There have only been a small number of applications of consumer decision set theory to holiday destination choice, and these studies have tended to rely on a single cross sectional snapshot of research participants’ stated preferences. Very little has been reported on the relationship between stated destination preferences and actual travel, or changes in decision set composition over time. The paper presents a rare longitudinal examination of destination decision sets, in the context of short break holidays by car in Queensland, Australia. Two questionnaires were administered, three months apart. The first identified destination preferences while the second examined actual travel and revisited destination preferences. In relation to the conference theme, there was very little change in consumer preferences towards the competitive set of destinations over the three month period. A key implication for the destination of interest, which, in an attempt to change market perceptions, launched a new brand campaign during the period of the project, is that a long term investment in a consistent brand message will be required to change market perceptions. The results go some way to support the proposition that the positioning of a destination into a consumer’s decision set represents a source of competitive advantage
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