Credibility and perception of green branding in destinations. A case study of Switzerland

Master's Thesis, 2016

115 Pages, Grade: 1,5



1. Introduction
1.1. Background of the study
1.2. Rationale/Problem Formulation
1.3. Aim and Objectives of the Research
1.4. Theoretical Background
1.4.1 Country background
1.4.2. Switzerland´s destination brand
1.5. Structure of the Dissertation

2. Literature Review
2.1. Introduction
2.2. Environmental concerns/ Environmental issues
2.2.1. Global Scale
2.2.2. Green Tourist
2.2.3. Destination´s perspective
2.3. Marketing
2.3.1. Destination Marketing
2.3.2. Green Marketing
2.4. Branding
2.4.1.Destination Branding
2.4.2. Image
2.4.3. Positioning
2.4.4.Green Branding/ Environmental Reputation
2.5. Advertising - communicating a message
2.5.1.Destination Advertising
2.5.2. Design of destination advertisement
2.5.3. Green advertisement
2.6. Greenwashing and Executional Greenwashing
2.6.1. Green Trust
2.7. Summary
2.8. Conceptual Framework

3. Methodology
3.1.Research philosophy
3.2.Research approach
3.3.Research strategy
3.4.Data collection
3.4.1.Documents and Websites
3.4.2. Semi-Structured Interviews
3.4.3. Questionnaires
3.4.4. Pilot Interview and Questionnaire
3.5. Data Analysis
3.5.1. Document and website analysis
3.5.2. Interview Analysis
3.5.3. Semi-Structured questionnaire analysis
3.6.Ethical issues
3.7.Reliability and Validity
3.8. Research Limitations

4. Findings
4.1. Secondary Findings
4.1.1. Governmental and Organizational documents
4.1.2.Web analysis
4.2. Primary Findings
4.2.1.Expert Interviews marketing as a strategy for destinations Green branding and the image Switzerland wants to convey Switzerland raises awareness with advertisement Commitment towards the green message
4.2.2. Questionnaires Demographics of tourist respondents of Switzerland in the tourist mind Message of the video Perception of green advertisement and the issue of green trust
4.3. Summary

5. Discussion
5.1. Introduction
5.2.Green marketing and branding as a strategy for destinations
5.3. Perception and credibility of green advertisement in the context of Switzerland
5.4.Summary and revised Conceptual Framework

6. Conclusion
6.2.Overview of the study
6.3. Implications of the findings
6.4. Limitations and further research

7. References



Green marketing and branding is not a widely researched topic in a destination context. Therefore, this dissertation uses Switzerland and the new sustainable tourism campaign in 2017 as a case study to explore the field in terms of credibility and perception. The research is based on a document/website analysis, expert interviews and tourist questionnaires to explore and analyse opinions and views on the topic.

In terms of perception, the Interview findings show that a green branding and marketing strategy is an essential factor to consider in the marketing strategy of a destination. In general, the Swiss sustainable campaign for 2017 seems to be perceived well. Yet, the tourists revealed that they want to see more actual processes and actions taken by the destination to be a more sustainable concerning tourism and not only see beautiful and clean nature in the advertisement.

In term of credibility, the tourists mentioned the importance of being able to trust the destination and that it is significantly influenced by the image and actions of a destination. Switzerland was perceived as credible with the tourists and also the document analysis supports this belief. However, the website analysis and the expert interviews sometimes show a lack of consistency and commitment.

The research implicates that the sustainable aspect should be considered in the marketing and branding of a destination. Moreover, it also shows the importance of showing not only nature pictures in the actual green advertisement but also information and processes to make it more believable and trustworthy.

In addition, the findings implicate the importance of being consistent throughout the destinations tourist regions to increase the credibility and trust in the green branding strategy.

This dissertation provides recommendations in the field of destination marketing and branding.

List of Figures

Figure 2. 1: Destination Branding concept

Figure 2. 2: Rise of Green Advertising

Figure 2.3: Conceptual Framework

Figure 3. 1 Methodology Overview

Figure 3. 2: Example of Website Coding

Figure 3. 3: Example Document Coding

Figure 3. 4: Example Expert Interview Coding

Figure 4. 1: Map of Sustainable Tourism Websites/Destinations

Figure 4. 2: Tourist Questionnaire: Age distribution

Figure 4. 3: Tourist Questionnaire: Country distribution

Figure 4. 4: Tourist Types in the Questionnaire

Figure 4. 5: Switzerland and environmental sustainable destination?

Figure 4. 6: Does the Video convey the message of sustainability?

Figure 4. 7: Do you trust environmental advertising?

Figure 4. 8: Do you trust environmental advertising for destinations?

Figure 4. 9: Do you trust environmental advertising in Switzerland?

Figure 4.10: Do you choose a destination because of the sustainable aspect?

Figure 4. 11: Do you want to see more green advertisement?

Figure 5. 1: Revised Conceptual Framework

List of Tables

Table 1.1: Segmentation of Switzerland Tourism Target Markets)

Table 3. 1: List of Governmental and Orgaizational Reports

Table 3. 2: List of analysed Tourism Websites

Table 3. 3: List of Experts

Table 3. 4: Coding of Expert Interviews

Table 4. 1: Overview Document analysis

Table 4. 2: Overview Website Analysis

Table 4. 3: Image of Switzerland

Table 4. 4: Message of the Video

Table 4. 5: Is the video message sustainbility?


1. Introduction

The following chapter aims to introduce the topic of the dissertation by first presenting the background of the study and rational which emphasizes the research gap the researcher attempts to close. Then the research aim and objectives are explained, and the theoretical background is shown with the country background and the Swiss destination brand. The last part introduces the overall structure of the dissertation.

1.1. Background of the study

As more than one billion tourists travel across the globe (UNWTO, 2015) the issue of environmental concerns is one of the most discussed and important topics today (Holden, 2016).

Switzerland has a remarkable natural scenery and untouched nature. However, the environment like in many other industrialized countries is suffering from intense pollution and resource use due to agriculture, industry, transport and tourism (OECD, 2007). Tourism is highly important in Switzerland, and it has a long tradition (Schweizer Tourismus Verband, 2015). The beginnings are in the ancient times when the country was known for its thermal baths (HLS, 2013). And continued during the 16th century up to the 19th century when the country was most famous for mountaineering and climbing (HLS, 2013). The Alps mountain chain constitutes about 60% of the country. Therefore, the tourism industry was relying heavily on winter tourism (HLS, 2013). Particularly in the 20th century the winter tourism contributed a significant amount to the national economy (Barton, 2008). However, due to climatic changes the snowline is rising, and Switzerland started to increase summer tourism (HLS, 2013).

