Exploring Branding Opportunities for the Ecolodge Market
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The focus of this thesis is on the development of a brand strategy for mid-scale ecolodge businesses. This is an important area of concern within the ecolodge industry as there is no system in place to recognize quality evaluation standards and owners conduct their business according to what their own judgment. For this purpose, 12 ecolodge owners and managers in Costa Rica were interviewed on their perceptions of ecolodge branding importance, and the challenges foreseen with operating under an ecolodge branding model. Ten semi-structured interview questions tapped into participant’s feelings towards the current situation of ecolodge branding in Costa Rica, as well as their interest in developing a brand. As a result of completing the interviews and analyzing the interview responses using Thematic Analysis, this study found the following. 1) The current level of ecolodge branding in Costa Rica is represented by the country’s sustainable tourism certification program (CST). 2) The ecolodge branding idea was welcomed with both enthusiasm and some concern from participants, although overall there was a desire to consider this new brand. 3) Undesirable new branding conditions include lack of flexibility and aggressive marketing. 4) Desirable new branding conditions include a positive cost-benefit program, less government involvement, a new marketing training program, and a more stable operating environment.
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Monica Mic (2017). Exploring Branding Opportunities for the Ecolodge Market. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/11722