The growing importance of destinations as loci for change in tourism systems has led to the recent accelerated growth of destination management and marketing (DMM) research. This paper conducts an integrated exploration of the structure and interconnections, and the dynamics of the recent growth of DMM research in terms of research fronts and trajectories. A quantitative, visualization-rich approach is proposed, based on bibliometric mapping networks comprising DMM-relevant articles extracted from 49 tourism journals published from 2005 to 2016. The results reveal a DMM structure consisting of 10 key clusters. Sustainable development, competitiveness of tourist destinations, destination development and innovation, and ICT/social media are found to have rapidly evolved as research fronts, while the more traditional research clusters on destination perception and tourist decision-making have developed more slowly. Significant interactions can be observed between management- and marketing-oriented research domains. At deeper levels of analysis, more diverse research trajectories stand out, including those focusing on destination governance; knowledge and experience-based analytical frameworks; service-related domains; subjective issues such as emotions, attachment, and identity; destination brand equity; and sustainability. The paper also shows that additional value will come from research that integrates up-to-now distant DMM topics. The results of this study can help policymakers, practitioners, and scholars understand the recent progress in, and the major trends shaping, the DMM research agenda.
Author(s): Alfonso Ávila-Robinson, Naoki Wakabayashi
Organization(s): Kyoto University
Source: Journal of Destination Marketing & Management