Danskernes syn på Spanien som turistdestination: Har nation-branding en indflydelse?

Agnieszka Katrine Larsen & Lea Julie Schousboe Kristoffersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The main study of this dissertation relates to nation branding and the perception of the Danish population of Spain as a tourist destination. The motivation behind the topic relates to globalisation, related statistics, and personal interest. Due to globalisation, nation branding initiatives and nation branding programmes are becoming increasingly important for nations as means to promote and visualise a national image through different channels. Furthermore, Spain is ranked as a top tourist destination for the Danish people. The Spanish government has implemented select strategies in order to alter the nation brand of Spain’s from a discount tourist destination to a cultural destination. The basis for the said strategy implementation derives from global market research conducted by the government of Spain, which concludes the main preference by the Danish segment for Spain as a travel destination is linked to the temperate climate. On above foundation, it becomes relevant to investigate the role of nation branding in relation to Spain’s nation brand image. Consideration has likewise been given to the following reflections; what is the origin and cause of Spanish popularity as a tourist destination for the Danish people? How do the Danish population choose their travel destination? Is the choice influenced by concrete nation branding initiatives or coincidental? Do Danes have certain associations to Spain, and where do these associations derive from? Based on qualitative research involving focus groups interviews, the focus group being representative of both the younger and elderly Danish segment, it has been feasible to establish data that illustrates the Danes’ perception of Spain. The results reveal that Danish people partly prefer Spain due to similar arguments as found in the market research conducted by the Spanish government. However, it was also found that the Danes have an increased interest for Spain because of cultural aspects. Additionally, it has been found that the Danish segment share certain associations to Spain across individual backgrounds. This lends to the conclusion that the associations arise from general, original clichés, as well as from personal experience and relative experience. It is found that the choice of destination of the Danish tourist segment is based on several factors. This challenges the effectiveness of nation branding on this target group, and whether such strategy affects a nation brand image. The critical perspective on nation branding is linked to the immeasurable nature and many uncontrollable aspects of the concept. Therefore, it is not possible to conclude a visible effect on the nation brand image. It could rather be product development or ordinary marketing initiatives a country is implementing, when trying to improve or change its nation brand image. Simultaneously, this study argues that Spain has always focused on changing the nation brand image, because it has been in the loop since the 1970’s, as a result of the country’s fascistic dictatorship. This insinuates that nation branding has always existed, but it is only since the 1990’s it has existed as a defined concept. Due to lack of an in-­‐depth, qualitative research, it is not possible to arrive at a concrete conclusion. Nevertheless, this study reflects a pattern of tendencies and thus, a truthful version of reality. The investigation can be useful in order to state a generic picture of the Danish peoples’ perception of Spain. In addition, it is determined that nation branding may have an impact on the associations of the Danish population to Spain and does play a role in the profiling of Spain as a tourist destination towards the Danish target group.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages113