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Sustainable Destination Management

Strategies in the OIC Member Countries


tourism industry in the corridor country to develop experiences that are consistent with them

increasing its appeal to target markets.


Theme-based branding involves creating a story or narrative to be associated with the corridor

and communicating this story across the various channels to all relevant stakeholders. This

entails that the success of branding requires that all major stakeholders are consulted in

formulating the messages and the development of the brand strategy. An excellent example of

an MDTC that has successfully created a narrative to attract potential tourists is the Vennbahn

Cycle Route passing through Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg. It has created a story using

the railway history of the road and its transformation into cycling routes and linking it to

generations passing on stewardship of things of value to each other.


The creation of a unified branding message is a crucial task for MDTCs to increase awareness.

Branding also involves ensuring content and design consistency for marketing messages across

the various platforms used to promote the corridor.


The Wadden Sea provides a good

example of ensuring the consistency of branding messages. The materials developed in the

context of a joint marketing and communications strategy include a “Stakeholder Toolkit for

Communication and Marketing” which comprises of a Brand Manual, fact sheets, and brochures

in four languages as well as interactive communication tools on social media, a dedicated

website, and phone app.


Designing a logo for the MDTC and ensuring its uniformuse by all TC stakeholders can also help

in increasing brand awareness. In the case of the Council of Europe certified routes, both the

logo of the route and that of the "Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe" are included in all

communication materials, whether online on in print on brochures and maps as well as press

releases and road signs.


The following figure features a select group of logos used by the

Council of Europe certified routes.

Figure 17: Council of Europe Routes Logos

Source: Council of Europe

It is important to note that with the rise of social media, brand identity is becoming increasingly

affected by consumers’ narratives or their “storytelling.” Storytelling has become an important

part of branding and differentiating as well as promoting corridors. According to a study by

Travel Competitive Intelligence (TCI Research), 35% of international tourists are influenced in

their choice of destination by storyteller peers. Storytelling is estimated to be five times more

effective than traditional advertising in attracting travelers. To harness the power of


UNWTO (UNWTO) and European Travel Commission. 2017. Handbook on Marketing Transnational Tourism Themes and



Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs.2013. European Cultural Routes: A Practical Guide.


UNWTO (2017), The Potential of the Western Silk Road, UNWTO, Madrid.




Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs.2013. European Cultural Routes: A Practical Guide.