Bulgaria As A Tourist Destination Tourism Essay

2.1 Introduction

In this chapter reappraisal and analysis of the academic literature on the subjects of Bulgaria and finish image will be conducted. The first sub-section of the chapter will discourse the importance of the touristry to the economic system of Bulgaria and cardinal facts and figures are presented. The focal point of the survey so moves on to trade name image and stigmatization, as they have an huge consequence on the success of a finish. Competition between finishs and the changing nature of tourers ‘ demands and demands suggest that all finishs should be developed and managed as trade names ( Beerli and Martin, 2004 ) . The topic of finish image is so reviewed, as it has become a cardinal country of research for many faculty members in the past few decennaries ( Chon, 1991 ; Echtner and Ritchie, 1991, 1993 ; Gartner, 1993 ; Baloglu, 1997 ; Baloglu and McCleary, 1999 ; Gallarza et al. , 2002 ; Gertner and Kotler, 2004 ; Vaughan, 2007 ) . The context of finish image is studied, and besides what influence it has on tourer ‘s purchasing behavior and decision-making procedure ( Mayo, 1973 ; Hunt, 1971, 1975 ; Chen and Tasci, 2007 ) . Theories and constructs of finish image formation ( Baloglu and McClearl, 1999 ) , development ( Butler, 1980 ) and measuring ( Echtner and Ritchie, 2003 ) are analysed, so that the relationship between tourers ‘ personal features and the constituents of the sensed finish image are identified, prior to the primary research.


2.2.1 Tourism in Bulgaria

In 2011, between January and December 8,712,821 million international tourers visited Bulgaria ( 4 % higher compared to 2010 ) . The sum of income generated from international touristry for the period is a‚¬2,752,600 million demoing an addition of 3.8 % compared to the same clip period of 2010 ( OTPB, 2012 ) . Tourism is an of import facet of Bulgaria ‘s economic system in the recent old ages, conveying income from touristry activities and bettering the image of the state. The part of touristry activities in Bulgaria is important, as more than 10 % of GDP is generated by touristry and besides it attracts most of the direct foreign investings to the state ( OECD, 2007 ) . The bulk of tourers sing Bulgaria semen from the states such as Greece, Romania, Germany and UK.

The figure of UK tourer visits in 2011 was 306,939 positioning UK on the 4th topographic point by visitant Numberss from all EU states ( NSI, 2012 ) . Expectedly, the highest Numberss of tourers flows from the UK occur during the summer season, during the months of June through to September ( see Appendix 1? ) . However, Numberss of tourer reachings from the UK decreased significantly between 2008 and 2009, which could be as a consequence of the recognition crisis that hit states globally in 2008. Since so Numberss are still diminishing, but at a slower gait ( see Table 1? ) ; this is a clear indicant that marketing actions need to be targeted towards pulling the British tourer market back to Bulgaria.

Table 1. UK tourer reachings in Bulgaria ( 2004-2011 )

State of beginning











United Kingdom









Beginning: OECD ( 2007 )

2.2.2 Main tourer attractive forces in Bulgaria

Tourist attractive forces in Bulgaria could be divided into five chief classs ( OECD, 2007 ) :

Seaside resorts: Bulgaria ‘s well-known Black Sea cost is 380 kilometers long and is one of the major attractive forces that draw tourers to the state, with established resorts such as Sunny Beach, Golden Sands and Nessebar.

Ski resorts: Winter athleticss are really popular in Bulgaria and ski resorts such as Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo are deriving more and more popularity.

Spa resorts: Bulgaria is increasingly developing its ‘spa finish image ‘ and is going popular for its watering place installations with 600 mineral springs to offer.

Historical sites: Bulgaria is one of the oldest states in Europe, therefore it is full of heritage and history, so there is a great potency in the development of historical touristry.

Other: Bulgaria is going popular with many niche types of touristry such as: escapade touristry ; wine touristry ; ecotourism ; rural touristry.

2.2.3 Facts about Bulgaria

In the undermentioned tabular array cardinal facts approximately Bulgaria as a state are presented ( see Table 2 ) , as stated by the National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria ( 2011 ) and the Official Tourism Portal of Bulgaria ( 2012 ) .

