ , in Selwyn, T. (ed.) ‘ The Tourist
Image. Myths and Myth Making in Tourism ’ , John Wiley,
Chichester, UK , pp. 33 – 48 .
Buckley , J .( 1999 ) ‘ What has got us here will not take us forward
—the Case for Tourism Brand Ireland ’ , in Ghauri, P. (ed.)
‘ International Marketing (European Edition), McGraw Hill,
London, UK .
Cawley , M .( 2003 ) ‘ The rural idyll ’ , in Hourihane, J. (ed.)
‘ Engaging Spaces. People, Place and Space from an Irish
Perspective ’ , The Lilliput Press, Dublin, Ireland , pp. 61 – 74 .
Cohen , E .( 1988 ) ‘ Authenticity and commoditization in
tourism ’ , Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 15 , No. 3 , pp. 371 –
Cohen , E .( 1995 ) ‘ Contemporary tourism —trends and
challenges: Sustainable authenticity or contrived postmodernity
’ , in Butler, R. and Pearce, D. (eds) ‘ Change in
Coulter , C .and Coleman , S . , (eds)( 2003 ) ‘ The end of
Irish History? Critical Approaches to the Celtic Tiger ’ ,
Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK .
Cronin , M .and O ’ Connor , B .( 2003 ) ‘ Introduction ’ , in Cronin,
M. and O ’ Connor, B. (eds) ‘ Irish Tourism: Image, Culture
and Identity ’ , Channel View, Clevedon, UK .
Cukier , J .( 1998 ) ‘ Tourism employment and shifts in the
determination of social status in Bali ’ , in Ringer, G. (ed.)
‘ Destinations. Cultural Landscapes of Tourism ’ , Routledge,
London, UK , pp. 63 – 79 .
Dann , G .( 1996 ) ‘ The people of tourist brochures ’ , in
Selwyn, T. (ed.) ‘ The Tourist Image. Myths and
Myth Making in Tourism ’ , John Wiley, Chichester, UK ,
pp. 61 – 81 .
Deegan , J .( 2005 ) ‘ A long-term perspective on Irish Tourism
policy ’ , Proceedings of Tourism and Hospitality Research
in Ireland: Exploring the Issues Conference, June,
University of Ulster, Portrush .
Deegan , J .and Dineen , D .( 1997 ) ‘ Tourism Policy and
Performance. The Irish Experience ’ , International
Thomson, London, UK .
Devine , F . , Baum , T . , Hearns , N .and Devine , A .( 2006,
forthcoming ) ‘ Cultural diversity in hospitality work: The
Northern Ireland experience ’ , International Journal of Human
Resource Management .
Eurobarometer( 2005 ) ‘ Urban Audit Perception Survey ’ ,
Eurobarometer, Brussels, Belgium , July .
F á ilte Ireland( 2005a ) ‘ A Human Resource Development
Strategy for Irish Tourism. Competing through People,
2005 – 2012 ’ , F á ilte Ireland, Dublin, Ireland .
F á ilte Ireland( 2005b ) ‘ Cultural Diversity Strategy and
Implementation Plan ’ , F á ilte Ireland, Dublin, Ireland .
F á ilte Ireland( 2005c ) ‘ Tourism Facts 2004 ’ , F á ilte Ireland,
Dublin, Ireland .
F á s( 2005 ) ‘ National Skills Bulletin 2005 ’ , F á s, Dublin, Ireland .
Foley , A .and Fahy , J .( 2004 ) ‘ Incongruity between expression
and experience: The role of imagery in supporting the
positioning of a tourism destination brand ’ , Journal of Brand
Management, Vol. 11 , No. 3 , pp. 209 – 217 .
Forf á s( 2006 ) ‘ Skills Needs in the Irish Economy: The Role of
Migration ’ , Forf á s Expert Group on Future Skills Needs,
Dublin, Ireland .
Gibson , A .( 1994 ) ‘ Tourism brand Ireland. Positioning a country ’ ,
in Cunningham, A., Ward, J. and Kilbride, C. (eds) ‘ Studies
in Marketing ’ , Marketing Institute of Ireland (MII), Dublin,
Ireland , pp. 61 – 102 .
Hochschild , A . R .( 1983 ) ‘ The Managed Heart: Commercialisation
of Human Feeling ’ , University of California Press,
Berkley, CA .
Hollinshead , K .( 1996 ) ‘ Marketing and metaphysical realism: The
disidentifi cation of aboriginal life and traditions through
tourism ’ , in Butler, R. and Hinch, T. (eds) ‘ Tourism and
Indigenous Peoples ’ , International Thomson Business Press,
London, UK , pp. 308 – 348 .