Today, Switzerland has due to its winter sports and summer activities a strong year-round tourist season (Hudman and Jackson, 2003). The total income of the Swiss tourism industry was 38, 5 billion in 2014 (Schweizer Tourismus Verband, 2015) and the total number of tourists in 2014 is 35,9 million. Moreover, the tourism industry had a total direct contribution to the countries GDP of 2,1% (CHF 13,6bn) and is supposed to rise by approx. 2% each year till 2025 (WTTC, 2015). These numbers show the importance of the tourism industry in Switzerland.

Moreover, Switzerland’s tourism industry is highly relying on the environment and nature. A study conducted in 2013 by the Tourism Monitor Switzerland enhances and highlights the importance of nature for Tourists. It states that the most important attraction and needs from tourist coming to Switzerland are mountains and nature (Tourism Monitor Switzerland 2013). Moreover, tourists determined their main image about Switzerland as Mountains, Nature, Peace and Recreational value (Tourism Monitor Switzerland 2013). The study also shows the strength of the Swiss Tourism industry. The strength of Switzerland according to Tourists are nature, panorama/ scenery/ landscape (general), mountains (Tourism Monitor Switzerland 2013). However, the perceived strength of sustainability and nature preservation is relatively low (0,3%), which means people do not think Switzerland treat their main strength in a sustainable way (Tourism Monitor Switzerland 2013). Winter tourism can have profound environmental impacts. Slope preparation requires removal of vegetation and forests and artificial snowmaking results in 200,000 litres of water use per one hector and, moreover, it requires the use of additives that lead to soil and water contamination (Holden, 2016).

In the year 2017, the Swiss Tourism Organization will implement a sustainable campaign for summer to promote Switzerland as a sustainable destination. The campaign ‘Zurück zur Natur’ (Back to nature) is designed to attract Eco-tourists and attract them to use more environmentally friendly hotels and moreover, to enhance the sustainable image (STnet, 2016a). However, there is a need to carefully consider if the marketing and branding is an actual attempt in promoting sustainability and an answer to environmental concerns or if it is purely ‘greenwashing'. Greenwashing refers to the practice of misleading customers regarding the pro-environmentally behaviour and practices of a company (Rahman, Park and Geng-qing Chi, 2015). Unfortunately, there is still a significant amount of greenwashing in many industries (Holden, 2016).

1.2. Rationale/Problem Formulation

As tourism arrivals grow each year (4,4% in 2015) Branding and Marketing is an essential part of promoting a tourist destination (Hall, 2014; UNWTO, 2016). As the natural environment is a significant resource for the destination and many activities at a destination are directly related to nature and environment, it should be considered for destinations to implement sustainable practices in all aspects (Hall, 2014; Kumar and Christodoulopoulou, 2014). Moreover, as tourists are much more conscious about their destination choice and aware of environmental issues, destinations should start to rethink their marketing and branding strategy (Meler and Ham, 2012; Chen and Chang, 2013; Zivoder and Čorak, 2015).

In order to take advantage of the growing trend and to gain a competitive edge, many destinations decide to implement green advertising to promote the sustainable and nature aspects of the country, for example, New Zealand (Bell, 2008; Frame and Newton, 2007; Chen and Chang, 2013). Using Nature in their advertising can enhance the sustainable brand significantly in the consumer's mind (Parguel, Benoit-Moreau and Russell, 2015). However, due to greenwashing many green advertisements are faced with distrust, therefore it is essential for destinations and the brand to be credible (Verlegh, Fransen and Kirmani, 2015). However, the credibility of a green destination brand is not widely researched, as well as the perception of the consumer, hence the tourists, of the green advertisements.

Therefore, there was a gap identified in the literature concerning green branding and green marketing in a destination context. Despite the increasing significance of green communication, there is limited research conducted in a destination context and how these are perceived. Therefore, this dissertation aims to identify environmental concerns and its effect on destination marketing and branding and if the attempt is an actual, credible attempt of promoting sustainability and how the tourists perceive the advertisement itself. As many industries face the problem of greenwashing, it was not identified how visitors perceive these green advertisements and branding efforts of destinations.

This paper will try to answer the question of how credible and committed are green branding and the communication efforts in a destination. This will be conducted by analysing the new sustainable campaign 2017 of Switzerland and how it is perceived by the tourists.

The dissertation will show, by critically evaluating a particular destinations promotion and branding/image and by conducting interviews with several industry officials and tourists, how environmental concerns are influencing the branding and marketing of the destination and how these are perceived. Moreover, with the help of questionnaires conducted with visitors the paper will evaluate tourist's perception according to the image and marketing communication efforts of the destination. This will then be linked together and it will be identifie if the promotion is an actual and credible attempt in promoting sustainability. This has not been done so far in research and it can be of advantage that destinations recognize the value of a sustainable brand image in the context of environmental issues and concerns

1.3. Aim and Objectives of the Research

The aim of this paper is to identify how credible green branding and marketing is in a destination context and how the consumers perceive green advertising using Switzerland as a case study.

The paper aims to generate awareness of sustainable marketing and branding and how it is practiced in a destination context.

In order to accomplish the above aim, the following objectives were set:

1.3.1. Objectives

- To clarify the concepts of green destination branding and marketing and clarify the concept of greenwashing and actual environmental sustainability by conducting a critical literature review.
- To develop a conceptual framework to visually explain the complexity of developing a credible and positively perceived green marketing strategy for destinations
- To develop a research instrument to collect data from industry experts and destination visitors to gain views and opinions on green branding and marketing to test the proposed framework.
- To evaluate and analyse governmental reports, the Marketing programs and branding strategies of the destination in order to test the credibility
- To compare interview data and document findings with the existing literature and to draw conclusions on the credibility and perception on green branding.
- To make a theoretical and practical contribution to knowledge by identifying actual attempts in promoting sustainability and to drive the sustainable branding and marketing in destinations sensitive to environmental issues.

