Doha Skyline (collection of ‘iconic’ skyscrapers) from the Café Museum of Islamic Art (Source: Authors own photgraph)
by Kenneth Wardrop
Forbes Magazine in February 2012 identified the Gulf State of Qatar as the world’s richest country with GDP per capita of more than €67,376 for 2010. Qatar’s wealth is based on its substantial natural gas and oil reserves (the natural gas reserves are estimated to be the third largest in the world). When working recently in Qatar I was struck by the extent of large scale construction projects that are underway, and based on the crude measure of the ‘crane count‘ on Doha’s skyline – the city is in a global recession defying phase of growth. Doha has replaced Dubai as the Gulf’s construction boom city. ‘Qatar: As independent as you are’ the title of this piece is the Qatar Tourism Authority’s current brand slogan for the country.
Although this piece by economist Yanis Varoufakis is not directly linked to place branding, I find that it is an excellent account of how and why country stereotypes are produced, what the role of story-telling and of journalists is and what consequeces this may have.
by Kenneth Wardrop
I am writing this on Good Friday (6 April 2012) which is also Scotland’s Tartan Day
. It has led me to reflect on which other nation has such a well known and instantly recognisable icon, and also where else a type of material is so representative and symbolic of a country’s national identity? Continue reading
Europe According to Switzerland (Mapping Stereotypes Project)
by Caspar Lundsgaard-Hansen
Last week, Efe Sevin posted an interesting article on this blog about the Nation Brands Index. This seemed to me like a good opportunity to hint at the work of Yanko Tsvetkov. The graphic designer and visual artist wonderfully maps nation stereotypes.
Even though these maps might not enhance serious nation branding it is nevertheless worth taking a closer look at this artist’s work. As we all know, stereotypes might also actually contain some degree of truth. Or would anyone disagree that Switzerland is the world?
By Renard Teipelke
Do you remember the time when some nations or their progressive leaders/decision makers thought of nation branding as an innovative and cool tool to position their country in a globalized world?! That is to say: a time when nation branding was (deliberately) used by countries like Japan, France, or Australia to market their strengths and to show the world why it makes sense to visit their country or invest in it (by actual direct investment or by buying its export products etc.). Well, nation branding will probably take on a new dimension. The objectives will be similar to common nation branding, but the reasons for doing it will be completely different: Countries are going to use it as a last resort in order to rescue what there is left or in order to recover from a total (political, economic, social/cultural, ecological) crash or crisis. Here are four examples: Continue reading
in:polis | urbanism in cooperation with the School of Tourism and Hotel Management (Akdeniz University Antalya) are happy to announce the first edition of the Conference “Destination Management and Branding in the Mediterranean Region” to be held in Antalya in April 2012. Departing from the ongoing economic and political crisis in the region, we will discuss the role of sustainable tourism. Accordingly bearing the title “Sustainable Tourism in Times of Crisis,” the first edition of this conference will aim at a broad understanding of the complexity of tourism, ranging from topics like marketing and management to ecologic and social challenges and conflicts. Also, the conference will enrich the dialogue between various actors from different disciplines and different parts of the Mediterranean region by discussing the role of governance and networks as well as the impacts of tourism on society and culture. The exchange between the participants about best practice examples can result in a common understanding of sustainable tourism that will function as the base for further thoughts about destination management and branding.
Visit our conference website for further information about themes and subthemes here.
Please find the first Call for Papers here. The exact venue and the fees will be announced shortly.
By Renard Teipelke
In the night from Sunday to Monday history was made. The Dallas Mavericks won the prestigious NBA finals against Miami Heat in the sixth game. NBA? Well, this acronym stands for “National Basketball Association,” i.e. the world-famous basketball league of the United States. Why was it historic? Because with Dallas Mavericks’ team captain Dirk Nowitzki, the first and only German basketball player in NBA’s history won the trophy. He was elected the most valuable player of the finals and made essential contributions to his team’s success over the course of the season and even more during the playoff elimination games. Besides the finals’ success, Nowitzki has played in the most competitive basketball league of the world for more than a decade, disappointingly lost the 2006 finals with the Dallas Mavericks against Miami Heat, and was already mocked as “No-Win-zki” as he was one of the great players in NBA’s history who played multiple playoff elimination games without eventually reaching/winning the finals.
by Ares Kalandides
Spanish farmers are furious. The German health authorities accused their cucumbers of bringing into Germany a serious coli-bacterium (Escherichia coli O157:H7) that spread as an epidemic throughout the country. After a week of panic (tomatoes and fresh salads were also shunned, probably causing mass constipation problems around Germany) the cucumbers were acquitted. But for many people in Spain this was only the tip of the iceberg of what they perceive as growing German arrogance. The German national brand has suffered serious damaged recently and this is but only one example. Continue reading
Guest Article by Efe Sevin
For Spanish speakers, here is a 15-min documentary about a small Peruvian nation-branding campaign. Practically, Peruvians travel to Peru, Nebraska and share their music, drinks, food, culture, and daily lives with the locals. The video got over half a million hits in 10 days.