Hourihane , J .( 2003 ) ‘ Spaces in the mind ’ , in Hourihane, J. (ed.)
‘ Engaging Spaces. People, Place and Space from an Irish
Perspective ’ , The Lilliput Press, Dublin, Ireland , pp. 1 – 12 .
Jarman , N .( 2004 ) ‘ Migrant workers in Northern Ireland ’ , Labour
Market Bulletin, Vol. 18 , pp. 51 – 59 .
Kirby , P . , Gibbons , L .and Cronin , M . , (eds)( 2002 ) ‘ Reinventing
Ireland: Culture, Society and the Global Economy ’ , Pluto
Press, London, UK .
Kotler , P . , Haider , D .and Rein , I .( 1993 ) ‘ Marketing Places ’ , The
Free Press, New York, NY .
Kotler , P .and Gertner , D .( 2004 ) ‘ Country as brand, product
and beyond: A place marketing and brand management
perspective ’ , in Morgan, N.J., Pritchard, A. and Pride, R.
(eds) ‘ Destination Branding: Creating the Unique
Destination Proposition , 2nd edn, Elsevier Butterworth
Heinemann, Oxford, UK , pp. 40 – 56 .
Lanfant , M . F .( 1995a ) ‘ Introduction ’ , in Lanfant, M.F., Allcock,
J. and Bruner, E. (eds) ‘ International Tourism. Identity and
Change ’ , Sage, London, UK , pp. 1 – 23 .
Lanfant , M . F .( 1995b ) ‘ Tourism, internationalization and
identity ’ , in Lanfant, M.F., Allcock, J. and Bruner, E. (eds)
‘ International Tourism. Identity and Change ’ , Sage, London,
UK , pp. 24 – 43 .
Lee , J . J .( 1999 ) ‘ A sense of place in the Celtic Tiger ’ , in Bohan,
H. and Kennedy, G. (eds) ‘ Are We Forgetting Something?
Our Society in the New Millennium ’ , Veritas, Dublin,
MacCannell , D .( 1973 ) ‘ Staged authenticity: Arrangements of
social space in tourist settings ’ , American Journal of Sociology,
Vol. 79 , pp. 589 – 603 .
MacCannell , D .( 1976 ) ‘ The Tourist ’ , Schocken Books, New
York, NY .
McCarthy , M .( 2005 ) ‘ Historico-geographical explorations of
Ireland’s heritages: Towards a critical understanding of the
nature of memory and identity ’ , in McCarthy, M. (ed.)
‘ Ireland’s Heritages. Critical Perspectives on Memory and
Identity ’ , Ashgate, Aldershot, UK , pp. 3 – 54 .
McIntosh , A . J .and Prentice , R . C .( 1999 ) ‘ Affi rming authenticity:
Consuming cultural heritage ’ , Annals of Tourism Research,
Vol. 26 , No. 3 , pp. 589 – 612 .
McLaughlin , D .( 2005 ) ‘ Immigration helps economy’s
performance ’ , The Irish Times, Business This Week, 17th June,
2005, p. 5 .
McManus , R .( 2003 ) ‘ Urban dreams —urban nightmares ’ , in
Hourihane, J. (ed.) ‘ Engaging Spaces. People, Place and
Space from an Irish Perspective ’ , The Lilliput Press, Dublin,
Ireland , pp. 30 – 44 .
McManus , R .( 2005 ) ‘ Identity crisis? Heritage construction,
tourism and place marketing in Ireland ’ , in McCarthy, M.
(ed.) ‘ Ireland’s Heritages. Critical Perspectives on Memory
and Identity ’ , Ashgate, Aldershot, UK , pp. 235 – 250 .
McWilliams , D .( 2005 ) ‘ The Pope’s Children. Ireland’s New
Elite ’ , Gill and Macmillan, Dublin, Ireland .
Melia , D .and Kennedy , E .( 2005 ) ‘ Cultural Diversity. A
Management Perspective ’ , Tourism Research Centre, Dublin
Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland .
Nickson , D . , Warhurst , C .and Witz , A .( 2003 ) ‘ The labour of
aesthetics and the aesthetics of organization ’ , Organization,
Vol. 10 , No. 1 , pp. 33 – 54 .
O ’ Connor , B .( 1993 ) ‘ Myths and mirrors: Tourist images and
national identity ’ , in O ’ Connor, B. and Cronin, M. (eds)
‘ Tourism in Ireland: A Critical Analysis ’ , Cork University
Press, Cork, Ireland .
O ’ Leary , S .and Deegan , J .( 2003 ) ‘ People, pace, place: Qualitative
and quantitative images of Ireland as a tourism destination
in France ’ , Journal of Vacation Marketing, Vol. 9 , No. 3 , pp.
