A Critical Analysis of Estonian Destination Branding since 1991

Lenskaja, Julia (2009) A Critical Analysis of Estonian Destination Branding since 1991. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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Developing a coherent and comprehensive country brand is of vital importance for the Central and Eastern European countries as branding can contribute to the increase of the number of tourists, involvement of foreign investments and the creation of favourable basis for product export etc. In 2001-2002 Estonia has been the forerunner of strategically developing, launching and coordinating a country brand (Szondi, 2007). However, in short time the favourable position was lost and the project was suspended. At this time, Estonian branding project was too immature to face the real challenges of branding, such as lack of experts and financial resources, political influences, negative criticism from community and media. Almost 6 years later, Estonia has acknowledged that having a strong country brand is crucial for surviving global competition. Today, the brand Estonia got a second life and is ready to learn from its own mistakes.

The aim of this research is to investigate the process of the development of Estonian destination branding strategy. It also overviews the most important challenges as well as mistakes of branding a transition country. The study is based on a variety of qualitative research methods. The second data analyses were carried out, including research of articles, reports, findings etc. In-depth interviews were conducted with Estonian practioners who are directly involved in the branding process. In addition, stakeholders (tourism companies) who are actively engaged in promoting Estonia as a destination were also contacted.

The findings suggest that Estonia is adequately learning from its own failed experience. Most of the shortages of the first unaccomplished attempt of branding were addressed to a certain extent, but there are still lots of challenges on the way to building a distinctive and strong brand. Currently, the main objective is to strive for the unity of coordination and collaboration among involved institutions.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2010 14:26
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2016 18:53
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/23129

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