The Peruvian diversity offers many opportunities - they “only” have to be discovered and realised. Churín, an Andean village (approximately 1,600 inhabitants), represents an example of one of those opportunities: Due to its numerous thermal springs, it has been attracting (mainly national) visitors for decades who come to enjoy the pure climate, the peacefulness, the typical food, the beautiful landscape, and the curative springs. Thus, the economy and development of Churín - - and its surrounding villages - are mainly based on tourism.
The researcher of this paper has spent two years in Peru, the majority of this time in Churín, and the village or rather: the residents of the place and the surroundings lie a lot at her heart; thus, she had already been thinking quite a long time how to include the site into her research paper at university in order to give the academic work a practical context and sense.
The initial idea of the researcher was the development of a promotional campaign for Churín, but after having consulted with her thesis assessor, the subject of the research was changed in favour of the creation of a destination brand which represents a more holistic approach than a mere promotional campaign; in addition, it fits very well into the current setting of the Andean village which is defined by various, but uncoordinated efforts to push on with the social and economic development of the place: The destination brand could act as the golden thread that unites the different existing lines of action of the local stakeholders.
In today’s world everything plays around marketing, promotion – brands! Whatever you want to sell, it does not suffice to have the best product of the world, you have to make it wanted by the final consumers (Klein, 1999).
Ultimately, countries and cities have been increasingly considered as products – products which have to be promoted professionally in order to attract investors, residents and tourists (and/or make them stay) (Seisdedos, n.d.).
Churín on the contrary is very badly promoted: People, especially in the Peruvian capital Lima, know it from mouth-to-mouth propaganda, but it lacks a coordinated and consolidated promotion strategy which would install the same image of Churín in the minds of everybody, and especially of the target group.
Hence, the aspired contribution of this exploratory research paper is the initiation of a destination branding process in Churín as the researcher is convinced of its benefits as long as the destination brand is correctly and professionally applied, of course: On the one hand, the process of the brand building will unify the population of the village, and enhance the self-esteem and appreciation of the resources of its living place; on the other hand, the confluence of tourists should increase, and likewise the incomes of the residents of Churín and the surrounding communities. This would allow a sustainable improvement of the low standard of living and thus, Churín would offer a more positive vision for future generations.
Diplom-Betriebswirt (FH), Hochschule Reutlingen
European School of Business
20 de abril 2009
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