Damir Demonja, PhD, Senior Scientific Adviser on Permanent Position, from the Department for International Economic and Political Relations, along with Robert Baćac, BEc, Independent consultant, published the original scientific paper Tourist Destination Branding: The Example of Podravina in the scientific journal „New Presence – Journal of Intellectual and Spiritual Issues“, indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection (WoSCC) – Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), SCOPUS, CSA Sociological Abstracts database, DOAJ, EBSCO, ERIH Plus, HRČAK, Index Copernicus, Religious & Theological Abstracts (Myerstown, USA) and Worldwide Political Science Abstracts databases with impact factors in the first (Q1) (religious sciences) and second (Q2) quartiles (philosophy).
Podravina as a cultural-historical term is a recognizable geographical area in the Republic of Croatia that includes the territory between the Drava river, the mountains of Bilogora and Kalnik hills. Today, this area is part of a unique administrative and political entity of Koprivnica-Križevci County. In terms of tourism, Podravina is a separate entity, in particular historical, cultural, natural and social destination with its own specifics and resources. Podravina has an adequate number of unique and valuable tourist attractions that have the potential to attract tourists. However, in the example of Podravina, these attractions are not articulated in such a way as to differentiate Podravina more strongly, more clearly against the competition, and tourists should be offered a unique experience based on the synergy of existing facilities at the disposal of Podravina. This will be possible by starting the process of building the tourist brand of Podravina. Podravina branding is the creation of a competitive identity that will differentiate this destination from all others. The brand itself is determined by the basic characteristics of the destination, its advantages arising from the resource base, which is its personality, and make it recognizable and different from competitors. This scientific paper presents and explains the reasons and needs, i.e. the necessity of branding a destination with reference to the global context and competitive environment, explains the types of branding, and for the first time for Podravina defines PoPs, Points of Parity, and PoDs, Points of Difference, on the basis of which the destination Podravina would build its values and recognizability in terms of tourism. Following them, branding factors that are crucial for brand building are proposed and explained, concluding with the steps of the Podravina tourist brand building process and successful implementation of all factors of creating a recognizable market brand of Podravina. Considering that a review of recent scientific and professional literature shows that the tourist branding of Podravina has not been discussed in the Croatian academic public, this scientific paper is one of the first to address this important topic.