European Destination managers’ ambivalence towards the use of shocking advertising

Book chapter


Evans, A I, Adamo, G E and Czarnecka, B (2019). European Destination managers’ ambivalence towards the use of shocking advertising. in: Bigne, E and Rosengren, S (ed.) EAA Advances in Advertising Research Springer.
AuthorsEvans, A I, Adamo, G E and Czarnecka, B
EditorsBigne, E and Rosengren, S
Abstract

This study compares destination managers reactions towards the use of shock advertising in the European tourism sectors and develops the knowledge of how shock advertising can be an effective tool in managing annoying tourists’ behaviours. Impactful communication has often been found to be effective in changing behaviour. Governments and other public bodies use communication, including advertising to educate the public, create awareness and change behaviours (GCS, 2014). The tourism industry is one of the sectors where various forms of advertising are important tools of communication. For example, a good way to reach tourists is to advertise in in-flight magazines, or to offer advertising at the hotel check-in at the destination, or as in-room literature. Some destinations use incentives alongside communication to influence tourist behaviour. For instance, tourists in Venice are fined for several annoying behaviours. The campaign, #EnjoyRespectVenezia utilized social media, website, posters around the town and flyers at important locations such as train stations to warn tourists of the impact of their irresponsible behaviour on the local community and environment. Tourists could be fined for littering, damaging the trees, benches or any other property in town, or for going shirtless (Buckley, 2017). Such campaigns may become more important as the number of tourists and the importance of tourism to local economies have been rising (WTO, 2018).
Shock advertising can act as a powerful strategy to persuade individuals to change behaviours and attitudes (Mehta, 2000). Such communication can take many forms, including the use of shocking images, text, voiceover, or any combination of these to elicit attention and behavioural change (Dahl et al., 2003). The effectiveness of such advertisements has been well-researched except for the area of tourist behaviour. Tourists constitute an important segment of the global market (WTO, 2018), and are found to have important positive and negative influence on local communities. This influence, especially tourists’ irresponsible and ‘annoying’ behaviours often has negative consequences for the local communities, the places’ image and the involved service providers. Hughes et al., (2011) studied tourists’ behaviours in various holiday destinations across Europe such as the Balearic Islands (Spain), Algarve (Portugal), Venice (Italy), Crete (Greece) and Cyprus, and found that the abuse of alcoholic drinks and drugs was positively related with the reported increase in violence, crime rates, risky sexual encounters and anti-social behaviour in these destinations. Much of these anti-social behaviours are a result of binge drinking, drugs abuse, the portrayal of the holiday destinations as an environment where individuals feel that “anything goes”, cheap pricing of alcohol, and unawareness of local customs. To support tourism and continue its contribution to the economy, it is important to find ways of encouraging tourists to behave in respectful ways so that they do not alienate local tourist providers, other tourists, and do not contribute to creating negative place perceptions and negative image. One way of doing that may be the use of shocking advertising which has been found effective in deterring harmful behaviours in other industries but has not been very popular in the tourism industry. One of the obstacles to using shocking adverts are those decision makers who decide what creative strategies are employed in destination promotion and tourist behaviour management. In context of tourism, destination managers (DMs) are important decision makers in this process.
DMs are part of the culture production system and they influence not only the image of the destination but may have an impact on tourist behaviour through tourist management systems and policies. Hence it is important to explore their attitudes towards the use of one possible creative strategy that may be effective in influencing behaviour of tourists, which is shocking advertising.

Keywordsdestination managers; destination image
Year2019
Book titleEAA Advances in Advertising Research
PublisherSpringer
Edition1
Publication dates
Print06 Oct 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited11 Feb 2019
Accepted07 Jan 2019
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1007/978-3-658-24878-9_16
Web address (URL)https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-658-24878-9_16
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open
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