A key challenge to branding, even if the stakeholders are consulted, will be the tendency for many of them, especially if they are SMEs, to ultimately prioritise their personal benefits over the success of the destination brand (Dinnie, 2011; Fyall, 2011). There are those who consider that unity is possible, however. Thus, Fiona Gilmore (2002) suggests that repositioning a country can be done successfully and that a key part of this process is to capture the people’s spirit. Moreover, she argues that the positioning strategy has to cover four factors: macro-trends, target groups, competitors and core competencies. Focusing on the example of Spain, she analyses how the Spanish government harnessed a wide range of Spanish artistic talents in creating a successful campaign. Although as a nation Spain is fragmented territorially it embraced the country branding platform as an umbrella for its many diverse regions (see Roig, Pritchard & Morgan, 2010).
Whilst different countries have different structures in most cases, the public sector and in particular, the local and regional governments will be more aware of the specific necessities of the destination (Ritchie and Crouch, 2003, 2005). Naturally of course, the local community play an important role in the tourism planning process of a destination. Jamal and Gezt (2005) indicate that all the actors who might be affected by tourism policies should be involved in the decision making process at an early stage. This is important to get the necessary consensus and the only way to capture what Gilmore (2002) calls the people’s spirit.
Zaida Rodrigo, profesora de TSI-Turismo Sant Ignasi