Tonino Pencarelli, Simone Splendiani, Claudia Fraboni, Mauro Dini

The Role of the Blue Flag in the Communication of Seaside Destinations

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Sustainable Tourism; Blue Flag; Environmental Certification Programmes; Destination Branding; Tourism Marketing; Destination Marketing.

The paper aims to illustrate the role played by certification programmes in beach destination management and branding. Focusing on the Blue Flag, we analysed the awareness of the benefits and the importance of the Eco-label as perceived by the Italian awarded beach destinations. Also, the degree to which the certification is effectively used in their communication strategies has been investigated. The research was conducted by submitting two different questionnaires to all Italian 2012-Blue Flag municipalities. The study reveals that the dynamics leading local authorities to join the Programme have more to do with the return in terms of brand image than with their environmental concerns, although they do little to promote the obtained award.

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