Destination branding and sustainability are becoming more and more important in Germany, tells us Petra Trimborn in this interview. She also shares her thoughts on the difference between place marketing and branding, which rankings German destinations use to measure their brand performance, and the main challenges destination managers and branders are facing.
- How sustainability performance impacts the reputation and competitiveness of destinations;
- How place branding differs from -marketing;
- How the Elbphilharmonie is adding value to Hamburg’s city brand;
- Which trends and challenges German destinations, cities and regions are facing;
- How places in Germany measure the success of their branding activities;
- Which regions and destinations in Germany are the most successful in branding.
Petra, do you remember what first attracted your interest in the branding and reputation of places, such as tourist destinations?
My background from my studies is tourism geography combined with marketing and regional planning. From the very beginning of my studies I looked at tourism as a tool for development, no matter what region we are talking about. Already in the late 80s we were discussing so called landmarks, which are an outstanding symbol for a place.
My first position as Marketing Assistant Europe for the EU-funded Caribbean Tourism Development Programme focused on the positioning and marketing of the Caribbean in major European source markets. Already at that time we were focusing on the outstanding specialities (spices, music, landscape, beaches) of the Caribbean and used them as a tool for branding the region and making it known to the European traveler.
After years of consulting work I started my sponsored PhD in destination branding and its evaluation. My partner from the professional side was the German representation of Turespaña. During these years of PhD research I concentrated on different issues to do with destination branding and looked not only at German research and destinations. Even more of interest to me was the international community.