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How Important Is an Image?: Dutch Travel Agencies' Perception of Sweden as a Travel Destination
Karlstad University, Division for Business and Economics.
Karlstad University, Division for Business and Economics.
2006 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 10 points / 15 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Nowadays, when the world feels smaller as a result of the increasing flow of information, the competition of tourism between countries is getting bigger. This has caused that the marketing of the country has become vital. It is important for the country to send out the right signals so that the tourists have the right image of a destination. Once the image has been created, it might be hard to change it.

Scandinavian Travel Agent AB is a company arranging different trips around Scandinavia. They work as incoming agent for foreign tour operators, which they help with different types of travel arrangements in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. Now they want to expand their business to other countries, and at the same time they want to identify how Sweden is seen as a tourist destination. We helped them with this by investigating travel agencies and tour operators in the Netherlands.

Our purpose with this thesis was to find out what kind of picture the Dutch travel agencies and tour operators have about Sweden. Furthermore, we wanted to know how the Dutch market looks like considering the trips to Sweden. To be able to analyze the phenomena of image we have taken closer look at the decision- making process, which was originally created by Mathieson and Wall (1984). It contains four areas (tourist profile, travel awareness, destination resources & characteristics and trip features) that have effect on the decision making process. Since we thought that image also has a big influence on the tourists’ decision, we chose to investigate that subject as well.

With the help of our theories we created two different questionnaires, one to Dutch travel agencies/ tour operators having Sweden as a travel destination, and one to Dutch travel agencies/tour operators not currently offering trips to Sweden. After receiving the answers we interpreted them together with our theories and we found out that the respondents have a correct image of the reality. Sweden’s nature with the forests, water and snow were some of the most common parts of their image. Stockholm was also a prominent feature together with beautiful and clean nature. Sweden was also seen as a modern and safe country with high quality. Some respondent also mentioned space, but it was not as common answer as we expected.

Regarding the image, we found out that an image handles both a person’s affective and cognitive images, which arises from many different sources and influences. After doing this research our believes, about the image as a part of the decision making process, were strengthened. Therefore we saw the need to change the already existing model.

Our suggestions to the Scandinavian Travel Agent AB, is to first contact the travel agencies/tour operators who are currently offering Sweden, since they seem to be most interested in expanding to Sweden. Among the other travel agencies/tour operators an interest has to be aroused. This can depend on the fact that companies with Sweden can see the demand and the opportunities better than the companies who do not have Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. , p. 40
Keywords [en]
Tourism, Marketing, Image, Decision Making Process, Dutch, Travel Agency
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-59OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-59DiVA, id: diva2:6275
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samhälle/juridik
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Available from: 2006-02-21 Created: 2006-02-21

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