Purpose – This paper aims to provide a practical framework to develop a clear positioning strategy for tourism in post‐war Sri Lanka. Design/methodology/approach – This paper is written in the context of a strategic question: “how might post‐war Sri Lanka develop inbound tourism?” “Positioning” is defined as a pivotal concept in marketing and five key steps in developing the positioning strategy are described. The manner in which the five steps were taken in developing a new positioning strategy for Sri Lanka Tourism is analysed. Findings – A clear positioning strategy for tourism in post‐war Sri Lanka should provide a strong foundation to change the negative perceptions potential tourist may have of Sri Lanka. Authors find that the previous positioning statement: “Land like no other” was ineffective, as it lacked coherence, credibility and appeal. The key finding in this paper is that the new positioning statement of Sri Lanka Tourism: “Asia's diverse, authentic and compact island” will evoke in the minds of consumers vividly recalled words and images. While the product‐related issues related to post‐war tourism in Sri Lanka are being addressed, the principal problem appears to be one of communication. Practical implications – Sri Lanka Tourism has, by and large accepted the concept presented in this paper. Originality/value – This paper fulfils an identified need to develop tourism destination positioning and brand image on a research based and systematic manner. The paper presents an illustrative Sri Lanka Tourism brand schema.
Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 8, 2013
Keywords: Sri Lanka; Tourism; Positioning; Brand image; Brand schema
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