Enhancing Brand Image through Events and Cultural Festivals: the Perspective of the Stresa Festival’s Visitors
Keywords:Destination branding, Brand image, Visitor perception, Events, Cultural festivals
Cultural events have become a significant component within the strategies of destination branding of a place. Territories are increasingly using events and cultural festivals to enhance their image and boost tourism development. Many destinations worldwide have built events portfolios as a strategic initiative to attract visitors and to develop their own brand. A destination brand represents a dynamic interaction between the destination’s core assets and the way in which potential visitors perceive them. Thus, the visitor perspective is considered as fundamental in triggering processes of destination branding. This paper investigates how the visitors assess the impact of cultural events and festivals in enhancing the image of a tourist destination. The Stresa Festival (Stresa, Lake Maggiore, Italy) has been selected as a case study. Stresa Festival is undoubtedly one of the best-known European classical music festivals that every year offers performances by internationally famous artists to its audiences. Structured questionnaires have been used as the methodology to carry out the research. Online questionnaires have been handed out to residents and non-resident visitors to the Stresa Festival to extract the opinions and experience from the public on the image effects of this festival. Findings reveal that there is a positive relationship between this cultural event and the enhancement of the city image and its territory.
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