Title

Unique selling propositions and destination branding: A longitudinal perspective on the Caribbean tourism in transition

Document Type

Article

Abstract

A recurring theme in the tourism literature is how travelers and tourism businesses perceive the concept of diversity and uniqueness of attractions pinned to places called tourism destinations and respond to their perceptions. In this backdrop, the primary focus of this research is a reexamination of the unique selling proposition (USP) based tourism marketing practice that various Caribbean island nations unleased since the early 2000's. The extent of USP adoption in the web-based marketing campaigns of these destinations over a timeline from 2004 to 2014 is studied. Analysis shows that higher level USP use initially rose, reached a peak, and then declined. Also, over the years, destinations high in attraction diversity tended to delimit themselves from using highly targeted USPs while their counterparts with less attraction diversity routinely employed hierarchically superior USP slogans. The exact number of attractions in a destination country did not significantly imply the choice of slogans as much as the attraction type diversity. In order to achieve these objectives, an 'attraction diversity index' is proposed, which is a measure of the diversity of attraction types in a destination area. The research opens up further questions about the moderating role of product diversity in uniqueness centered marketing programs. It is recommended that marketers leverage the mass customization potential underlying in the contemporary progress in the information and communication technologies and tailor make USPs that reflect individual and small group aspirations about destination offerings.