Table 2. Facts about Bulgaria






Southeast Europe

In the northeast portion of the Balkan Peninsula

It is a European, Balkan, Black Sea and Danube state

On the intersection between Europe, Asia and Africa


Climate can be divided into five distinguishable zones:




Black Sea zone

Mountain zone


Bulgarian ( functionary )

Cultural and regional idioms


A trade name image of a finish is an object that is created and developed in the head of the consumer. It incorporates the touchable, intangible, psychological and sociological features of a finish ( Kapferer, 1997 ) . It is “ a name, symbol, logo, word grade or other in writing that both identifies and differentiates the finish ; moreover, it conveys the promise of a memorable travel experience that is unambiguously associated with the finish ; it besides serves to consolidate and reenforce the remembrance of enjoyable memories of the finish experience ” ( Ritchie and Ritchie, 1998: 103 ) . Hence, faculty members argue that the construct of visitant experience is a cardinal input and should be integrated in the procedure of finish stigmatization ( Berry 2000 ; Pine and Gilmore 1999 ) . Since the early 2000s surveies of finish image have advanced beyond merely understanding visitants ‘ perceptual experiences as they were, alternatively the construct of finish stigmatization was developed to analyze farther the finish image ( Upadhyaya, 2012 ) . One of the earliest finish branding constructs was introduced by Cai ( 2002 ) underscoring the disparity between finish image formation and stigmatization. “ ..Image formation is non branding, all the former constitutes the nucleus of the latter. Image edifice is one measure closer, but at that place still remains a critical missing nexus: the trade name individuality ” ( Cai, 2002:722 ) . Whether or non a finish pays great attending to the publicity of its trade name image, consumers will ever hold certain images of that peculiar finish. Sometimes these images may be a cliche or a consequence of stereotypes ; nevertheless they surely affect consumer behavior and may impact the decision-making procedure ( Morgan et al. , 2004 ) . Writers point out that the stereotyping of states is a common subject, and it is formed by mental representations which are normally shared within a society or state.

2.4 Stigmatization

Finish stigmatization is a utile method to distinguish the finish from its challengers and to derive competitory advantage. Branding is used “ to place the goods or services of either one marketer or a group of Sellerss, and to those goods or services from those of rivals ” ( Aaker, 1991:7 ) . The procedure of branding involves economic, commercial, societal, cultural, and authorities patterns, which must be coordinated into an advanced scheme ( Moilanen and Rainisto, 2009 ) . Aaker and Joachimsthaler ‘s ( 2000 ) model of branding lineations the four cardinal factors of trade name equity: consciousness, perceived quality, associations and trueness. Good stigmatization is critical for finishs, as it aims to better finish ‘s repute and heighten its economic, political and societal development ( Anholt, 2009 ) . The repute of a state or finish is formed on the footing of long-run feelings constructed by figure of sensed images and actions ( Fombrun and Shanley, 1990 ) , hence state ‘s individuality is “ the anchor of repute ” ( Fombrun, 1996:111 ) . However, repute alterations really easy and it does non needfully follow existent alterations ( WTO, 2009 ) . Consequently, it is of import for a state to develop good repute over clip ; otherwise it will finally go a ‘victim ‘ of its challengers. Because of state ‘s economic competition, careful trade name direction and control is critical. Tourists have the freedom of pick presents and they are more likely to take a finish which is perceived for its value, benefits, inexpensiveness or handiness ( Morgan et al. , 2004 ) . It is of import to understand “ the different ways in which national trade names are perceived in different states and parts… and how this diverseness of perceptual experience can be managed in international stigmatization runs ” ( Anholt, 2002:230 ) . In most states authoritiess, NGOs, bureaus and companies that are responsible for state ‘s stigmatization are segregated from one another and in many instance equivocal messages are sent out, making a really indistinct image of the finish ( Anholt, 2007 ) . The effectivity of the branding operations between these establishments depends upon their apprehension of the resources handiness at the finish, to what extent the part is developed and the interrelatedness of these developments ( Kelly and Nankervis, 2001 ) . The turning competition in the touristry industry, suggests that the procedure of finish stigmatization should besides follow the constructs of finish image and fight. Academicians and practicians, both emphasis on the significance of image formation and finish singularity, in order to construct a strong finish trade name ( Blain et al. , 2005 ) . Harmonizing to their research stigmatization affects finishs in a positive mode, heightening their image amongst visitants and back uping DMOs to mensurate finishs accomplishments. A cardinal factor for the success of a finish trade name remains the extent to which the peculiar finish relates with the mark markets.