213 – 225 .
Olins , W .( 2004 ) ‘ Branding the nation: The historical context ’ ,
in Morgan, N.J., Pritchard, A. and Pride, R. (eds) ‘ Destination
Branding: Creating the Unique Destination Proposition ,2nd edn, Elsevier Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford, UK ,
pp. 17 – 25 .
P é chenart , J .( 2003 ) ‘ Tongue-tied: Language, culture and
changing trends in Irish Tourism employment ’ , in Cronin,
M. and O ’ Connor, B. (eds) ‘ Irish Tourism Image Culture
and Identity ’ , Channel View Publications, Clifton, NJ , pp.
241 – 262 .
Phillips , D .and Thomas , C . , (eds)( 2001 ) ‘ Effeithiau Twristiaeth
ar yr Iaith Gymraeg yng Ngogledd-Orllewin Cymru (The
Effects of Tourism on the Welsh Language in North-West
Wales) ’ , Canolfan Uwchefrydiau Cymreig a Cheltaidd
Prifysgol Cymru, Aberystwyth, UK .
Prentice , R .and Andersen , V .( 2000 ) ‘ Evoking Ireland? Modelling
tourist propensity ’ , Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 27 , No.
2 , pp. 490 – 516 .
Pritchard , A .and Morgan , N .( 1996 ) ‘ Selling the Celtic arc to
the USA: A comparative analysis of the destination brochure
images used in the marketing of Ireland, Scotland and
Wales ’ , Journal of Vacation Marketing, Vol. 2 , No. 4 , pp.
346 – 365 .
Quinn , B .( 1991 ) ‘ The promotion of Ireland as a tourist
destination in continental Europe ’ , paper presented at the
Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, Fifth
Workshop on Social Science Research ‘ The Irish in the
‘ new ’Europe: Context, Trends and Issues ’ .
Rains , S .( 2003 ) ‘ Home from home: Diasporic images of Ireland
in fi lm and tourism ’ , in Cronin, M. and O ’ Connor, B. (eds)
‘ Irish Tourism. Image, Culture and Identity ’ , Channel View,
Clifton, NJ , pp. 196 – 214 .
Riley , M .( 2004 ) ‘ Labor mobility and market structure in
tourism ’ , in Lew, A., Hall, C.M. and Williams, A. (eds)
‘ A Companion to Tourism ’ , Blackwell, Oxford, UK , pp.
135 – 145 .
Saavedra , J .( 2005 ) ‘ Culture club ’ , Hotel and Catering Review,
Selwyn , T .( 1996 ) ‘ Introduction ’ , in Selwyn, T. (ed.) ‘ The Tourist
Image. Myths and Myth Making in Tourism ’ , John Wiley,
Chichester, UK , pp. 1 – 32 .
Shurmer-Smith , P .and Hannam , K .( 1994 ) ‘ Worlds of Desire, Realms
of Power: A Cultural Geography ’ , Arnold, London, UK .
St Andrews Citizen( 2004 ) ‘ St Andrews Caddies ’ , Letter to the
Editor, August 20 .
Tourism Ireland( undated ) ‘ Understanding our brand ’ , Tourism
Ireland, Dublin/Coleraine, Ireland , accessed at http://www.
Tourism Ireland( 2006a ) ‘ The Ireland Marketing Toolkit. Your
guide to marketing overseas in 2006 ’ , Tourism Ireland,
Dublin/Coleraine, Ireland .
Tourism Ireland( 2006b ) ‘ Advertisments ’ , Tourism Ireland/The
Courtyard Studio, Dublin, Ireland .
Tulgan , B .and Martin , C .( 2001 ) ‘ Managing Generation Y:
Global Citizens Born in the Late Seventies and Early
Eighties ’ , HRD Press, New York, NY .
Urry , J .( 1990 ) ‘ The Tourist Gaze. Leisure and Travel in
Contemporary Societies ’ , Sage, London, UK .
Wang , N . 1999 ‘ Rethinking authenticity in tourism experience ’ ,
Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 26 , No. 2 , pp. 349 – 370 .
Warhurst , C . , Nickson , D . , Witz , A .and Cullen , A . M .( 2000 )
‘ Aesthetic labour in interactive service work: Some case
study evidence from the ‘ New Glasgow ’ ’ , Service Industries
Journal, Vol. 20 , No. 3 , pp. 1 – 18 .
Williams , A .( 2005 ) ‘ Tourism, migration and human capital:
Knowledge and skills at the intersection of fl ows , Paper to
the 9th Bi-annual Meeting of the International Academy
for the Study of Tourism, Beijing .
- migrant labour
- brand marketing