Creation and evaluation of the tourist image of a country - the example of Poland

Halina Kiryluk, Ewa Glińska

Abstract


The increasing globalization of the contemporary tourism economy is the cause, due to which, for many countries that want to be competitive on the international tourism market, the creation of a positive tourist image of the country and building a strong national brand is a major challenge. The process of creating the tourist image is very complex and requires the involvement and cooperation of many different actors (not just state institutions and organizations, but also local governments, tourism organizations and other public and private entities).

Purpose. The aim of this article is to analyse the structure of the system of building the tourist brand of Poland, as well as the diagnosis of the current image of the country among the inhabitants of selected European countries. The adoption of such an objective will also allow to identify the main problems and challenges associated with the creation of a tourist image of a country and building a national brand.

Methodology. The main research method used in the paper is a case study describing the system of building a tourist image of a particular country. The complementary method is the analysis of the existing data (desk research method), including the study of documents and reports from institutions and organizations involved in the promotion of Poland, among others, such as the Polish Tourist Organisation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Polish Brand Institute, as well as the research reports showing the current way of perceiving Poland as a tourist destination by the residents of certain countries of the European Union.

Results. The analysis of the structure of the system of tourist promotion in the country will enable the identification of the role of different institutions and organizations in that system, present the relationship between them, identify the vulnerabilities of the system, and show the contemporary challenges faced by these entities (in particular, the need for cooperation and coordination). The analysis of the previous promotional activities undertaken to create the tourist image of the country and the evaluation of the current tourist image of Poland on selected European markets will enable the determination of the direction of future promotional activities and identify the main problems associated with this process. The preliminary analyses of the documents showed that Poland does not have a distinctive, coherent or attractive tourist image abroad. In this area, however, many positive changes occur that should be promoted on the international market.

The theoretical contribution. Article is located in theoretical concept on place branding rapidly developing in the last decade, in particular, refers to the theory associated with the formation of the brand of the country as a tourist destination. Theoretical contribution of the paper is based on a synthesis of the literature, taking into account two perspectives - tourism and marketing – in the process of building nation brand.

Practical implications. This article will present the examples of good practices in the field of tourist promotion of Poland, which can be used in other countries.

Keywords: place marketing, country branding, nation branding, Poland as a tourist  brand.


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