'Destination marketing' booming, says poll

Councils, cities and regions need to up their game if they want to be noticed in the increasingly tough arena of ‘destination marketing’, according to The Communication Group CEO Michael Hayman.

Speaking at the annual LG Communications conference in Manchester last week, Hayman outlined how more cities across the globe were realising the importance of, and investing in, destination marketing.

Dubai, Shanghai and Mumbai were cited as cities that had recently ramped up investment in their brand.

However, research carried out by The Communication Group has revealed that standing out and offering something unique is becoming increasingly difficult.

‘Differentiation between cities is becoming much more difficult for investors. For example, most cities have a strong economy. So now it is soft features such as sporting excellence, climate, exceptional architecture and leisure facilities that can make a difference,’ Hayman said.

Culture and a destination’s ‘friendliness’ also ranked high in importance when choosing a city in which to invest. Image and profile of a destination were ranked as important by 92 per cent of those surveyed.

Cities tipped as ‘ones to watch’ included Cape Town, Toronto and those in the Baltic States, according to Hayman.
The Communications Group surveyed 200 investors across 140 countries. A YouGov panel carried out additional research.

The organisation’s existing clients include The Welsh Assembly, the Canadian government and English Partnerships.

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