- Özgür Töre
From March 31, 2022, City Destinations Alliance is the new name and identity of the organisation formerly known as European Cities Marketing.
The rebranding marks a key shift that has been underway for several years, and accelerated by the pandemic, namely that destination leadership involves much more than marketing.
In a time of division, crisis, and war, it is more important than ever to stand together and to stand up for our shared values and beliefs. As always, City Destinations Alliance is for and by its members – and as an alliance, members are coming together not only around their shared identity as European city destinations, but more importantly, they are coming together to form an alliance that celebrates and empowers the thriving visitor ecosystems and economies, they represent.
City Destinations Alliance’s President, Petra Stušek says; “As a community of urban tourism professionals and an alliance of more than 115 European city destinations, we are as European as ever, we share the passion and love for urban experiencing and city life in general. As an alliance, our purpose is to improve quality of life in Europe’s cities. We are committed to a sustainable and responsible visitor economy that works for people, place, and planet.”
Over the last decade, the business of Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) has changed significantly. Whereas most DMOs used to focus narrowly on city marketing and visitor welcome, today’s operations are much more complex and diverse. Today, lead destinations are tasked with ensuring sustainable and responsible practices in the visitor economy, understanding and managing visitor behaviour, facilitating public engagement and ensuring usage of smart applications across the urban landscape, and much more. “With the new brand identity – City Destinations Alliance – we recognize that destination leadership involves so much more than marketing”, Petra Stušek says.
Geerte Udo, City Destinations Alliance’s Board member and Director of Amsterdam & Partners, has been part of the task force in charge of developing the new brand identity, and explains how the new brand identity was born; “Over the past six months, the ECM Board has led a collaborative process of member engagement and dialogue, market research and analysis of the global association landscape. It was important for us, that this brand like everything else in the Alliance, was developed for and by the members”, she says. “Our community is a unique culture with a high degree of trust, engagement, and professional curiosity – all of which helps catalyse the power to share… we wanted the new brand identity to reflect the familiar, yet progressive spirit of our community”, Geerte Udo says.
Formally, the City Destinations Alliance assumed its new name at the General Assembly, on Wednesday, March 30, 2022. Over the next months, the Alliance will gradually apply the new visuals across all platforms and channels.