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Collaborative destination branding : planning for tourism development through design in the Waterfall Way, NSW, Australia

Taboada, Manuela B. (2009) Collaborative destination branding : planning for tourism development through design in the Waterfall Way, NSW, Australia. PhD thesis, University of New England.

Abstract

This thesis develops, applies and analyses a collaborative design methodology for branding a tourism destination. The area between the Northern Tablelands and the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, was used as a case study for this research. The study applies theoretical concepts of systems thinking and complexity to the real world, and tests the use of design as a social tool to engage multiple stakeholders in planning. In this research I acknowledge that places (and destinations) are socially constructed through people's interactions with their physical and social environments. This study explores a methodology that is explicit about the uncertainties of the destination’s system, and that helps to elicit knowledge and system trends.

The collective design process used the creation of brand concepts, elements and strategies as instruments to directly engage stakeholders in the process of reflecting about their places and the issues related to tourism activity in the region. The methods applied included individual conversations and collaborative design sessions to elicit knowledge from local stakeholders. Concept maps were used to register and interpret information released throughout the process. An important aspect of the methodology was to bring together different stakeholder groups and translate the information into a common language that was understandable by all participants.

This work helped release significant information as to what kind of tourism activity local stakeholders are prepared to receive and support. It also helped the emergence of a more unified regional identity. The outcomes delivered by the project (brand, communication material and strategies) were of high quality and in line with the desires and expectation of the local hosts. The process also reinforced local sense of pride, belonging and conservation. Furthermore, interaction between participants from different parts of the region triggered some self organising activity around the brand they created together.

A major contribution of the present work is the articulation of an inclusive methodology to facilitate the involvement of locals into the decision-making process related to tourism planning. Of particular significance is the focus on the social construction of meaning in and through design, showing that design exercises can have significant social impact – not only on the final product, but also on the realities of the people involved in the creative process.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 43344
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: collaborative design , sustainable tourism, tourism branding, complex emergence
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Visual Communication Design (incl. Graphic Design) (120307)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Design Practice and Management not elsewhere classified (120399)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TOURISM (150600) > Tourism Marketing (150604)
Divisions: Past > Disciplines > Art & Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: University of New England
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Manuela B. Taboada
Deposited On: 19 Jul 2011 09:31
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2011 09:31

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