Meet José Fernández-Cavia, Head of Department of Communication at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. In this interview he shares some findings of his recent research examining the use of digital media, such as websites and mobile applications and its increasing importance surrounding place brands and destination branding.
- The current state of digital media and its intersection with place branding;
- Advice for emerging researchers interested in the area of destination branding;
- Current trends in destination branding research.
José, your current research focuses on online communication for destination brands. What are your thoughts on the current state of digital media and its intersection with places and destination branding research?
The Internet has become the primary source of information for most travelers in the world, particularly among young people and experienced travelers who are not dependent on intermediaries, capable of organizing the trip by themselves. So destinations must have a powerful and appealing presence online.
One key finding from my research during the last years is that destination branding strategies are too dependent on the marketing perspective and that a communications or a public relations angle can drastically improve the performance of destination brands.
Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) are frequently lacking communication professionals, and often base their communication strategies on a trial-and-error basis. Of course, there are exceptions.