The image of a topographic point is an of import facet of the tourers ‘ decision-making procedure and it is most likely to impact their pick of vacation finish ( Baloglu and McCleary, 1999 ) . There is a broad scope of academic surveies that are focused on the nexus between finish image and finish choice procedure ( Mayo 1973 ; Hunt 1975 ; Milman and Pizam 1995 ) . The survey of finish image dates back to the seventiess, when Hunt ( 1971 ) looked at the construct for the first clip. Since so many more surveies focused on the definition of finish image, nevertheless there is no consensus over it “ … image is one of those footings that will non travel off… a term with obscure and shifting significances ” ( Pearce, 1988:162 ) . Gallarza et Al. ( 2002 ) studied the construct of finish image and produced a list that summarises definitions by cardinal touristry writers ( see Table 3 ) .

The image of a finish is frequently related to single ‘s perceptual experiences of a topographic point and what the tourer experience may be like and it “ consists, hence, of the subjective reading of world made by the tourer ” ( Bigne et al. , 2001:607 ) . The finish image does non truly be, as it is the mental projection of the finish ‘s individuality and it is non a individual construct, but a set of readings ( Govers and Go, 2009 ) . Harmonizing to Echtner and Ritchie ( 2003:43 ) , finish image is “ non merely the perceptual experiences of single finish properties but besides the holistic feeling made by the finish ” .

Table 3. Selected Dei¬?nitions of Product, Place and Destination Image

Selected Dei¬?nitions of Product, Place and Destination Image

Hunt ( 1971 ) : Impressions that a individual or individuals hold about a province in which they do non shack

Markin ( 1974 ) : Our ain personalized, internalized and gestating apprehension of what we know

Lawson and Bond-Bovy ( 1977 ) : An look of cognition, feelings, bias, imaginativenesss and emotional ideas an person has of a specii¬?c object or topographic point

Crompton ( 1979 ) : An image may be dei¬?ned as the amount of beliefs, thoughts, and feelings that a individual has of a finish

Dichter ( 1985 ) : The construct of image can be applied to a political campaigner, a merchandise, and a state. It describes non single traits or qualities but the entire feeling and entity makes on the heads of others

Reynolds ( 1985 ) : An image is the mental concept developed by the consumer on the footing of a few selected feelings among the i¬‚ood of entire feelings. It comes into being through a originative procedure in which selected feelings are elaborated, embellished and ordered

Embacher and Buttle ( 1989 ) : Image is comprised of the thoughts or constructs held separately or jointly of the finish under probe. Image may consist both cognitive and appraising constituents

Fakeye and Crompton ( 1991 ) : Image is the mental concept developed by a possible tourer on the footing of a few selected feelings among the i¬‚ood of entire feelings

Kotler et Al ( 1994 ) : The image of a topographic point is the amount of beliefs, thoughts, and feelings that a individual holds of it

Gartner ( 1993 ) , ( 1996 ) : Finish images are developed by three hierarchically interconnected constituents: cognitive, affectional, and conative

Santos Arrebola ( 1994 ) : Image is a mental representation of properties and benei¬?ts soughts of a merchandise

Parenteau ( 1995 ) : Is a favourable or unfavourable bias that the audience and distributers have of the merchandise or finish

Beginning: Gallarza et Al. ( 2002:60 )

2.5.1 Destination image formation

The entreaty of a finish is affected by the head image tourers have of that topographic point. Harmonizing to Gartner ( 1993:193 ) the perceived head image of a finish is formed by “ clearly different but hierarchically interconnected constituents: cognitive, affectional and [ harmonizing to some ] conative ” . Beerli and Martin ( 2004 ) suggest that the undermentioned factors affect the sensed finish image a tourer holds of a topographic point: motives ( affectional image constituent ) ; travel experience ( cognitive and affectional ) ; socio-demographic and personal features ( cognitive and affectional ) . Many faculty members conclude that finish image is affected by two types of factors: stimulation ( information beginnings ; old experience ; distribution ) and personal ( psychological ; societal ) ; these are combined to organize the model of finish image formation ( see Figure 1 ) ( Baloglu and McClearly, 1999 ) . Social factors such as gender and age are found to hold a important impact on the person ‘s perceptual experiences of finish images ( Baloglu, 1997 ; Walmsley and Jenkins, 1993 ) . A survey of British tourers sing Turkey by Andreu et Al. ( 2005 ) found that important differences exist between the genders ; females had relaxation and flight motivations for travel, whereas male tourers favoured properties of a finish such as diversion and activity. It is of import to understand the factors that influence finish image creative activity, as this would supply an chance for specific market sections to be targeted ( Goodall, 1990 ) . Reynolds ( 1965:69 ) argues that the finish image formation is based upon set of feelings gained from a “ inundation of information ” . It is frequently formed by information gathered from assorted information beginnings such as: sentiments of friends/relatives ; publications in newspapers, magazines, travel booklets ; any other type of promotional stuff. Individual ‘s image of a finish is likely to develop overtime and Gunn ( 1994 ) indentified the three cardinal phases of the image formation procedure: the organic image ( based on information from non-tourism beginnings such as mass media ) ; the induced image ( based on touristry beginnings such as travel booklets ) ; and the experiential image ( based on tourer experiences during a visit ) . However, motion from one phase to another involves a gradual passage.

