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ETC-UNWTO Handbook on Tourism Destination Branding

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Brussels, Belgium 21 September 2009. Tourism has become one of the world’s fastest growing economic sectors in recent years.  Governments around the world are increasingly recognising the power of tourism to boost their nation’s development and prosperity.  As more tourism destinations emerge and competition for visitors becomes more intense, a destination’s ability to project itself on the world stage and differentiate itself from others is ever more important.

Recognizing the value of successfully building and managing a destination’s brand, the European Travel Commission (ETC) and World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) have commissioned this Handbook to provide a useful and practical guide for both marketing novices and experienced destination managers.

Introduced by an essay by Simon Anholt on the importance of building a national brand image, the Handbook on Tourism Destination Branding provides a step-by-step guide to the branding process, accompanied by strategies for brand management. Case studies are featured throughout the Handbook to illustrate the various concepts, present best practices from destinations around the world and provide fresh insight into destination branding.  The Handbook concludes with a section on evaluating brand impact and a set of practical recommendations.

Further details on this publication can be found under the following link:

Handbook: Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introductory Essay: Why National Image Matters – By Simon Anholt
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction

1. Branding Explained

  • 1.1 The Global Context
  • 1.2 Role: What a Brand Is and What It Is Not
  • 1.3 The Future

2.  Practical Guide to Branding Strategy

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Defining Branding Objectives
  • 2.3 Brand Positioning
  • 2.4 The Branding Process
  • 2.5 The Challenges

3.  Bringing the Brand to Life

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Applying the Brand Values – Marketing Communications
  • 3.3 Living the Brand Values – Behaviour

4.  Managing the Brand

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Brand Manager/Guardian
  • 4.3 Steering Group
  • 4.4 Internal Marketing: NTO Staff
  • 4.5 Internal Marketing: Residents
  • 4.6 Internal Marketing: Commercial and other Stakeholders
  • 4.7 Brand Champions
  • 4.8 Brand Advocates
  • 4.9 Brand Seminars
  • 4.10 Maintaining Momentum – Keeping the Brand Fresh

5.  Measuring Brand Impact

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Brand Tracking Surveys
  • 5.3 Online Panel Surveys
  • 5.4 Omnibus-style Surveys
  • 5.5 International Benchmarking Surveys
  • 5.6 Visitor Satisfaction Surveys
  • 5.7 Monitoring Media Coverage

6.  Branding Strategies in Action

  • 6.1 Introduction
  • 6.2 Case Studies

7.  Conclusions and Recommendations

  • 7.1 Introduction
  • 7.2 At the Beginning: Understanding the Brand and Its Role
  • 7.3 Developing the Brand – Main Steps
  • 7.4 Implementing the Brand
  • 7.5 Managing and Monitoring the Brand
  • 7.6 Critical Success Factors and the Future


  • Annex 1 Current NTO Branding Practices (NTO Branding Survey)
  • Annex 2 Glossary of Terms


ETC is an association of national tourism organisations (NTOs).  It was created in 1948 to promote Europe as a tourism destination to the long-haul markets outside Europe and currently has 39 member NTOs, including 12 from outside the European Union.  ETC is an independent body which is financed entirely by annual membership contributions and partnership funding.

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