How Gamified Placemaking Can Reconnect Us with Cities

If you were to search for images on Google for the word “city,” the overwhelming majority of the results would be about skylines of relatively new towns such as New York City, Toronto, and Sydney. What the search results won’t include, however, are the images of Dubrovnik’s picturesque rooftops, the fascinating streets of the Fener and Balat … Continue reading How Gamified Placemaking Can Reconnect Us with Cities

NEOM: A Tale of Archetypes – Arcadia and Utopia

In October 2017, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced plans to build the ultimate branded city: NEOM, a non-existent desert city, which already has an eye-catching logo and a compelling promise.[i] But could such a barren land develop a soul? Or does NEOM already have a genius loci? If so, how can it be discovered and what … Continue reading NEOM: A Tale of Archetypes – Arcadia and Utopia

A Systemic Analysis of Overtourism and Tourismophobia: And What Destinations Can Do About It

In my last contribution as Observer, I analyzed the root causes of undertourism and imagined some remedies. This time around, I am going to focus on undertourism’s evil sibling: overtourism. The two terms “overtourism,” and “tourismophobia” are used interchangeably by many experts. While those two problems are related, they are not exactly the same. Therefore they deserve to be … Continue reading A Systemic Analysis of Overtourism and Tourismophobia: And What Destinations Can Do About It

Undertourism: How to Make Archaeological Sites and Museums More Attractive as Destinations

Looking back from the future, we may remember 2017 as the year in which “overtourism,” “tourismophobia,” and “tourism fatigue” were finally recognised as critical global challenges. As a result, sustainable tourismbecame one of the hottest topics in place branding. Make no mistake: overtourism is real and it is here to stay. Having said that, could overtourism … Continue reading Undertourism: How to Make Archaeological Sites and Museums More Attractive as Destinations

Interview with Günter Soydanbay on How to Succeed in City Branding, with Lessons from Turkey

Günter Soydanbay in this interview shares unique insights into the world of city branding by taking us on a journey to the cities of Gaziantep and Izmir in Turkey. He discusses the role of psychology in place branding, frequent mistakes (and how to avoid them), and reveals three points which - based on his experience - … Continue reading Interview with Günter Soydanbay on How to Succeed in City Branding, with Lessons from Turkey

7 Deadly Problems of Place Branding Projects: Lessons from Guadalajara

n case you were not following, Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city, recently launched its new brand, only to experience significant public backlash. Although the logo was based on an iconic asset of the city -which triggers positive memories around the world- the public discontent about the visuals became widespread. Moreover, while the project did not cost a … Continue reading 7 Deadly Problems of Place Branding Projects: Lessons from Guadalajara