Figure 1. A General Framework of Destination Image Formation

Beginning: Baloglu and McClearly ( 1999:870 )

Reynolds ( 1965:70 ) argues that frequently “ image is used as tantamount to repute ” , therefore the right outlooks must be raised by a finish. However, the more different tourer ‘s civilization is from the civilization of the host communities, the more challenging is to run into these outlooks. Different people would hold different perceived images and these are frequently related to stereotypes of states, which are non needfully accurate, as they may be based on exclusions and feelings instead than on forms and facts ( Morgan et al. , 2004 ) . Harmonizing to MacKay and Fesenmaier ( 2000 ) perceived images are based on cultural background, as people with different national civilizations would hold different values and beliefs. In general all types of tourers associate positive finish image with varied and attractive natural beauty and good clime and although crowding is a mark of finish popularity, overcrowded finishs are avoided by many tourers. As suggested by Ross ( 1994 ) the cardinal factors for finish image formation are its: scenery ; clime ; geographics and congestion. Other finish attributes perceived as cardinal are: safety ; history ; cultural diverseness ; celebrated citizens ; and the regard of sing a topographic point ( Kelly and Nankervis, 2001 ) . “ Every topographic point on Earth possesses its ain peculiar features, both as a consequence of natural physical forces, and Acts of the Apostless of adult male ” ( Gunn, 1994:27 ) . Consequently, the range and graduated table of supply proviso and the grade to which the natural environment has been altered by human activity influence on the perceptual experiences of finish properties.

2.5.2 Destination image development

There are two positions by which finish image can be reviewed – the managerial position ( supply side ) and the possible visitant position ( demand side ) ( Kelly and Nankervis, 2001 ) . Appropriate direction actions when determining the finish image are cardinal to how tourers will comprehend that image ; hence apprehension of the development of a finish is of import. Butler ‘s ( 1980 ) well-known theoretical account of the touristry country life rhythm ( TALC ) provides a clear model to how a finish develops over clip. It incorporates six consecutive phases of: geographic expedition, engagement, development, consolidation, stagnancy and diminution or greening ( see Figure 2 ) . The theoretical account provides information about the finish patterned advance, degrees of investings and the types of tourers it entreaties to ( Davidson and Maitland, 1997 ) . Each phase of the theoretical account is linked to alterations in the graduated table of installations provided at a finish and to what extent the proviso of these installations is by local or external suppliers. Specifying at what phase is a peculiar finish is difficult, but is indispensable for its direction. In world, specifying the life-cycle phase of a finish requires a mixture of observation, appraisal and basic market intelligence ; a study of tourers ‘ perceptual experiences of a peculiar finish frequently can supply information about their attitudes towards touristry growing ( Kelly and Nankervis, 2001 ) . Clear apprehension of finish ‘s life-cycle phase can assist finish contrivers to decelerate down or rush up its development procedure.

Figure 2. Tourism country life cycleDoc – 06-01-2013 14-58.jpg

Beginning: Butler ( 1980:5 )

TALC outlines a clear relationship between the assorted types of tourers and the nature of finish they visit ( Davidson and Maitland, 1997 ) . At first, finish is discovered by adventuresome tourers, so it is visited by mass tourers and eventually it becomes commercialised. This thought has been adopted by Plog ‘s ( 1973 ) categorization of tourers, spliting them from ‘allocentrics ‘ to ‘midcentrics ‘ to ‘psycocentrics ‘ . He suggests that a finish would appeal to different types of tourers at different points in clip, as ‘allocentrics ‘ are more likely to detect new finishs and travel on by the clip ‘psycocentrics ‘ follow them.

