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World Heritage as a placebo brand: a comparative analysis of three sites and marketing implications
Southampton Solent Univ, UK.
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship. Univ Canterbury, New Zealand;Univ Oulu, Finland;Univ Johannesburg, South Africa.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7734-4587
Univ Canterbury, New Zealand.
2018 (English)In: Journal of Sustainable Tourism, ISSN 0966-9582, E-ISSN 1747-7646, Vol. 26, no 3, p. 399-415Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The UNESCO World Heritage (WH) List is often regarded as a successful tourism brand that motivates site nominations. However, there is relatively little research dealing specifically with WH brand attraction effects, and what does exist shows conflicting results. There is a significant research gap in terms of awareness of the WH brand and its potential impact on visitation, which this study seeks to fill through a comparative analysis of three diverse case studies: Independence Hall, USA; Studenica Monastery, Serbia; and the Archaeological Site of Volubilis, Morocco. Survey data (n = 771) from these three sites were collected and analyzed resulting in three distinct clusters of visitors. One of the clusters does exhibit higher levels of awareness of the WH brand, but members of this group were not motivated by this knowledge when planning their site visit. It is concluded that the WH brand may function as a placebo, and that its importance may be tied more to political interests than economic advancement. Thus, dependency on the WH List for tourism development may potentially be detrimental for locations in the long term. The WH brand's placebo effect could result in long-term problems for both the site and those whose livelihoods depend on tourism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 26, no 3, p. 399-415
Keywords [en]
World Heritage tourism, World Heritage brand, branding, placebo brand
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Tourism
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-72303DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2017.1359277ISI: 000427731100004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-72303DiVA, id: diva2:1196517
Available from: 2018-04-10 Created: 2018-04-10 Last updated: 2018-04-10Bibliographically approved

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Hall, C. Michael

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf