Rethinking the destination branding of Mauritius – Perspectives from the Local community
The present study assesses the relevant elements of a destination branding framework which can be applicable to the island of Mauritius by considering its brand identity, brand positioning, brand image and the influence of local community support of the brand. Mauritius is currently being branded as a ‘sea sun and sand’ destination with the brand slogan ‘Maurice C'estUn Plaisir’. Sunny and warm climate, white sandy beaches and local cuisine have always been the attributes to describe the brand image of the island. However, the present research demonstrated that to some extent that a rise in cultural diversity and their festive representations also serve as an important attribute of destination attractiveness. The relationship of the framework elements have been tested by using descriptive analysis and linear regression analysis. Results indicated that brand image is an influential variable in the branding process. 23% of the aforementioned variables would explain a sustainable branding strategy for the country as a destination brand. The results indicate that there is an urgent need to rethink the major elements for a destination brand development in Mauritius as supported by Ministry of Tourism during the ‘Assises du Tourisme’ in 2017. The present study highlights upon the importance of the destination’s brand and recommends that the local community must be involved in maintaining the destination branding by regular education programmes and brainstorming sessions. Findings also suggest that Mauritius can be rebranded into a honeymoon destination with “Mauritius, more than an island” as a slogan.
Copyright (c) 2019 Thanika Juwaheer, Karen Tin Wan Yuen
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