With increased competition in the hospitality industry follows a need to measure what visitors want, and how places, regions and companies their own brand matches visitors' expectations. Today lacks a comprehensive and easy tool to measure this in the corporate, destination and regional level.
– We will develop a tool that can be used at different levels to measure regularly and over time, how the visitors and even residents of a place or region perceive brands and if it is true to a city, a tourist company or a whole region's brand image, says Åsa Wallström, professor of Industrial Marketing. In the hospitality industry there are many small companies with limited resources. For them, the tool can be helpful to measure brand image and awareness among customers and local resident to then be able to increase the attractiveness of its brand.
In surveys targeted to visitors from other countries and to the inhabitants, the researchers collect data on how brands are perceived. A total of 3000 questionnaires are sent out, of which 2400 to foreign visitors. The collected data forms the basis for the development of the tool. The project is led by Associate Professor Maria Ek Styvén. The research team also include Senior Lecturer Tim Foster, Senior Lecturer Mana Farshid and Professor Åsa Wallström. The project is financed by BFUF, tourist industry's research and development fund.
Text: Åsa Svedjeholm