Destination Marketing and Rebranding Tourism Images of Ipoh City, Malaysia
The study of destination image is a relatively recent addition to the field of tourism research. Several studies have illustrated that destination images do, indeed, influence tourist behaviour. In essence, the research suggests that those destinations with strong, positive images are more likely to be considered and chosen in the travel decision process. As a result, destination image has an important role in the various models of travel decision making developed to date. As more and more areas are developed for tourism, the destination choices available to consumers continue to expand. One of the most significant marketing challenges arising from this situation is the need for an effective destination positioning strategy. The research attempts to demonstrate that successful rebranding of destination images of Ipoh city in Malaysia will be valuable in understanding the destination selection process of the tourist�s markets and the relationship between destination image and preference or visitation intentions. In this manner, the various strengths, weaknesses, accuracies and inaccuracies of the existing destination images could be more effectively addressed in the design of the promotional strategies, locally and abroad. This research employs a survey among tourists and visitors to Ipoh about their perceptions of Ipoh�s destination images, destination attributes and revisit intentions. The research recommendations include understanding the market characteristics and selecting the tools correctly when designing the promotional mix; building brand loyalty through relationship marketing as visitors/tourists had an overall very good assessment of their trips to Ipoh; positioning and differentiating Ipoh from its competitors by bundling competitive advantages and offering more benefits for similar products; and creating an international icon that will be the must-see attraction and instantly recognizable, nationally and globally.
Keywords� Destination Marketing, Tourism Images.