1.4. Theoretical Background

1.4.1 Country background

Switzerland, with approx. 8 million inhabitants, has three distinctive geographic areas, namely The Jura, the Plateau and the Alps (Myswitzerland, 2016). The Alps mountain chain constitutes about 60% of the country (HLS, 2013). Switzerland is a parliamentary democracy with direct democracy. Therefore, people have the chance to influence and take part in the government's decision-making due to People's initiatives and referendums (polls held every quarter (Myswitzerland, 2016). Switzerland is also known for its federalism with 26 strong autonomic cantons (Myswitzerland, 2016). The country itself espouses neutrality, even though it is member of the UN, and is relying on the service sector, financial sector and high-technology manufacturing (CIA, 2016)

1.4.2. Switzerland´s destination brand

Experts say that the Swiss Brand is one of the most differentiated in the world with images of chocolate, cheese, Heidi, money, banks, intact nature, authentic culture and high tech (Brand Trust, 2015). Different trends are emerging in the tourism industry, and tourists now seek security and sustainability in the form of untouched and intact nature and authenticity (Enzler and Cervia, 2010). Therefore, for the Switzerland Tourism brand with the image of nature and mountains, this can bring several opportunities (Enzler and Cervia, 2010). The Swiss Tourism Board (Schweiz Tourists) is to 60% funded by the government and is supposed to increase tourism inflow and to establish a innovative and memorable brand (Enzler and Cervia, 2010). Schweiz Tourismus focuses therefore on three main aspects, namely modernity, authenticity and sustainability (Enzler and Cervia, 2010). Their campaign in the last few years since 2007 had the slogan `get natural' which was aimed to enhance the nature and the authenticity of Switzerland (Enzler and Cervia, 2010).

In 2017, the tourism board is launching a new campaign, ‘Zurück zur Natur’ (‘Back to nature’) which is supposed to focus more on the sustainable aspects of Switzerland (STnet, 2016a). The goal of this campaign is to enhance the sustainable image and attract more ecotourists who want to enjoy nature (STnet, 2016a). The campaign focuses on several sustainable aspects like nature images, activities like bicycling and hiking and the use of public transportation and will not promote adventure tourism like climbing or mountain biking to promote more sustainable and environmentally friendly activities (STnet, 2016a).

However, as seen in the overview of Switzerland's tourist segmentation below, the board focuses the campaign mainly for summer tourism as the ‘Nature lover’ was identified as a segment. The winter tourism is still mainly focused on adventure and snow lovers and not sustainability (STnet, 2016b).

Table 1.1: Segmentation of Switzerland Tourism Target Markets (Source: Schweiz Tourismus)

illustration not visible in this excerpt

The overall Marketing strategy of Switzerland relies on a ‘four wheel’ system namely, eMarketing, Key Media Management, Promotion Mix, and Key Account Management (Enzler and Cervia, 2010). This paper focuses mainly on the overall promotion Mix and in more detail the Key Media management with TV, Radio and Internet advertisement. For a detailed Graph of the Marketing strategy, please see Appendix 1.

1.5. Structure of the Dissertation

The following section provides a short overview over the structure of this dissertation. In total it consists of six chapters.

The First chapter provides the introduction to the topic with rational and background and shows the research aim and objectives.

The second chapter presents the existing literature about green destination marketing, branding and advertisement and the issue if green trust and greenwashing.

The methodology where the fundamental philosophy and strategy are discussed and the data collection techniques, the sampling and the actual data analysis are explained.

Chapter four presents the findings obtained through the secondary and primary research, namely, findings obtained trough web and report analysis and interviews and questionnaires.

The Findings are then analysed and discussed with the existing literature in Chapter five.

Chapter six provides the reader with the conclusion, implications, limitations and further research areas.

The list of references and the Appendices are provided at the end of the dissertation.


2. Literature Review

2.1. Introduction

This chapter aims to analyse the existing literate. First, the general environmental concerns in the tourism industry are discussed from the global, tourist and destination perspective. Later the subjects of green marketing, branding and advertisement in destination contexts are analysed and in the end the issue of greenwashing and green trust are presented.

2.2. Environmental concerns/ Environmental issues

One of the most central problems for tourism today are several environmental issues associated with the industry (Hall, 2013). Therefore, this part will identify how the industry is affected and contributed towards the global environmental concerns and how tourist and destinations are trying to change.

2.2.1. Global Scale

When environmental concerns emerged in the 1960´s (example: Rachel Carson, 1962), tourism was still considered to be a `smokeless industry' and as such considered as environmental-friendly (Holden, 2016; Briassoulis and Van der Straaten, 2013). However, during the 1970´s when tourism started to grow into regions of untouched nature the negative effect on the environment became more apparent (Holden, 2016; Briassoulis and Van der Straaten, 2013). The environment is major component and attractions for the tourism industry in most countries and destinations (Holden, 2016; Scott, Hall and Gössling, 2012; Li et al. 2014).

The word environment is often used interchangeably with nature, even though, it can also mean what surrounds us like home and destination environments (Holden, 2016), nevertheless, for the purpose of this paper, it is associated with nature. Examples of nature aspects that are vital for the tourism industry are snow conditions, wildlife and biodiversity and water levels and quality (Scott, Hall and Gössling ,2012). Gössling (2002) identified four major environmental consequences of tourism, namely, changes in land cover and land use, energy use, biotic exchange and extinction of wild species, exchange and dispersion of diseases. The exact direct and indirect influences of tourism, however, are difficult to determine as many areas and industries overlap with the tourism industry and there are many more indirect influences (Gössling, 2002). Nevertheless, the four consequences can show that the environmental issues faced by the tourism industry can not only lead to issues in the country itself but on a global scale. The interconnectivity and the linked systems throughout the globe means that decisions made on a local level may have influences all over the world (Holden, 2016). The high use of energy used in the tourism industry mostly through transportation is highly reliant on burning fossil fuels, which contributes to global climate change (Gössling, 2002).

On a global scale, Tourism contributes to 5% of CO2 Emission (UNWTO, 2008), which causes severe climate change and other environmental issues worldwide (Becken and Hay, 2007; Gössling, 2009). Moreover, the global movement of tourists has introduced foreign species into the destinations, which can disrupt the natural ecosystem and even causes extinction (Gössling, 2002).

On the other hand, Gössling (2002) mentioned one more consequence of tourism in his study, changes in the perception and understanding of the environment. This indicates that Tourism may also be of help in sustainable development. It can contribute to environmental protection and conservation due to raising awareness and values, moreover, it can serve as a financial tool to finance conservation efforts and nature parks (UNEP, no date; Gössling, 2002). This shows a fundamental change in the debate about tourism. People do not only think about tourism as something with negative impacts but also that it can have positive impacts (Swarbrooke and Horner, 2007).

