The City Cards expert meeting is an initiative of European Cities Marketing, an association that improves the competitiveness of cities through a collaborative approach to marketing and insight based on benchmarking performance.
At the meeting, the cities discussed in small groups themes such as technologies and digital practices in city cards, cooperation with transport companies, or human resources and organisation dedicated to city cards.
Part of the meeting was also dedicated to the presentation of the 2014/15 strategy which will include a new common branding around the City Cards product in Europe to communicate towards the travelers, with more interaction on social media to increase consumer awareness and encourage their purchase of city cards when travelling. With the help of the website www.europeancitycards.com, the app, advertising tools and information on social media, the traveler will be able to make optimum use of city cards and enhance its customer experience.
The challenge is increasingly important, as illustrated in a recent report from TCI research on the value for money perception in European Cities : besides key elements in the visitors’ budget (accommodation and food) non paying and intangible experience also strongly impacts visitors’ overall stay value for money satisfaction.
Safety feeling, local people hospitality and value for money are secondary but key elements since visitors associate value to the whole experience, and not only to price related specific items. And this is exactly what City Cards aim to offer the traveler.
The stakes are high : the survey shows that European Cities tend to contribute more for fulfilling expectations, but are outperformed by Non-European Cities when it comes to value for money and price related indexes. For example, the price of public transportation is much more perceived as expensive in European Cities than in Non-European Cities. The City card is therefore the best remedy, transport being included in most of the leading city cards brought together under www.europeancitycards.com
Overall fulfillment of expectations towards European Cities is high, and may mean that prices’ level is a secondary issue. However, this is increasingly important as compared to global competition, European Cities need a special focus in improving food, shopping and accommodation, given their importance as key drivers in value for money perception among visitors.