Cinema, Destination Image and Place Branding Cinema, Destination Image & Place Branding - Page 172

CINEMA, DESTINATION IMAGE & PLACE BRANDING local tourism of Japan can be found easily in any region in Japan and from their diverse promotion brochures, maps and pamphlets about tourist resources avail- able. Until now, Japan has managed and provided support for tourist attractions and resources on the basis of local governments, that is, small cities or towns, through policies. In this respect, Japan provides a good environment to perform studies on diverse tourist resources and attractions located in cities and towns from various perspectives. However, it is hard to say that tourism-related studies from various perspectives on cities and towns of Japan are satisfactory now. One of the key objectives of early research on urban tourism lied in investi- gating relationships between tourism of an area and products produced in the area and economic impacts (e.g., Bramwell, 1998). Ashworth and Page (2011) clas- sified fields or themes of urban tourism research into 12 sub-themes which have been approached in different methods from viewpoints of sociology and envi- ronment preservation as well as economics and business management depend- ing on research areas. However, it has been pointed out that most of such studies tended to lean toward a case study on economic impacts of urban tourism and place imagery with a focus on globally renowned cities, showing several weak- nesses like a lack of theories. In contrast, Pearce (2001) stresses that more system- atic and consistent approaches are needed in relation to research on urban tourism, arguing that research by the level of cities can help understand important characteristics of each city and integrate various studies. Keeping these two dif- ferent perspectives in mind, the difference in the concept of urban tourism, and the scope and methodology of research on the term can be identified. This study approaches the concept of urban tourism or the scope of research on the term from a smallest unit viewpoint as possible. In other words, instead of the capital or famous tourist attractions representing a country, this study focuses on a general small city having a population of 500 thousand people located near a big city. In particular, the study pays attention to places of small ecotourism or passive ecotourism having natural tourist resources which citizens of nearby big cities frequently visit for hiking as a one day trip. As mentioned earlier, in Japan, domestic tourism is very active as local governments and regions promote small and large scale tourism activities. The way of choosing the subjects of research in this study is closer to the perspective of Pearce (2001) as discussed above because it is more significant to characterize small cities through more objective statistics at this point in Japan. Among others, studies to identify a structural relationship between destination image and satisfaction (e.g., Beerli and Martín, 2004; Chen 172 return to the content page