2.2.2. Green Tourist

The behaviour of tourists determines ultimately to what extent their stay has a negative or positive effect on the environment (Holden, 2016; Bergin-Seers and Mair, 2009). Gössling (2002) mentioned in his article the possibility of changing people’s perception and values with tourism activities. In the choice of a destination a tourist should be encouraged to not only consider the Climate and environmental impacts but should also be invited to participate in environmental-friendly activities (Gössling, 2009). This can lead to the preservation of nature.

During the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, there was a social change regarding consumerism (Hodeln, 2008; Swarbrooke and Horner, 2007; Chen, 2010). In 1990´s green consumers first appeared when the worlds environmental issues became of concern (Lee et al., 2010). People became more aware of the environmental issues and the negative effect their behaviour can have, therefore, green consumerism started to grow (Holden, 2016; Juvan and Dolnicar, 2014). The cautiousness of people buying products is not only limited to everyday products but also tourism destinations and products (Bergin-Seers and Mair, 2009). This is mostly due to the growing knowledge and information sources for consumers and tourists (Swarbrooke and Horner, 2007).

In the tourism system, it is said that tourists have the largest adaptive capacity as they can be flexible and substitute place, time and type of holiday (Scott, Hall and Gössling.2012; Gössling et al. 2012). Therefore, it is important to understand what tourists want, need and their perception of the destination (Scott, Hall and Gössling. 2012). Perception can be influenced by many different factors like age, culture, socio-demographics, knowledge and type of holiday (Bergin-Seers and Mair, 2009; Scott, Hall and Gössling. 2012). In general, studies show that tourists are mostly aware of the direct impacts of tourism (rubbish, etc.) in the destinations. However, it is also shown that the awareness for indirect impacts increases (environmental problems like new species or deterioration etc.) (Hillery, et al. 2001).

Tourists are more open to environmental messages and they also want to have a more enhanced experience trough environmental conservation (Packer and Ballantyne, 2013). Studies suggest that many Tourists prefer small-scale accommodation units, habitat protection, green infrastructure, and easy access to authentic nature (Tyrväinen et al., 2014). It has been said that tourists are now willing to pay more for greener products and even demand them (Lee et al., 2010). This seems to be supported by a study by CREST (2016) as 66% in 2015 (55% in 2014) are willing to pay more for sustainable brands. This change drives many companies and destinations in being more sustainable and environmentally friendly (Lee et al., 2010).

Weaver (2001) identifies several types of tourism, nature tourism, adventure tourism, cultural tourism, 3S Tourism (Sea, Sand, Sun), Mass Tourism and Ecotourism. These are however often simplified categories and many overlap.

Ecotourism relies on the natural environment and is the responsible travel to these natural attractions or settings and moreover, it tries to conserve the environment and helping the locals (TIES, 2006). This type of tourism is often described as the fastest-growing sector in the industry (Perkins and Brown, 2012). A report by CREST (2016) identified that any form of eco- or nature-tourism accounts for about 20% of all international arrivals. However, it needs to be distinguished between the true ecotourism with true commitment and the ones just participating in order to gain some new experiences (Perkins and Grace, 2009; Perkins and Brown, 2012). Nevertheless, the study by Perkins and Brown (2012) identified that people with high environmental values are also more interested in ecotourism and in general, 80% of Europeans are concerned about the environmental and biodiversity (The Eurobarometer, 2015). A different study tried to identify the most books types of tourism. 31,5% still booked package holidays or the 3S Tourism type or Mass tourism and 28% booked the luxury type of them. However, 19% identified wildlife watching and 15.5% nature-based tourism as their number one booking preference (Perkins, and Grace, 2009). This means that 34,5% choose nature or ecotourism based holidays.

Therefor, Destinations need to consider providing user-friendly information about their environmental issues and project to decrease the negative impacts to empower the tourists to choose a more sustainable holiday (Juvan and Dolnicar, 2014). Raising awareness and educating visitors about sustainability helps to reduce negative environmental impacts (Packer and Ballantyne, 2013). A greener management is now becoming a strategic tool not only for companies and also destinations to gain and enhance a competitive advantage (Lee, et al. 2010).

2.2.3. Destination´s perspective

As established environmental concerns and issues are a global problem, however, a regional and local analysis is an essential part of understanding and mitigating (Scott, Hall and Gössling, 2012).

The pressure, to reduce emission, is high, and many destinations implement a more sustainable and environmentally friendly strategy (Gössling, 2009). A destination is often a term used to describe a country, a region, city and the related tourism or destination management organizations (DMO´s) (Anholt, 2008). A destination with a rich biological or cultural value will be the most popular, however, the higher the popularity, the more tourists and in turn the biodiversity and cultural value will be diminished (Hillery, et al. 2001).

The pressing issue in tourism is that the industry should take the available resources into consideration when developing and growing, and at the same time, it must compete with other industries like trade, transportation etc. for these resources (Briassoulis and Van der Straaten, 2013). Therefore, much research has been done regarding sustainable tourism development, environmental protection and environmental management, carrying capacity and other environmental evaluations of tourist destinations (Huang, Chen and Yuan, 2004). Destinations should establish several environmental policies. Examples include air and water pollution, reduce energy use, restructure energy systems and also developing a marketing focus to attract closer markets to reduce travel distance and to attract more Eco-tourists (Gössling and Schumacher, 2010, Jänicke, 2012).

2.3. Marketing

2.3.1. Destination Marketing

Nowadays, destinations are marketed like any other product or company as the competition in the market intensifies (Ritchie and Crouch, 2003). Marketing is often defined as a "process through which a DMO plans, researches, implements, controls and evaluates programmes aimed to satisfy travellers needs and wants as well as the destinations visions, goals and objectives" (Morrision, 2013, p.9).

Marketing a destination has unique challenges. Marketers can position, brand and communicate the `product`, however, there is no control over the actual experience, and what is derived (Walker and Hanson, 1998). The danger is that a gap can arise between what is marketed and what is delivered and ultimately how it is perceived (Walker and Hanson, 1998). Marketing in the tourism industry aims to increase tourist arrivals, differentiate the product, company and the destination from its competitors and also, strengthen the image of the brand (Bacik, et al., 2016).

2.3.2. Green Marketing

Tourism is showing a rapid growth over the last few decades and the people requiring a more sustainable level on the supply and demand side increase (Cherian and Jacob, 2012).

