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Destination Marketing

City Brands - Istanbul, Hong Kong, Dubai
World Tourism Forum destination marketing

Destination Marketing: City Brands

Destination management is an important and integral part of any destination marketing strategy. The concept of ‘city brands’ emerged in the world as a result of efforts of destination marketers to brandify the place, city, region or country.

City Branding vs City Marketing

City Branding is the summary of all activities designed with an aim of creating a city from a location into a destination based on mission, vision and identity; whereas city marketing is conducted based on current consumer wishes and needs.

In this article three successful examples of city branding policy implemented by certain authorities or organizations are presented. The website of destinaiton often serves as the main medium of communication of brand strategy to consumers.

Dubai Discover your Dubai

The official website of Dubai doesn’t contain any tagline, but it has distinctive logo which conveys the brand of the city, using two colors: blue and pink.

The website is administered by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), vision of which is to make Dubai the leading destination for global travel, business and events by 2020. DTCM plans, supervises, develops and markets tourism in Dubai. The entity is also responsible for all tourism sector classification of hotel establishments, tour operators, travel agencies and licensing.

DTCM sets its goal to host over 20 million visitors in 2020. DTCM has 20 offices around the world.

The website contains four main categories:

  • Discover
  • Shop, Dine, Relax
  • Sell, Thrill, Play
  • Travel Planning

The website comprises a lot of visuals each designed for particular attraction or site, it is easy to navigate and available in six languages.

Istanbul – The timeless city

The official website of Istanbul city is administered by Istanbul Development Agency together with Istanbul Convention & Visitor Bureau. Both entities are supported by government and were established to monitor and facilitate legislation process in Istanbul through effective policy implementation process.

The website contains categories such as

  • Istanbul Guide
  • Things To Do
  • Istanbul Essentials
  • Book Istanbul, Social Istanbul
  • Taste Istanbul

Moreover, it lists upcoming events, festivals and online competitions, such as ONE ISTANBUL Share Your Istanbul on Instagram and Win and Istanbul Augemented Reality Game.

The website also give information on e-visa and sending electronic postcards and also gives the direct link to Istanbul YouTube channel.

The website is easy to navigate, moreover, the main page is designed in form of Panoramic view to the city with famous spots written directly on the picture, which can be scrolled to have 360 degree view. Currently the website is available in two languages: English and Turkish.

Hong Kong Asia’s World City

Hong Kong city is branded by Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) with a tagline ‘Asia’s World City’. HKTB is a government-subvented body designed with the purpose of promoting Hong Kong globally as a leading international city in Asia and as a world-class tourist destination.

HKTB works with other tourism stakeholders and provides extensive research into visitor profiles and preferences. It also organise campaigns and events programmes throughout the year and convey them to target audience through various communication channels.

Chairman of the HKTB is Dr Peter Lam Kin-ngok. The board currently consists of 20 members, representing various tourism industry leaders. It has 15 offices around the world and marketing activities are conducted through these offices.

The website contains information about the top attractions, upcoming events, must eat. The main categories on the main page are:

  • Things To Do
  • Dine & Drink
  • Shop
  • Plan Your Trip
  • Cruise

Beyond Hong Kong. Each of the sections contain the list of activites certified by Quality Tourism Services (QTS) sites.

The website is easy to navigate, it is bright ans colorful having perfect mix of Asian and modern style. Moreover, it is available in sixteen languages.

A lot of marketing efforts are undertaken nowadays to promote destinations in a way that could create brand awareness about the location, whether it is aregion, country or a city. Activities are undertaken according to country’s policy and may involve strong collaboration with private sector as well.

The success of destination marketing strategy is measured by many factors, such as visitor numbers, economic share and brand awareness. Effective destination marketing strategy nowadays plays a vital role in place branding and tourism development.

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