Articles

Creating a destination marketing or investment promotion strategy that recognises your heritage whilst establishing a clear point of difference from your neighboring destinations can be tough. It's not enough to say that you offer an 'authentic' experience - you have to be able to back your claim up. So how do you ensure that your place brand truly reflects what is unique about your place? Corinna Keller, VP Advertising Sales for the Americas, and Tini Sevak, VP Audience & Data, at CNN International, shared their insights on how places in Latin America & the Caribbean could overcome this challenge, as well as some of the opportunities that the future may hold.

logo Tini Sevak VP Audiences & Data, CNN International

The industry of travel and tourism thrives on information and data – it’s what ensures the right plane is filled with the right passengers eating the right meals going to the right destination with the right baggage ending up in the right hotel room. Today, there are over 1.4 billion tourists travelling worldwide to more destinations and places. With accessibility and proliferation comes greater demand - travellers want more than ever before; we want speed, authenticity, security – we want it all and, crucially, we want it now.

New Zealand have one of the most admired place brands in the world. But what goes on behind the brand? Rebecca Smith, Director of the New Zealand Story, shared some of New Zealand's key areas of focus with us before she delivers our international keynote at City Nation Place Latin America & the Caribbean.

Following the dissolution of Mexico's Tourism Promotion council, the private sector of Los Cabos stepped into fill the gap. Rodrigo Esponda, Managing Director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board, shared details of the collaboration with us, along with the work that they're undertaking to challenge negative stereotypes in the media.

With so much on offer, how do people choose where to go on their next vacation? According to the 2014 Google Traveler study, 65% of leisure travelers search the Internet as a trusted source of information when choosing a destination for travel. In many ways, the digital perception of place brand is the prospective tourist’s only reality.


So what is the digital appeal for countries in Latin America & the Caribbean?

With just two weeks until our inaugural City Nation Place Latin America & Caribbean conference and with a line-up of place branding leaders set to share their expertise, we’ve gathered eight of the best quotes to give you a quick sneak preview of the ground-breaking discussion planned for Costa Rica. Of course, many of the issues they raise will be relevant around the world….

Collaboration is the key to a success of your place brand vision. Bettina Garibaldi, Senior Vice President at Ketchum, shared some of her insights with us around how collaboration can be leveraged to maximise the impact of your communication strategy and ensures that you're able to make the best use of your resources.

There are numerous examples of places that didn’t listen to their community and launched communications campaigns which were then lambasted by citizens who disagreed with them (Vilnius’ ‘G-Spot of Europe’ campaign springs to mind quite quickly), and of places who are facing a citizen backlash to the success of their tourism attraction strategy, or even – as the case of Long Island in the USA and the rejection of the new Amazon HQ plan – a rejection of successful investment attraction and economic development. So how do you ensure your community are engaged with your place brand strategy?

“Benchmarking allows us to actively share our responses to communication challenges with our peers and demonstrate our best foot forward,” stated Daniela Montiel, International Partnerships Manager at Marca Chile and one of the Jury members for the 2019 City Nation Place Awards. She added, “In my case, reviewing the benchmarks/entries from the past couple of years has truly been a source of inspiration.”

So what are our judges looking for? What do they think are the key ingredients of a great place strategy or place marketing campaign?

The meteoric rise in social media usage has provided an entirely new medium for countries to share their stories with the world. But how do you walk the line of promoting what makes your place unique whilst still acknowledging your history? Dr Robert Paul Jones, Executive Director of the G.U.E.S.T center at Texas Tech University shared his insights with us before he joins us as a speaker at City Nation Place Latin America & Caribbean.

At first, Latin America seems enticing with its sunny weather, low cost of living, beautiful beaches, and incredible history. And without surprise, these features are frequently promoted in international travel and lifestyle media. 

But are these reasons enough to get a traveler or business motivated to seek out Latin America as their next destination?  Are the rich Latin culture, weather, and affordable cost what it takes to make its vibrant cities a top destination to work, live, and do business in?

Sometimes at City Nation Place HQ, it feels that we spend a lot of time focussing on the ever-evolving challenges that place branding faces – the problems that have us banging our heads on the wall in frustration. But it’s important to remember that there’s also a great opportunity to be creative and over the years, we’ve seen some truly innovative tourism and investment promotion campaigns. Here are just a few of the most imaginative and unusual place marketing campaigns that make our job, as collectors of place branding stories, so interesting.