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Place-branding involves the creation of signs. Place-branding is how a location acquires a particular reputation (i.e., what is signified about the location). Symbols (i.e., signifiers), such as sounds or images) denote and connote the place’s reputation. Together, the signified and signifier constitute the sign. A place-brand can correspond to a series of signs. Although a location’s reputation is important for many industries, place-branding reaches its pinnacle in tourism. Signifiers of a location’s reputation enable tourists to identify and select from potential competing destinations. Place-branding relies on tourists’ ability to make meaning out of larger system of signs about locations. For this reason place-branding is also problematic.

Place, Brand, and Place-Brand Defined

Geographers treat place as a particular kind of location. Unlike space, an abstract system of locations ...

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