2.5.3 Components of finish image

Echtner and Ritchie ‘s survey ( 1991 ) developed a model of three continuums that are suggested to be the chief constituents to organize finish image ( see Figure 3 ) . The three continuums that shape the image of a topographic point are: “ ( 1 ) attribute-holistic ; ( 2 ) functional-psychological ; and ( 3 ) common-unique ” ( Echtner and Ritchie, 1993:3 ) . The first continuum is refering how a finish is perceived, on one terminal are the existent properties of a topographic point, whereas on the other terminal are the holistic perceptual experiences ( imagination ) . Therefore finish image should be formed on feelings of properties ( such as adjustment, clime, conveyance, etc. ) and holistic feelings ( mental and imagery images ) . The 2nd continuum represents the functional feature or in other words those that can be measured ( e.g. attractive forces, scenery, monetary values ) and the less touchable or psychological features ( such as safety, friendliness, etc. ) . The 3rd continuum consists of the common features of a finish on one side and the unique or “ must-see sights ” ( Echtner and Ritchie, 1993:4 ) . Writers suggest that in order to to the full capture the image of a finish all of the above constituents should be measured.

Figure 3. Components of Destination Image

Beginning: Echtner and Ritchie ( 1993:4 )


The creative activity and development of a finish image is a complex procedure and accordingly the measuring of the image is besides that compound. Echtner and Ritchie ( 2003 ) have developed a two dimensional agencies to mensurate finish image: unfastened ended questionnaires ( to mensurate holistic properties ) and an attribute-based eight factor graduated table to mensurate image public presentation. However, “ really few surveies use qualitative methods as the chief techniques. Among all aggregation processs, the seven-point Likert Scale is the most normally used ” ( Gallarza et al. , 2002:67 ) . Table 4 illustrates a drumhead by Echtner and Ritchie ( 2003 ) of finish properties that have been used by many faculty members in their finish image measuring researches. Similar properties are categorised under general headers and so are positioned on a continuum that place them either towards the functional or psychological terminal. Destination measuring should take into history all properties of a finish, as the riddance of any property may ensue in an uncomplete end product. As Echtner and Ritchie ( 2003 ) conclude the most comprehensive step would integrate all types of steps from graduated tables to mensurate properties to open-ended inquiries taking at visitants holistic feelings.

Table 4. Properties Used by Researchers to Measure Destination Image

Beginning: Echtner and Ritchie ( 2003:45 )


Bulgaria is a comparatively new finish, therefore the writer of this survey assumed that cognition of the state within the UK tourer market would be less than for other established finishs. There was a deficiency of any old research on the subject of finish image of Bulgaria, as perceived by the British tourers. In world, there are merely a limited figure of surveies associated with images of states from Central and Eastern Europe ( Hughes and Allen, 2008 ) . A survey of the writers McCleary and Whitney ( 1994 ) examined the perceptual experiences of Western tourers towards Eastern European states and suggested that Bulgaria needed to follow better schemes for image alteration and distribution. Hall ( 2004 ) was another writer to propose that states from the CEE should see development and execution of trade names.

2.8 Summary

In this chapter the state of Bulgaria was explored as a tourer finish, nevertheless because of the emerging nature of the finish, there was a clear deficiency of past surveies in the country. Besides, old surveies of finish image were critically reviewed, with respects to its importance in the context of tourer decision-making procedure and finish fight. The importance of development of trade name image and branding schemes were outlined, as methods for distinction and image sweetening ( Blain et al. , 2005 ) . It was rather difficult to specify what finish image is because of the ambiguity of the term ( Pearce, 1988 ) ; hence earlier academic work was used to organize the base of this survey. Surveies from cardinal writers on finish image formation procedure were examined in order to derive deeper penetration of how images are formed ( Gunn, 1994 ; Baloglu and McClearly, 1999 ) , which has a great influence on the push and pull factors of a finish. The surveies of Etchner and Ritchie ( 1991, 1993 ) were used to specify the cardinal constituents of the formation of finish image and besides their survey ( 2003 ) was used in the procedure of development of a research instrument, as portion of the primary research. The instrument and methodological analysis used to finish the survey will be explained in greater inside informations in the undermentioned chapter.

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