Tourist destination marketing: from sustainability myopia to memorable experiences

Paul Hanna, Xavier Font, Caroline Scarles, Clare Weeden, Charlotte Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explores the way in which consumers interpret and process the marketing and communication of sustainable forms of tourism in destinations, in order to inform policy makers about the appropriateness of different types of sustainability messages. Through a thematic analysis of focus group data, we explore the ways in which consumers engage with, and respond to, explicit discourses of sustainability in marketing a tourist destination. We find that overt discourses of sustainability are often rejected by consumers, thus suggesting that messages concerned with sustainability should place greater priority upon consumer experience and opportunities afforded by the purchase and consumption of the travel experience (that happens to be sustainable) they can expect at their chosen destination. As such, commitments to sustainability manifest within organisational philosophy and practice should not drive the principle, overt discourse communicated to consumers. Rather, as embedded within product and practice, such messages would have greater power and effect if they occupied a more subliminal position in destination marketing materials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-43
JournalJournal of Destination Marketing & Management
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2017. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license


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