Post-print of: Hanlan, J, Fuller, D & Wilde, SJ 2006, ‘Destination decision making: the need for a strategic planning and management approach’, Tourism and Hospitality Planning & Development, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 209-221.
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The choice, consumption and later evaluation of destination experiences, is a complex and important area. Consumers are often highly involved. The experience involves both products and services requiring a relatively high level of expenditure. It also usually involves a degree of risk within a relatively unfamiliar environment. Such factors mean that consumers can hold strong and influential attitudes toward different destinations. The factors and processes that influence destination choice have received considerable research attention. In addition, studies have begun to investigate satisfaction levels relating to the quality of the destination experience. However, it is argued in this paper that important information affecting consumer destination decision making needs to be better incorporated into a systematic planning process. This will aid the strategic management of such information and better enable the implementation of strategies aimed at enhancing destination competitiveness.