As marketing environmental issues (Meler and Ham, 2012; help to change the society towards a more sustainable way (Belz and Peattie, 2009; Meler and

Middleton and Hawkins (1998, p.8) defined sustainable and green marketing as “reflecting corporate attitudes that must balance the interests of shareholders/owners with the long-run environmental interests of a destination and at the same time meet the demands and expectations of customers”. The essence of this strategy is that the marketer acknowledged the responsibility not to harm the environment. The efforts often go “beyond a resource protection approach and additionally focus on environmentally safe products and production, recycling and reuse' and furthermore to create new environmental consciousness that promotes preservation and conservation in the future” (Jamrozy, 2007, p. 123). The more economic view of green marketing shows that Green or sustainable marketing is a trend many companies apply in order to access new markets and therefore increase profitability (Jamrozy, 2007; Chen, 2010; Yang, et al. 2013).

Marketing, even though, many argue it is the enemy of sustainability, can help to implement and enhance the sustainability and the resulting competitiveness (Mihalič, 2000; Chen, 2010; Kumar and Christodoulopoulou, 2014). Moreover, marketing is proven to be able to change and engage people regarding climate change (Corner and Randall, 2011). Amelung, Nicholls and Viner (2007) even argue that a successful adaption to climate change and other environmental concerns for destinations includes changes in marketing, as it will modify the perception of the destination and will be more successful than new and expensive attractions. Moreover, it can create a "more positive consumer awareness, attitudes and behaviour and reduced demand” (Pomering, Noble and Johnson, 2011, p.959).

In general, the reasons why a company or a destination may implement a green marketing strategy are compliance with environmental pressures; obtaining a competitive advantage; improving corporate images; seeking new markets or opportunities; and enhancing product value (Chen, 2010; Meler and Ham, 2012).

Cherian and Jacob, (2012), identified in their research that the general green knowledge is still weak and many companies still do not see the advantage in practicing green marketing. However, they also acknowledged that the green consumerism and expertise is considerably growing and that companies should gain the competitive advantage in implementing a greener marketing strategy. Companies are repackaging, cutting down waste and are starting to educate the consumers with green advertisement (Cherian and Jacob, 2012). Even though green marketing is an essential part of many companies and destination marketing strategy, and many claims are true, there are still marketing claims that are ambiguous and deceptive (Chen and Chang, 2013).

2.4. Branding

2.4.1.Destination Branding

Branding in general is considered one of the most important marketing strategies (Morgan and Pitchard, 2000, Dinnie, 2008). It is important for a brand to create the sense of being different than others (Morgan and Pitchard, 2000; Dinnie, 2008; Lee, et al. 2010). Nation branding is used to differentiate the country from competitors and to communicate with potential consumers to keep or develop a competitive advantage (Dinnie, 2008; Lee at al., 2010).

Definitions of a brand vary and are sometimes more focused on the visual aspects of a brand, and others are trying to capture the deeper essence. One definition is by Morgan and Pritchard (1998, p. 140) “represents a unique combination of product characteristics and added values, both functional and non-functional, which have taken on a relevant meaning, which is inextricably linked to that brand, awareness of which might be conscious or intuitive”. Buncle (2009, p.6) states that a brand is a "competitive identity, [which] makes a product or destination distinctive and differentiates it from all the others". In general, a destinations brand´s main functions are identification and differentiation (Qu, Kim & Im 2011).

A brand can be of significant importance when analysing the competitive advantage of a destination as it is used to attract the various customer segments due to its unique image (Qu, Kim and Im, 2011). Therefore, many destinations take the opportunity to brand their product to gain this competitive advantage (Pikkemaat, 2004; Dinnie, 2008; Lee et al., 2010). Also, in today's globalised world it is imperative for a competitive destination to emerge from the crowd (Morgan, 2012). Therefore a destination must create a strong brand image and identity (Qu, Kim and Im, 2011).

A strong brand is developed through years of communicating the brands personality (Morgan and Pritchard, 2000). The destination, however, needs to keep in mind that the brand values need to be plausible, durable and deliverable and must be consistently reinforced (Morgan and Pritchard, 2000; Lee et al., 2010). The underlying factors of a brand, the brand architecture consists of its rational and emotional benefits and personality (Morgan and Pritchard, 2000). The brand needs not only to create a product image but also appeal to the consumers' emotions as this will be the deciding factor (Morgan and Pritchard, 2000). They should create values and a personality the consumer can relate to, share and aspire; this is the most important factor of a brand as it must appeal to the customer’s self-image (Morgan and Pritchard, 2000). This creation of a particular picture or image in a consumers mind is called positioning and is also the essence of the Marketing Mix (Morgan and Pritchard, 2000). Destinations brand because of three primary reasons, to attract tourists, to stimulate the inward investment and to boost exports ( Dinnie, 2008).

Branding on a nation level is relatively new compared to company branding and in addition, has also unique challenges. There are an increasing number of accessible tourist destinations and many offer similar products and images (Morgan and Pritchard, 2000). Furthermore, tourist organization have limited budgets, no control over the product itself, have many stakeholders and other companies involved and the product itself is often comparable to many others regarding attributes (beach, blue sea etc.) (Morgan and Pritchard, 2000; Dinnie, 2008). Therefore, it is even more important for a destination to create a unique emotional connection with the customer to differentiate from competitors (Morgan and Pritchard, 2000).

In addition, to the mentioned challenges for destination branding, are the several sub- brands within the country. Many countries are divided into several tourist regions with their own branding and marketing strategies (Morgan and Pritchard, 2000). This means that the Destination Tourism Organization (DMO) need to make sure the overall brand fits with the sub- brands through active communication with the regions (Morgan and Pritchard, 2000). DMO´s are important in leading, guiding and coordinating the brand and the stakeholder involved (Morgan, 2012).

In general, there are three main components of a brand, identity, image and positioning. The difference between identity and image is, that Identity is defined as ‘ how something really is’ whereas an image is how it is perceived. (Dinnie, 2008). This includes tangible attributes such as historical sites and beaches as well as intangible characteristics such as culture, customs, and history (Qu, Kim and Im, 2011). The figure below shows the main elements of a successful brand. It shows how a brand identity is a result of positioning and creating an image in the customer's mind.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2. 1: Destination Branding concept, Source: Pike and Bianchi, 2013, p.3

A brand is having several positive effects for a destination; nevertheless, there are still Tourism boards that are sceptical. It is argued that a brand is manufactured and marketed, and a destinations cultural heritage and nature aspects cannot be (Buncle, 2009). Buncle (2009, p.11) however states that branding "is not about disingenuously manipulating people's perceptions or the destination pretending to be something it is not". In general, a destination today needs to highlight its unique assets as the competition rises, therefore, creating a clear image is essential for success (Morgan and Pritchard 2004).

