Sharing Economy & Tourism


More and more destinations around the globe gradually become aware of the influence that the growing start-ups of the sharing economy have upon them. We refer to a fascinating thematic area, which involves so many different issues such as the changing perceptions of new demographic groups about the nature and quality of travel-related services, the reaction of destination authorities according to the cultural and political context of each place, the regulations that could contribute to the establishment of a level playing field for all stakeholders involved, and several others.

In fact, About-tourism has been monitoring this trend for quite some time and today we are ready to announce the conduct of a research concerning the influence of the sharing economy in tourism and hospitality industry in Europe. Our key objectives are to explore what trends and factors have led to the emergence and expansion of this new phenomenon in the field of tourism as well as to emphasize on those opportunities and challenges international destinations are facing in trying to integrate such activities into the economic and social fabric of their areas.

Accordingly, we are excited to invite members of the start-up community in the field of tourism along with tourism industry leaders and destination authority officials to provide their valuable insight through the online questionnaires of About-tourism. This integration of viewpoints will allow our research team to expand the scope of research and made valid statements about current trends and future prospects.

We estimate that it takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete the survey, so if you feel you can to contribute to this project please click on the link below that corresponds to your group of stakeholders, or cut and paste the respective URL into your browser to access the questionnaire.

1st Questionnaire – Sharing-Economy Start-Ups:

2nd Questionnaire – Tourism Industry Associations & Private Sector Leaders:

3rd Questionnaire – Destination Authorities:

Your input is very important to us and will be kept confidential. Furthermore, we will send you a report of the main findings and conclusions after completion of the project hoping to stimulate a vivid debate about ongoing development in Europe and elsewhere. Stay tuned!

abouTourism destination consultancy announces its official company launch.

abouTourism is an international destination development & marketing consultancy with a regional focus on SE Europe & Eastern Mediterranean Regions.

Through official partnerships with a specialist international tourism consultancy, TEAM Tourism Consulting, as well as with TCI Research (Tourism Competitive Intelligence) specializing in survey-based research and evaluation in the public and private tourism sectors, we offer an elite team of destination experts and tourism professionals who combine extensive experience as practitioners, managing operations, with many years of consultancy experience working for DMOs and related organisations around the world.

“abouTourism destination consultancy, with its consortium of consultants and partner companies, has the depth of talent, practical experience, technical and management expertise to suit client’s requirements. We aim to provide quality services and implementation support in every stage of the destination’s development, management & marketing process said abouTourism’s Managing Director & Founder Manolis Psarros during the launch of the company.

Client organizations can pick and choose from a wide variety of individual services or tailormade packages. Flexibility is the key. We provide everything from tourism master plans to DMO operations support and seminars & workshops for tourism professionals. Think of us as an one-stop-shop for tourism boards, destination management organizations and tourism professionals associations.

More about abouTourism Destination Consultancy

abouTourism destination consultancy is an innovative and comprehensive professional services company that focuses exclusively in destination development, management & marketing. By combining proven methodologies, deep experience and implementation support, abouTourism can help Destination Management/Marketing Organizations deliver quality projects and results. Headquartered in Athens, Greece we have associates at UK, SE Europe & East Med. For more information please visit our website at or contact us at


Destination Branding Workshop

by Manolis Psarros – abouTourism

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.
A  few months 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. We are currently looking at options to offer this workshop in more regions around the world. We will keep you posted on future opportunities.

At this time please feel free to view below the Destination Branding Workshop Presentations slides along with two case studies (New Zealand & Colombia ) by Tom Buncle (Destination Branding Expert/Author of UNWTO/ETC Handbook on Tourism Branding & member of the abouTourism network of experts).

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

PART TWO: Creating a Place Brand

Creating a place brand calls for collaborative research to design an effective strategy, a high level of community & stakeholders engagement and a strong political will to implement it. When it comes to tourism and destination branding it’s all about ”creating a sense of place and telling a story” (Tom Buncle).

In this second part of the Destination Branding Workshop we analyze in brief the real facts, challenges and solutions on the place branding strategy through a tourism perspective. Enjoy the slideshare presentation  and feel free to make your comments.

CASE STUDY 1: New Zealand: From Fuddy-Duddy Destination for Émigrés to Funky Hotspot for Adrenalin Junkies

By Tom Buncle, Managing Director, Yellow Railroad (Nov 2010) – for abouTourism blog (Manolis Psarros)

New Zealand may be the most admired tourism destination brand in the world by its competitors (according to research undertaken amongst UNWTO members by Yellow Railroad in 2009), but not many people are aware that the idea behind the “100% Pure” campaign started life not as a destination brand, but as a place branding strategy. And it is still one of the best exemplars of place branding in the world. Click here for the full text.

CASE STUDY 2: Colombia: From Pariah State to Progressive Economy

By Tom Buncle, Managing Director, Yellow Railroad (Nov 2010) – for abouTourism blog (Manolis Psarros)

Question: How do you change a country’s image from one of the world’s “bad boys” to somewhere people want to invest and visit?

Answer: You don’t do it overnight or through flash marketing. You do it by changing your behaviour, your infrastructure and your institutions; and then you tell people about the changes …. but not before you’ve changed the very fabric of your country. Then, and only then, can the brand kick in as a signal of the new nation. And to get the message across that you’ve changed, you need to focus ruthlessly on your core assets and values. Oh ….. and it can help to attract people’s attention if you’re a bit controversial. click here for the full text.

Destination Brandwatch: Southeast Asia’s “Feel the Warmth” Campaign

Forget diplomatic rows over temple ownership, migrant workers, politics and all those other trivial matters. The whole dysfunctional Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) family has teamed up for a new consumer destination marketing campaign dubbed “Southeast Asia: Feel the Warmth.”

The campaign is anchored by, which includes a map-based organizer that allows travelers to plan trips, estimate costs and book hotels, cars and flights. Though it is obviously geared towards tourists, Bangkok locals might also find the site useful as the Thailand section features hundreds of ideas for eating, day trips, tours, historic sites and events.

The ASEAN campaign has also clued into the marketing potential of allowing reader submissions, announcing on Friday that it’s offering travel writers, bloggers and photographers who submit content to a chance to win US$15,000 in prizes.

Southeast Asia Awards for writing and photography will be awarded in two categories: Editor’s Choice Awards, which will be decided by a panel of judges, and People’s Choice Awards, voted on by visitors to Southeast

There will be a total of 12 awards, four per month, until 15 June. Each winner will receive US$750. In addition, four Grand Prizes will be announced on 15 June. Visitors to the website can now submit their own text or photographs, or nominate articles and images of other people.