Destination Management Organizations And Their Effect on Japanese Tourism to Norrbotten County
The purpose of this thesis is to study the work of destination management organizations, henceforth called DMOs, in Norrbotten, Sweden’s northernmost county. Specifically, the thesis examines how the work of these organizations has affected the Japanese tourism to the region, which has been growing in the last few years. To accomplish this, previous research on destination development, DMOs, and factors for attracting Japanese tourism to rural regions was turned into a model for DMO success. The model consists of three categories of activities that DMOs should work with: Marketing, Cooperation and Development. The thesis takes on a qualitative approach and the empirical data gathered was based on semi-structured interviews undertaken with representatives from four DMOs that all had an outspoken focus on the Japanese market. The questions concerned these categories, and factors within them aimed at the Japanese market. The empirical data collected in these interviews was complemented with bed night statistics from Statistics Sweden, henceforth known as SCB, and previous studies and reports that were relevant to the research. The data show that the DMOs engaged in work that fitted into all three of the model’s categories. The DMOs worked with jointly marketing their destinations, ensuring cooperation between a range of actors and each other, and supporting the development of their destinations in a variety of ways. For the Japanese market, the DMOs promoted the attributes that, according to theory, are considered attractive by Japanese tourists, worked directly with Japanese actors at the destination and in Japan, maintained contacts with these actors, and aided in the development of the destination for the Japanese market by upgrading human resources for work towards the Japanese market. The main conclusions of our research are that the DMOs have worked with all the important factors in the model, especially in the categories cooperation and marketing. Work with joint marketing and cooperation between the destinations has arguably helped attract Japanese tours to the region. As such, the DMOs have achieved some success in their work towards the Japanese market. However, research involving other actors than DMOs, and research that take on a quantitative approach are needed to conclude to what extent the DMOs’ work has affected Japanese tourism to the region.
Destination management organization
Management & Organisation