Facing competitiveness with destination management and marketing


MADRID/BRODEAUX, France (September 17, 2008) -­ Constantly increasing global tourism competition in tourism has contributed to underscore the increasingly relevant role of destinations. Attractions, resorts, a city or a region are gaining relevance as deciding factors for travel, rather than a country, implying the decentralization of branding and marketing. This development is at the center of the 4th UNWTO International Conference on “Destination Management and Marketing: Two Strategic Tools to Ensure Quality Tourism,” organized in collaboration with the Directorate of Tourism of France and the City of Bordeaux (September 16-17).

The recent trends and changes in the global tourism marketplace and the challenging situation for tourism destinations require new policies and strategies as well as effective structures. “Destination Management” has become today, without doubt, central to competitiveness and quality in tourism.

The conference aims at encouraging a professional approach to tourism management, decision making and planning at national, regional and local levels. It will provide a leading opportunity for governments, local authorities and the representatives to further explore the strategic tools to ensure quality tourism and to enhance competitiveness through discussions and good practice analysis. The conference will also introduce the work of the World Center of Excellence for Destinations in Montreal, Canada (CED) – newly established in cooperation with UNWTO.

“Decentralization in tourism enables destinations to better specialize themselves and allows local actors to increase their degree of professionalism. It is also at the regional and local levels that governance can be fine-tuned, and that partnership between public and private actors can be forged. In many respects, partnership in the area of tourism is the key to excellence,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli.

The conference follows the one we held last year in Budapest. In order to maximize benefits and participation, the conference will be held back to back and immediately before the European Tourism Forum, (Bordeaux, September 18-19, 2008), jointly organized by the Government of France and the European Commission under the French Presidency of the European Union.