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Strategic Management and Branding Panacea for Surviving in Volatile Environments: Case of Zimbabwe Tourism Industry

Business and Management Horizons , Volume 3; doi:10.5296/bmh.v3i2.8543

Abstract: The Zimbabwe tourism destination has been rebranded three times between the years 1980 and 2011. It started with the brand name “Discover Zimbabwe” after independence in 1980, to “Africa Paradise” in 1996, then “Zimbabwe a World of Wonders” in 2011. The change was done as an effort to strategically position the country’s tourism destination through an attractive brand. The first two brands failed to change the perceptions of tourists towards Zimbabwe. This study sought to explore strategic factors that might have affected the tourism destination. The research applied both quantitative and qualitative approaches to extract data. The results showed that the majority of tourism players in Zimbabwe used the branding concept separately from strategic management. The study discovered that the failure of the tourism industry is attributed to the failure by the authorities to strategically consult key stakeholders in the formulation of the brand. The study therefore, recommended a brand-strategic model suitable for tourism destinations emphasising on combining branding and strategic management.
Keywords: strategic management / Africa / tourism destination / tourism industry / Zimbabwe Tourism / strategically position

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