The Invention of a Danish Well-being Tourism Region: Strategy, Substance, Structure, and Symbolic Action

Anne Mette Hjalager*


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This paper provides an outline and analysis of endeavours to invent and implement new well-being activities in the region of Southern Denmark. Based on Anholt's (2005) model, the paper analyses the success of efforts to create a well-being product that might eventually develop into a brand. Strategy is about expressing the direction and timing of development. In this particular regional setting, with numerous individual actors, it was not simple to reconcile the needs and objectives of those involved, but collaboration has nevertheless resulted in targeted fields of action. Substance comprises the essential features of the material and immaterial products and services provided. This includes the spirit and mindset of the population that are so important in determining the qualities of the products and services available at the location. At the outset, substance was not particularly innovative and was therefore the weakest element in the region of Southern Denmark. Structures are of importance for the efficiency of networks and collaboration, and are a driving force for development in their own right. The region has succeeded in institutionalizing structural processes and ensuring a commitment for the future. Symbolic actions are fundamental parts of the substance or visual elements that happen to have an intrinsic communicative power. Symbolic actions addressed in the project included community based marketing and policy related extensions, etc. Inventing a regional product or brand requires a painstaking combination of strategy, substance, structure and symbolic action, and in Southern Denmark, the first steps have been taken.

TidsskriftTourism Planning & Development
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)51-67
Antal sider17
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2011
Udgivet eksterntJa


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