2.4.2. Image

The primary purpose of a brand is to differentiate itself by creating a unique image in the consumers' mind (Morgan and Pritchard, 2000). Customers do often not choose a destination in a rational manner but rather decide on the grounds of emotions, interests and motivations (Ali, 2016).

A brand consists of identity and image, “consumers build a destination image in their minds based on the brand identity projected by the destination marketers“ (Qu, Kim and Im, 2011, p.467). Moreover, an image is essential to convince people to visit the destination. An significant part of the image consists of core characteristics and benefits of the destination, as well as memorable logos, and slogans (Baker 2012).

The image is one major component of the customer's purchase decision. Due to the intangible and inherent product characteristics of a destination and tourism, they are not able to touch or experience before the purchase (Kirmani, Sood and Bridges, 1999; Ali, 2016). The image is defined as “the sum of beliefs, ideas and impressions that a person has of a destination” (Crompton, 1997, cited in Ali, 2016, p. 107). Another definition is by Echtner and Ritchie (1991), according to them, a destination image is "not only the perceptions of individual destination attributes but also the holistic impression made by the destination" (p. 8) and is formed by gathering a variety of information from friends, family, TV, newspaper, experiences and Internet etc. (Rajesh 2013; Ali, 2016).

Morgan and Pritchard (2004, p.61) are certain that “the battle for consumers in tomorrow’s destination marketplace will be fought not over price but over hearts and minds, and this is how places have moved into territories previously reserved for consumer brands". Therefore, it is crucial for a destination to advertise and promote the identity to create a distinctive the image in the consumer's mind (Kirmani, Sood and Bridges, 1999).

2.4.3. Positioning

Positioning is the act or process of designing a distinctive identity and image and placing it in the customer's mind with campaigns, visual elements, advertisement and other promotion strategies (Dinnie, 2008; Vogt & Kaplanidou 2010; Jesca, Kumbirai & Brighton 2014). Positioning means actively communicating the brand identity to the target audience and involves, therefore, all marketing strategies and tools (Aaker and Joachimsthaler, 2000).

Destinations often fall into a commoditization trap, as the campaigns are often not distinguishing enough (Dinnie, 2008). For example, many beach destinations or mountain destinations have similar advertisement of just beaches and mountains. The positioning needs to be coherent, consistent and clear as failure can result in confusing the customer image (Dinnie, 2008). Hartman et al. (2005) argue that an emotional positioning in a consumers mind is more powerful than a functional. This means that trying to influence and speak to consumers emotions give the brand a strong position than just mentioning the benefits. However, they also argue that a combination of both has an even stronger effect.

2.4.4.Green Branding/ Environmental Reputation

Environmental concerns are an important issue in today’s world and many companies are trying to use this as an opportunity, hence to implement a green branding strategy (Chen, 2010).

Even though the importance of green branding and the efforts to implement it have increased, much research on branding and tourism, in general, is dedicated to maximize growth and visitor numbers without considering externalities (Danciu 2015; Hall, 2015; Gössling, et al. 2015). Many tourist and vacations rely on natural resources at the destination (Dolnicar and Leisch, 2008). The environment determines the choice of destination, the season and the length of the stay (Michailidou, Vlachokostas and Moussiopoulos, 2016). Moreover, negative environmental effects and degradation of nature seem to have negative impacts on the visitor's experience, this shows that tourism success depends on a healthy ecosystem (Esparon, et al. 2015). Furthermore, tourists question more and more the environmental sustainability of a destination and product and studies suggest that the satisfaction and the behaviour are directly influenced by the destination image (Ritchie and Crouch, 2003; Lee et al., 2010; Gupta, Czinkota and Melewar, 2013). Therefore, Morgan (2012) argues that it is important for destinations to include a sustainable agenda to destination branding. Which in other industries is called sustainable or green branding. Companies and destinations need to recognize that sustainability is the future and that their action and interaction have a significant influence (Kumar and Christodoulopoulou, 2014).

Including sustainability can create a brand differentiation and brand value and add to the competitive advantage of the destination (Gupta, Czinkota and Melewar, 2013; d'Angella and De Carlo, 2014; Kanchan,Kumar and Gupta, 2015; Cucculelli and Goffi, 2016). According to Ritchie and Crouch (2003), a successful brand not only increases tourism expenditure and arrivals but also enhance the ‚ well-being of destination residents and preserving the natural capital of the destination for future generations" (p.2). They argue that a destination that is only competitive in economy factors, as many high profile destinations, is not truly competitive as it may destroy the countries natural resources. Natural assets can be a powerful source of emotional value for the brand and it is shown that destinations which, promotes values and practices of environmental sustainability develops a positive image and reputation in the customer mind (Insch, 2011). This can ultimately result in changing the buying and travel behaviour of the visitors (Danciu, 2015).

As mentioned before, an image is an essential part of a brand. Through a green brand the destination can create a green image in the consumer's mind, which is essentially a perception of a brand in the tourists mind that are linked to the preservation of the environment (Chen, 2010). However, a DMO needs to make sure that they are not only developing a green image if they do not want to implement it throughout the destination, it needs to be in every aspect of the company and activity (Danciu, 2015). Many green branding efforts fail because their actions are superficial and not because of lack of demand (Danciu, 2015).

There are three different types of green brands according to Danciu (2015).

1. Green at their core: the brand's purpose is being green and sustainable
2. Including green in their core: green and sustainability is only one purpose or was introduced later but is now an essential part of the brand
3. Including green in their mission and vision: the purpose of the brand may not be green and sustainability but it is an important part of their mission and vision.

According to Danciu (2015), there are three main steps to implement a green brand. First is the eco-innovation, which includes the destination effort to innovate eco- friendly solution to environmental issues. The second step is the co-creation of green value. This step is about building an emotional connection with the consumer due to active involvement. In the end is the step of green communication.

2.5. Advertising - communicating a message

2.5.1.Destination Advertising

Advertising or the Marketing communications of a company are often considered to be the most important component of image creation (Elliot, 2016).

Communication is a tool that uses all available sources to communicate with the customer (Bowie and Buttle, 2011). Bowie and Buttle (2013) established several elements of communication in the tourism industry, namely, Brand identity, Online Marketing (website, search engine, etc.), Personal selling, Print and publicity material (brochures), advertising, sales promotion, Publicity, Merchandising and Sponsorship. The primary task of communication is to inform, persuade and induce action (Morgan and Pritchard, 2000).

