Title of Paper

Planning For the Future: Branding and Positioning Eastern Iowa as a Tourism Destination

Presenter Information

Oksana GrybovychFollow

Presenter Bios (50 Words)

Oksana Grybovych is an Associate professor and Chair in the Division of Leisure, Youth and Human Services at the University of Northern Iowa. She holds an EdD in Leisure Services from the University of Northern Iowa (USA), MSc in Leisure and Environments from the University of Wageningen (the Netherlands), and a BA in Economics/ Management from the Institute of Economics and Law (Ukraine). Her research interests include civic and community engagement, tourism and community planning, economic impacts of tourism, tourism marketing, and sustainable development.

Abstract (150 Words)

According to the Iowa Tourism Office (2015), tourism in Iowa generates more than $8.06 billion in expenditures and nearly $375 million in state tax receipts while supporting 66,500 jobs. But many agree that even with these impressive numbers, we tap a mere fraction of our capacity, and that there currently is a unique opportunity to capitalize on recent trends and developments and nurture a tourism industry that is competitive, vibrant, and sustainable. To achieve this goal, the state needs to explore and enhance its regional potential, and strategically market its regions as distinct brands (Debi Durham in Iowa Economic Development Authority, 2015b).

This project will tackle state tourism marketing by drafting a forward-looking branding and positioning strategy for tourism industry in Eastern Iowa. It will draw on tourism, marketing, and community development literature and best practices, as well as primary data reflecting realities and unique features of the region.

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Planning For the Future: Branding and Positioning Eastern Iowa as a Tourism Destination

According to the Iowa Tourism Office (2015), tourism in Iowa generates more than $8.06 billion in expenditures and nearly $375 million in state tax receipts while supporting 66,500 jobs. But many agree that even with these impressive numbers, we tap a mere fraction of our capacity, and that there currently is a unique opportunity to capitalize on recent trends and developments and nurture a tourism industry that is competitive, vibrant, and sustainable. To achieve this goal, the state needs to explore and enhance its regional potential, and strategically market its regions as distinct brands (Debi Durham in Iowa Economic Development Authority, 2015b).

This project will tackle state tourism marketing by drafting a forward-looking branding and positioning strategy for tourism industry in Eastern Iowa. It will draw on tourism, marketing, and community development literature and best practices, as well as primary data reflecting realities and unique features of the region.