Destination branding Iceland
Destination branding Georgia
Ukraine World Travel Market
Destination branding Serbia
Destination branding Slovenia
Destination branding Poland
Northern Ireland destination branding
Destination branding Spain
Destination branding Catalonia
Destination branding New York City
Destination branding Peru

Destination branding

It’s always interesting to visit WTM (World Travel Market)… especially when you haven’t been for a few years. So earlier this month, after a three-year break, l headed back to the ExCel Centre, with camera in hand, to see what was new and what most inspired me. What I was struck by this year was the pervasive brands that many of the eastern European and central Asian countries have created. The visual manifestations of these were proudly displayed on their respective exhibition stands.

Destination branding is now big business, with cities, regions and nations all getting in on the act by looking at new and more effective ways to attract inbound visitors and investment. With the emergence of more destinations, the competition for visitors has certainly become more intense, and that seems to have encouraged everyone to ‘up their game’. So what were the destination brands that jumped out for me?

Noticing what inspired me got me thinking about a broader question.

What exactly is it that helps a piece of branding to cut through our daily visual overload and our natural skepticism… while also managing to truly reflect the essence and character of the place? For the lesser-known destinations, perhaps it’s simply about revealing something completely new and surprising to the world. For the more established places, this isn’t always possible because a radical departure from what everyone knows and expects can carry certain risks. When a person chooses to visit New York or London, they are often drawn there, at least in part, by a particular and well-established set of expectations.

Perhaps the art of destination branding comes down to plain old truths. It’s the promise of an authentic experience… one that is not manufactured. And that seems to work even when it relies on the occasional stereotype to create the idea of that experience.

We hope you enjoy looking at some of the designs and images that most caught our eye at this year’s WTM. And I’d love to hear from you about which of the images and brands I’ve captured most resonate with you and why.

By Paul Warrington