Friday, January 29, 2016

Branding the Intangible: Culture and Heritage in City Branding and Tourism Marketing

Branding the Intangible: Culture and Heritage in City Branding and Tourism Marketing
29 August-2 September 2016
Copenhagen, Denmark

This international, interdisciplinary conference brings together researchers and practitioners to explore the role of intangible culture and heritage in city branding and tourism marketing worldwide.

Place branding is a complex process through which individuals or institutions seek to influence a place's reputation or brand image. Tourism marketing is a particularly visible form of place branding but is just one tool for public diplomacy. Although a city's residents may not always be aware of it, many place branding efforts target not only foreign publics (consisting of potential tourists, business visitors, policymakers, investors, etc.) but also the local population, nudging or urging city residents to be warm and welcoming, forward looking and innovative, proud of their traditions, or internationally oriented – all in accordance with the aims of the particular branding initiative. Urban place branding is thus more than just marketing the city as a product; it is also a form of product development.

But where does urban culture fit into the picture? What happens when some local stakeholders desire a type of city that is difficult or unpalatable to market? Should urban planners, branders, and developers seek to build a market for the existing urban product or instead seek to change the product to fit a desired market? How do intangible aspects of culture (foodways, festivals, fashion, lifestyles, etc.) interact with city branding and economic development processes? Can (or should) expressions of local inheritance be integrated into the presentation of built heritage and cultural landscapes to tourists whose own interpretations of this heritage may differ from local ones? How can the multitude of voices, opinions, and practices among the local population be distilled into policies that benefit the community as a whole?

About the conference.
At 'Branding the Intangible', delegates can contextualise knowledge and engage with community members. On 29-31 August, delegates will explore Copenhagen, experiencing cultural attributes and intangible heritage that various communities within the city deem to be important. Delegates will visit traditional Danish restaurants, centres of design, public parks, museums, historical buildings, and bastions of counterculture to learn how local culture is lived and how it is presented to outsiders. Delegates will also visit Tivoli Gardens, a historic amusement park that has developed into a key site for Danish identity building and cultural expression. Conference presentations take place on 01-02 September.

How to make a presentation.
Presentations are welcome from all segments of research and practice. Presentations last 20 minutes and will be followed by around 10 minutes' question time. The deadline for abstracts is 28 February 2016, but to take advantage of early registration rates and ensure that you have time to seek funding from your institution or government, we recommend that you submit your abstract early. You can submit your abstract here:

Sponsored by: Island Dynamics

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