For anyone in or interested in the tourism industry to explore issues associated with branding a country, region, destination, attraction, hotel, tour etc

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7 of the Top Destination Brands of 2023

  Visit Maldives Over the past decades, destinations in Europe, North America, and the Caribbean have been the stars in both destination branding and popularity among travelers. And while all the above certainly remain among the world´s most powerful performers in tourism, the World Travel Awards (dubbed “the Oscars of travel”) in 2023 have underscored strong showings outside these traditional areas, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. Here´s a quick rundown of this year´s winners:…

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How brands can manage a travel-industry crisis like coronavirus

Travel isn’t always a bed of roses. There are natural disasters, tainted products, bad actors, data breaches, regional and global viruses, and events big and small that require industries to step up, speak up, and do whatever it takes to care of their employees and customers.  As the coronavirus outbreak tops more than 135,000 in some 140 countries, it’s an appropriate time to offer advice on how to handle an industry crisis. read post

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Cross-border migration and tourism

All across the world - Europe, the United States, Australia, Asia, and elsewhere - immigration and refugees are hot topics. But little attention has been paid to how this issue meshes with the other great mass movement of our era: tourism. An integral part of tourism is the exchange of cultures and the appreciation of the “other”, and the industry is often dependent on "importing” guest workers from abroad, who provide needed services and often also give a sense of the exotic…

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What's behind Costa Rica's new country brand?

Costa Rica’s newly launched country brand, “Essential Costa Rica” (Esencial Costa Rica), centers on a complete image of the country – from its “peaceful, down-to-earth” people who proudly preserve their environment and happily enjoy a high quality of life, to a modern world of technology, trade and commerce, all set in the world’s premier ecotourism destination of rich complete post

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  • I read Simon Anholt's book. I've never worked on branding a country, but I have taken over 40 different US communities through the task. The principles covered in his book area right on.
  • "Live the Legend" in Peru is a strong brand as well. There, they have been trying to diversify their tourism having over-branded Machu Picchu and suffering the consequences of what I call the check-list tourist. The hook can be an iconic impression, but the brand needs to convey an experience as well.
  • In the realm of great branding examples, besides Incredible!India, I also would include "Croatia. The Mediterranean as it once was".

    I agree with Paul Barnett that more channels are used, faster a new tagline or logo proliferates. Also, if the shift is very dramatic. The United States required only one year and one President to dramatically shift its image abroad. That still doesn't mean that the country has strong brand for tourism. The USA is rated very low for culture, for example, in spite the great cultural importance that it has for the world. Or in nature, or beaches, etc.

    A brand to become successful destination brand (or the way in this group is called "Tourism Brand") it needs:
    1. Branding all assets for tourism, not only one aspects
    2. Proliferating the brand in all possible channels. See brand Hong Kong - it is from commercials to shopping bags, and from youtube to national carriers, boats, city transportation, "Made in...." labels, etc.
    3. Converting all stakeholders, including the local population into brand ambassadors, not only leaving the efforts to the marketers and advertisers. For the USA to become this year brand Nr. one there were millions (from the plazas in Berlin and New York to every single home) of people investing their hope in President Obama and becoming its evangelists around the world.
  • Vikas, I think "Incredible India" is a very strong brand, not so much for just the tag line, more for the images and campaign work that I have seen as part of the campaign, which photographically gives credibility and authenticity to the claims, and focuses largely on the unique aspects to the country.

    In answer to the question, how long does re-branding take and does it recquire a lot of commercials - for sure it is not a quick. How long depends on how well the concept was conceived, how inclusive and well supported it is by stakeholders, whether the reality matches the message being presented and of course communication to establish awareness. The communication should be a broad mix to include some commercials, but these days I think the emphasis should be much more focused on new media and PR as a means to communicating stories, something hard to do in a commercial. As the market has fragmented so much, and people look for different sources of value when travelling commercials are a less effective solution when trying to communicate different messages to different tourist niches. It is far better to narrowcast in a trageted way, than broadcast in a generic way in this situation, especially in terms of value for money. The real importance is in carefully identifying the match between the value that can be offered, which segments to appeal to, and the best way to talk to each group. I also suggest that branding should be ongoing and evolutionary, not re-branding everytime the story gets tired or looses appeal.
  • I am agree with all of you. Being in India as branded destination. A Brand " Incredible India" have been giving the phenomenal growth in tourist arrival.

    Another very good example of Korea. As they have re- branded them self third time in 2007 " Sparkling Korea" and still on the top list of international tourist destination.

    I would like to understand how much time a brand takes to go for re- branding phase or it is just a perception of the NTO's or Marketing company where lots of commercials involve.???
  • WOW - Things are getting off to a great start here - some of the comments sting more than skin after a day on the beach under scortching rays! Guess thats ok if it brings out some truths, so long as everyone is prepared for the heat! But, seriously, lets keep it constructive, positive and professional please, we don´t want actions for slander.
  • Speaking of destination taglines, here's a link to some real beauts. I especially like "Austria. At last!" along with "Sicily: Everything else is in the shade" (???) and of course the New South Wales' ever-popular "There's no place like it" (was that last one the same branding company that came up with "There's only one"??).
  • Righ, Jose, not only this, but Andalucia has the weakest branding in Spain. Specially among the locals. It is in need of new positioning, new branding and this hasn't been done even for the Expo in 92, much less now. Go figure. Catalunya brand is the most strong from the regional Spanish ones, I believe. From the cities, Madrid has great brand (Landor's best), but the municipality is doing everything to screw it up and water it down.
  • Regarding Columbia branding: Who invented the tagline? For me, there are only 4 destination branding companies in the world: Landor, FutureBrand, Wolf Ollins, and THR out of Spain. From these 4, only THR has specialists in tourism. Country brands and destination branding projects fail for that reason: they don't register the dynamic of the tourism (domestic and international), TOGETHER with the local perspective. Simon Anholt is a PR person, and is more concerned about the image and the results sometime are disastrous, if you follow his "brilliant" writings for the last 10 years.
  • Congratulation you decided to work with Binder Group. Regina is very smart lady and really has a lot to offer, specially if you consider cultural tourism as place development.
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