Ministers to debate destination branding

Now in its ninth year, the 2015 UNWTO/WTM Ministers’ Summit at World Travel Market London will put a spotlight on destination branding and how it has become an increasingly complex challenge.

Destination management organisations are re-evaluating their structures and strategies to adapt to new market trends created by social media and new business models, such as the so called sharing economy and the growing power in the hands of consumers.

Moderated by CNN journalist Richard Quest, tourism ministers from around the world and private sector leaders will discuss destination branding: new challenges in a changing market.

The 2015 edition of the UNWTO/WTM Ministers’ Summit will focus on:

• What makes a successful destination brand in today’s globalised media landscape?

• The links between nation branding and destination branding

• The role of social media and consumers’ engagement in destination branding

• Reputation management and crisis communication

• The changing role of destination marketing organisations; and the contribution of the creative economy to destination branding

Confirmed speakers include Jordan’s minister of tourism and antiquities, Nayef Al Fayez, among other eminent personalities from Expedia, Peru Foreign Trade and Tourism office, Slovakia, Google Travel, Facebook and Eurostar.

The discussion will be further enriched by the participation of more than 150 ministers and aides poised to attend the event.

'The rise of the new technologies, coupled with the global economic downturn, has brought a paradigm shift as power moves from governments to citizens and from companies to consumers. This change is having a huge impact in the tourism sector and both destinations and companies need to adjust to new challenges', UNWTO secretary-general, Taleb Rifai has said.

World Travel Market London, senior director, Simon Press, says: 'The UNWTO and WTM Ministers’ Summit is a fixture in the calendar for ministers and private sector to debate the key issues facing the industry.

'Destination branding is becoming even more complex challenge as consumers empowered by new business models such as the sharing economy and social media have an impact on a destination’s brand and reputation.'