The Influence of Place Identity on Destination Competitiveness in Machakos County, Kenya
Maingi, Shem Wambugu
Barak, Winfred Musengy’a
Ndubi, Edgar Otsembo
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The topic of place identity has recently attracted interest among researchers because to date there exists no place brand identity model that is universally accepted. Nevertheless, this core aspect of the destination branding process has influence on destination competitiveness upon which success and performance of any brand depends on. The purpose of this study was to determine the Influence of place identity on the competitiveness of Machakos County as a tourist destination. Specific objectives of this study were to determine the influence of visitor profile on destination competitiveness, to investigate the influence of visitor place identity perceptions on destination competitiveness, to examine the effect of visitor self-efficacy on destination competitiveness and to determine the moderating effect of tourism industry context on the relationship between place identity and destination competitiveness of Machakos County. Data analysis was done using SPSS, descriptive and inferential statistics. Correlation results indicated that Place Identity perception, Visitor self-efficacy, and industry context were positively and significantly associated to destination competitiveness. Regression results further showed that place identity perception, visitor selfefficacy, and industry context were positively and significantly associated to destination competitiveness. The study concluded that tourists’ perception of a destination’s Identity as a preferred destination choice for travel is crucial as it plays a role in tourist satisfaction and with it the intention to recommend or return. The study recommended that DMOs should work towards ensuring a congruence between the identity of a place and the image portrayed . Keywords: Visitor profile, place identity perceptions, self-efficacy, industry context, competitiveness.