Effective advertisement communication has six steps defined by Morgan and Pritchard, 2000).

1. Awareness: making the customer aware of the product
2. Comprehension: making the customer understand its benefits and features
3. Acceptance: Customers must decide if the product meets their needs
4. Preferences: it must provide reason for customers to believe the product can fulfil their needs
5. Purchase: motivate the customer to buy
6. Reinforcement: make the customer feel good about the purchase

Due to the service nature of the tourism industry, promotion and communication are even more vital than in other industries (Morgan and Pritchard, 2000; Yuksel and Bilim, 2009). Advertising is an essential communication tool and resource for tourists and the destination (Byun and Jang, 2015). Advertising can influence emotions, attitudes and the behaviour and be a vital part of image formation (Yuksel and Bilim, 2009). As the product is intangible, inseparable and perishable, Morgan and Pritchard (2000) even say that, promotion itself is the product in the tourism industry as the tourist buys the product mostly on expectations established trough advertisement, word, pictures sounds etc.

Tourism advertising is about the creation of atmosphere and dreams (Morgan and Pritchard, 2000). Moreover, as many countries highly rely on tourism income a good image in the consumer's mind is important (Bojanic, 1991).

2.5.2. Design of destination advertisement

Essential for advertisement communications is the implementation of persuasion, involvement and saliency. Persuasion is the “ability of the advert to shift attitudes towards the brand and motivates purchase” (Morgan and Pritchard, 2000, p. 15). Involvement is the task of the advert to emphasize and relate with the consumer and saliency is the ability of the advertisement to catch the consumer's attention.

According to Morgan and Pritchard (2000), good advertisements should be composed of elements that,

- Advance the brand
- Are uncomplicated
- Tell a story
- Talk to the target audience
- Interesting, surprising, relevant
- Indelible, beautiful imagery
- Good composition

Moreover, a new study conducted by Scott, Green and Fairley, (2016) established that a good advertisement, especially for destinations and tourism, are better with less text and more images. This coincided with a study conducted by MacKay and Fesenmaier in 1997. The study suggests that since tourists rely on visuals images to make a travel decision, visual elements are essential for the creation of a destination image. Also, a study conducted in 2011 by Ye and Tussyadiah mentions that visual cues stimulate the tourist's imagination and create an expectation, and it is an effective way to connect with them in a personal way. The potential guests seek communication cues to find out if the destination fits their desires and requirements, which makes visual elements in advertising an essential factor for image creation (Yuksel and Bilim, 2009; Ye and Tussyadiah, 2011). This means that different tourist types seek different pictures, for example, historic and culture tourists respond to buildings, icons and natural scenery (Ye and Tussyadiah, 2011). Pan (2011) even suggests specific elements in the visual communication which are supposed to be sparking the visitors interest. The advertisement should include something old /familiar to viewers), something new (different from the tourists day-to-day environment) and, in addition, include something white or blue to represent the destinations is clean and pristine and local people interacting. On the other hand, Decrop (2007) not only mentioned the importance of visual elements but also found out the importance of the text messages in the advertisement.

2.5.3. Green advertisement

The Journal of Advertising published its first issue on green advertising in 1995 and since then it has gained importance and a significant amount of academic attention (Sheehan and Atkinson, 2012). As shown in figure 4, Green advertisements have highly increased in the last few years.

Today sustainable consumer society influenced and changed the marketing strategies towards a greener approach have influenced the advertisement and promotion strategies (Batat and Prentovic , 2014). Green advertisement is the most powerful tool for a green marketing strategy as it can convey the environmental message to the consumer (Hu, 2012; Nyilasy, Gangadharbatla and Paladino, 2014). Kanchan, Kumar and Gupta (2015), propose that the communication should go beyond just advertising a green product but must also educate the consumer and show what else the company does to be more sustainable. In general, advertisement should be a source for environmental tips for the consumer. In addition, green advertisement can motivate changes in behaviour and not only raise awareness (Peattie, Peattie and Ponting, 2009).

Concerning destinations, they should effectively communicate their sustainable programs, initiatives and actions not only to influence the customer choice of destination and but to encourage them to use public transportation and participating in a more sustainable behaviour during their stay (Holleran, 2008). Hu (2012) analysed several studies and identified that environmental or green advertisements and communication are best received when the consumer is provided with concrete and much substantive information about the green product. In contrast to this, a study by. Hartman et al. (2005) identified the significant influence emotional messages have compared to functional This is supported by a study conducted in 2013 by Wehrli et al. They suggest that tourists react more positive toward emotional pictures and texts about sustainability. This means, showing landscapes and beautiful nature has more impact than detailed information. Images of the environment and natural landscapes can enhance the environmental perception in the consumers' mind and the emotional feelings can be associated with the brand itself Hartmann and Apaolaza-Ibáñez, 2013).

In general, adverts should motivate the consumer rather than overwhelming and be giving the perception of greenwashing (Peattie, Peattie and Ponting, 2009).

A study of Wong et al. (2014) shows that it requires green advertisement for a firm to gain an environmental reputational and image and that, it does not only rely on producing green products. The advertisement itself is better to focus on the specific needs, wants and concerns of the consumer rather than just advertising the product (Sheehan and Atkinson, 2012). This indicates, that people want to know what their contribution means to the environment and how they can help instead of just informing them about a green product.

Green advertisement is supposed to follow at least one of these criteria, (1) explicitly or implicitly addresses the relationship between a product/service and the biophysical environment, (2) promotes a green lifestyle with or without highlighting a product/service, and (3) presents a corporate image of environmental responsibility" (Banerjee, Gulas, and Iyer 1995, p. 22, cited in Segev, Fernandes and Hong,2016). Also, green advertisements have objective and executional elements like natural landscapes and symbols (Parguel,Benoit-Moreau and Russell, 2015; Segev, Fernandes and Hong, 2016). Moreover, Segev, S., Fernandes and Hong (2016) identified by analysing several studies that advertisement is supposed to inform, create awareness and stimulate demand. However, advertisement is supposed to win “the hearts and minds of consumers, swaying or solidifying preferences and producing a solid return on investment” (Verlegh, Fransen and Kirmani, 2015, p.3).

