The most detailed econometric study ever conducted into the impacts of tourism-related branding and marketing on cities has revealed some eye-popping outcomes. The study, “Destination Promotion: An Engine for Economic Growth” was presented at the Annual Meeting of Destination Cleveland last Monday, March 16th.
The study was conducted by London-based Oxford Economics, an independent advisory firm that specializes in global forecasting. They analyzed the performance of more than 200 cities over 23 years, and found widespread economic benefits from those actively promoting tourism. The study clearly showed a correlation between marketing expenditure of destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and long-term economic growth.
Along with many of my destination marketing colleagues, I have witnessed the positive impact of destination branding on new residents, new businesses, inbound investment, student recruitment, general employment growth, and the improved image of places. Now we have validation of these impacts in an evidence-based study by Oxford Economics, a company of globally recognized economists.
Adam Sacks, director of Oxford Economics, in a written statement said, "Statistical analysis over the past two decades shows that destinations with substantial and growing visitor economies have outperformed their peers in the general economy. Cities and States that coordinate destination marketing and economic development are generally better positioned to compete for new investments and corporate relocations."
This report is a riveting read for all who are engaged in tourism marketing and place branding. It certainly underpins the notion that investments in place branding and tourism marketing have impacts far beyond local tourism businesses.
I tip my hat to those DMOs that had the foresight to engage a world leader like Oxford Economics to explore the impacts that tourism marketing is making to the economic diversity and growth of their cities. We need way more of it.