Destination Branding Workshop: PART ONE

Destination Branding is back in fashion as cities and countries all over the world pursue image makeovers designed to help them stand out in the weak global economy, attract visitors and investments.

However, there is a huge confusion over the term and its implications for the destination industry. Millions of dollars are spent over tourism campaigns without actually involving real action & policy-making on the field (where tourist activity actually takes place & visitors perceptions are shaped).
While Simon Anholt states that ’Nation Branding is a dangerously misleading phrase which seems to contain a promise that the images of countries can be directly manipulated using the techniques of marketing communications’’ others go even further and support that countries cannot really be treated as brands.
On the other hand, most of the branding experts and destination professionals  agree that when it comes to tourism,  branding seems to work, although there still seems to be a misconception between branding and communications strategies.
About a month ago I have been asked to lead a Destination Branding Workshop for the East African Tourism Investment Summit as a representative of the World Centre of Excellence for Destinations ( The main objective was to clearly explain the different schools of thought and succesfully transform the knowledge produced by global experts into practical suggestions for the DMOs.
From today and for the next couple of weeks, I will be posting the workshop’s sections in the following parts:

PART ONE: Definining the Concepts & 9+1 Brand-Building Principles

PART TWO: Creating a Place Brand

PART THREE: Destination Branding Strategies in Action


17 thoughts on “Destination Branding Workshop: PART ONE

  1. Hi!

    Thanks for this post – this is really interesting. I looked at exactly the same topic for my final year dissertation, and I looked into the same issues of branding. I found that it’s a lot to do with the local stakeholders (businesses, people etc) and how they are involved in the development and implementation of the brand to whether it can have a chance at succeeding or not.

    Look forward to the rest of your workshop posts!


  2. I could only see part one.

    Your circle model misses 3 key elements – research, measurement & customers.

    Research is critical to the development of a destination brand, especially if tourism is to be the key driver.

    1. Many thanks for your comments & interesting article.

      I wouldn’t use the term ”misses” since the first two elements (research & measurement) are fundamental for every part of the circle while the third one (customers) is at the core but not compatible with the flow of the this circular model.

      Moreover, both research & customers (internal & external) are successfully pointed out on the 9+1 Brand-Building Principles part of the presentation

      PART B (Creating a Place Brand) will be published next Monday – Stay Tuned!

  3. This is really a distilled and properly sifted intellectual and practical presentation. Thanks so much for sharing this to a greater audience.

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