Leonidou et al (2014) establish that the stronger a green advertisement is, (a) the greater the use of focal points relating to a product, processes, image, and facts; (b) the more specific, strong, substantive, and acceptable are the issues raised; (c) the higher the employment of rational, emotional, and moral points to leverage environmental.

But often advertisement is met and faced with distrust and avoidance due to many greenwashing incidences (Verlegh, Fransen and Kirmani, 2015).

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 2. 2: Rise of Green Advertising, Source: TerraChoice, 2009

2.6. Greenwashing and Executional Greenwashing

As green marketing and green advertisement are increasing so is often greenwashing (Nyilasy, Gangadharbatla and Paladino, 2014). Many advertising claims companies make are ambiguous and deceptive. This is commonly known as `greenwahsing`. Greenwashing is defined as “vague, unsubstantiated and potentially misleading environmental claims” (Fernando, Sivakumaran and Suganthi, 2014, p. 224). However, without being able to trust the message the consumer cannot decide which green product to purchase (Chen and Chang, 2013). Consumers know about the false claim of ‘environmentally friendly', resulting in an endangerment for the company itself but also the whole green market (Chen and Chang, 2013). Parguel, Benoit-Moreau and Russell (2015) identified three categories of greenwashed advertising, employing false claims, omitting important information and employing vague or ambiguous terms.

In order to identify greenwashed advertisement Carlson, Grove, and Kangun (1993) first, focusing the claim, does the advert show the product's environmental attributes, production process and other important information? Second, they classify these claims in: vague/ambiguous, omission, false/outright lie, a combination, and acceptable. Fernando, Sivakumaran and Suganthi (2014) explain, Vague/ambiguous are advertisements with claims like eco-friendly without having substantiation, omission are claims that “do not contain information to ascertain the veracity of the claim” (p. 224) this means the statement cannot be verified.

Carlson, Grove, and Kangun (1993) established that most advertisements were greenwashed, however, a new study of Segev, Fernandes and Hong, (2016) show that nowadays many advertisements nd green advertimsnets, due to many regulations, are more trustworthy and more reliable. This however, is mostly related to claims the company makes and not the visual and executional elements.

Executional greenwashing is the “the use of nature-evoking elements in advertisements to artificially enhance a brand’s ecological image“ (Parguel, Benoit-Moreau and Russell, 2015, p.1). This means that natural landscapes like mountains, forests or pictures of animals or renewable sources of energy (e.g. wind, waterfalls) are used instead of false claims (as they are restricted) to put an environmentally friendly perception about the destination or brand in the costumers mind (Parguel, Benoit-Moreau and Russell, 2015). As established before, nature imagery and emotional messages instead of functional claims enhance the positive brand attitudes.

2.6.1. Green Trust

A brand is of significant importance for the purchase intention of the customer. Therefore, the credibility of the brand and the resulting trust of the consumer are an important factor (Hyun Baek, Whitehill King, 2011; Chen and Chang, 2013). Morgan and Hunt (1994, p. 23) conceptualize trust as "existing when one party has confidence in an exchange partner's reliability and integrity". This means that people need to be able to trust the brand or destination and this is often established through communication. When a company is not acting responsibly and are sending inaccurate messages, this will lead to mistrust and confusion and on the log run to decrease in demand (Leonidou, et al., 2014).

Therefore, companies or destinations need to increase trust and minimize greenwash as this decreases credibility and trust (Chen and Chang, 2013; Leonidou, et al., 2014; Ulusoy and Barretta, 2016). A brand that is honest, accurate, sincere and concerned about the consumer and the society and has an engaging relationship with the customer can enhance the trust (Leonidou, et al., 2014; Ulusoy and Barretta, 2016).

Matthes and Wonneberger (2014) discussed in their paper that many researchers accept the notion that people do not trust green advertisements. In contrast, their study suggests that today people tend to trust these advertisements more than before (Matthes and Wonneberger (2014). Segev, Fernandes and Hong, (2016) mention that greenwashing in advertising is decreasing, and this leads to more trust in the consumer. Green consumers, however, are still more sceptical than non-green consumers and are critical with green advertisements and their claims (Ulusoy and Barretta, 2016). In general, Davis established already in 1993, that specific environmental claims lead to a more positive image and to more trust than vague claims without much information.

Chen (2010) identified in the study that a green image developed through green branding efforts have a significant influence the trust people have towards the company being sustainable. This green trust is also defined as “a willingness to depend on a product, service, or brand based on the belief or expectation resulting from its credibility, benevolence, and ability about its environmental performance” (Chen, 2010, p.309). Nazari, Ghasemi and Saeidi (2015) support the study and mention the positive relationship between a green brand image and green trust. Brands that show a high green brand awareness have increased the trust and loyalty in the company for the consumer. However, a company and therefore a destination need to have a positive green brand and need to fulfil certain criteria to increase the trust. Chen (2010) identified five measures to determine green trust,

1. the brand's commitment towards the environment is reliable
2. The environmental performance of the brand is dependable
3. The environmental arguments are trustworthy
4. The concerns of the brand in terms of the environmental fit your own
5. Commitments for environmental protection

This demonstrates the importance of credibility in terms of environmental claims in a destination and company.

2.7. Summary

This chapter presented the fundamental literate about the relevant topics for this paper. First, the environmental concerns in the tourism industry were identified to emphasize the importance of a more sustainable approach in every aspect of a destination. The Green consumer was introduced and shows that the society became more aware of the environmental issues caused by tourism. The literature suggests that a green marketing and branding strategy can be of help to implement a more sustainable image in the consumers' mind and can also be a strategy for destinations to create a distinctive advantage. The elements relevant in advertisement were discussed and it was shown that visual elements are essential. Then the issue of greenwashing was presented. Greenwashing can significantly influence the trust of the consumer towards the brand and destination.

2.8. Conceptual Framework

This chapter is about the underlying conceptual framework this research relies on.

The Conceptual Framework developed in this paper, shows how environmental concerns and branding interact and moreover, it shows the gap this study tries to answer, namely, the credibility and perception of green advertisement and branding in a destination context.

First, the literature shows a significant influence of environmental concerns on branding as it often relies, to a significant part, on the natural assets of a destination.


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Credibility and perception of green branding in destinations. A case study of Switzerland
Oxford Brookes University
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Green Marketing, Green Branding, Destination Management, Switzerland, Destination, Credibility, sustainable tourism, green tourism, sustainability campaigns, destination marketing, destination branding, greenwashing, green trust, awareness
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Julia Weis (Author), 2016, Credibility and perception of green branding in destinations. A case study of Switzerland, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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