Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to extend the concept of green brands to destinations and to examine the application and limitations of green destination brands for nations adopting this positioning strategy. Design/methodology/approach – The paper identifies characteristics of green destination brands, drawing on established concepts in corporate branding, destination branding and green marketing. The paper demonstrates the application and limitations of the concept through an in‐depth case study analysis of New Zealand's destination brand to explain the possibilities and problems of building green destination brands at a national level. Findings – The findings suggest that a holistic, strategic approach to building a green destination brand which emphasizes and qualifies the green essence of a nation's brand is required to avoid the pitfalls, cynicism and criticisms of greenwashing. Research limitations/implications – The research findings are embedded in the context studied – New Zealand's destination brand. Additional case studies at multiple levels – nations, regions, cities – would offer a rich database to gain a better understanding of the concept and the implications of green destination branding. Practical implications – Barriers to executing a credible green destination brand position are identified and the implications for destination marketing organizations and their stakeholders are discussed. Originality/value – A conceptualization of green destination brands is provided and the application and limitations of the concept are demonstrated through an in‐depth case study of a nation that has adopted this positioning strategy. Rather than taking a snapshot research approach, a historical perspective enabled the development of the destination's brand positioning strategy to be captured.
International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 9, 2011
Keywords: Destination branding; Green marketing; Conceptual development; Case studies; New Zealand
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