Branding a City for International Tourism?


“Internationalization and branding of a tourism city” was the theme of the International Tourism City Forum 2010 which was held in Sofitel Hangzhou, China. 18 countries from around the world where represented at this forum. This conference was sponsored by the International Tourism Marketing Association (ITMA).

ITMA started in Beijing in March 2007 and since then has built a professional international level marketing service. With that they help tourism businesses with marketing planning, image building, tourism promotion, festivals and celebrations, etc. ITMA created and is involved in yearly major international conferences.

The important trend for world tourism development is internationally convergence and integration. International marketing has become an important way for tourism destination. Language becomes the first obstacles when it comes to international tourism marketing and internet becomes the best tool to depend on. How to use internet to spread image and information for tourism destination? How to use multilingual platform to inform the target tourists’ countries?” (read more… )

ITMA owns now a multilingual international website, www.itmacom.com, which offers content in Chinese, English, Korean, Japanese, Russian, German, French, Arabic and Spanish.

Excited, I went to the website and clicked on all the pages in different languages. Well, it seems to be a work in process, as I couldn’t access any foreign language info except for some English. I was very fascinated by the global multilingual vision I read on ITMA’s info website, yet really disappointed in seeing the poor integration upon reviewing the website. This is a really good example that it is important that you do what you promise to your website visitors. You don’t have to integrate your whole vision at once, you can start with an i.e. one page summary in the foreign language, or translate the most important pages and inform your visitors when clickable content leads to non native pages. You show respect this way, and don’t lose your credibility. I will revisit ITMA’s website in few months, maybe.

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