The Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) held this morning the opening ceremony for the 3rd Annual Conference of the International Place Branding Association, a global association of experts composed of scholars and practitioners of place branding, city marketing, nation branding, and place management. This year’s IPBA Conference is being hosted by the Destination Branding and Marketing Group, an international conference series founded by IFT in 2005 and which has now gained wide traction and following since its establishment. The Conference – running until tomorrow (7 December) – aims to discuss the latest developments, issues, and challenges in place branding and related areas.
The conference is jointly organised by IFT, the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management from the University of South Carolina, in the United States, and the United Kingdom’s Swansea University School of Management.
This is the first time the International Place Branding Association is hosting its annual conference in the Asia-Pacific region. The previous editions took place in the United Kingdom, namely in London (2016) and Swansea (2017). The association, established in 2015, is a non-profit, independent group of academics and professionals working or interested in the field of brand development and brand management for places, namely cities, regions, nations and other types of destinations.
The conference has attracted approximately 90 participants, coming from an aggregate of 23 countries and regions, namely: Australia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Seychelles, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States, Mainland China, the Hong Kong SAR, the Macao SAR and Chinese Taiwan.
The conference includes a special open-to-the-public session focusing specially on the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. That session takes place tomorrow (7 December), from 1430 to 1600, at the Grand Hall on IFT’s Mong-Há Campus. Entitled “Destination Branding of the Greater Bay Area – Opportunities and Challenges for Tourism” – speakers of the session include experts from IFT, the School of Tourism Management of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangdong Province, and the School of Hotel & Tourism Management of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, all three of which are jointly undertaking various projects related to the tourism development and marketing of the Greater Bay Area.
The conference also features 2 post-conference tours, taking place on Saturday (8 December). These offer participants an opportunity to learn more about Macao’s efforts to brand itself respectively as a heritage-related and as a gastronomic destination.
IFT welcomed another major international conference earlier this week: the International Conference on Tourism and Retail Management 2018 ended on Tuesday and attracted approximately 100 participants, coming from an aggregate of 13 countries and regions. The hosting of such events is part of a wider effort by IFT to position itself as a key locale for specialised international conferences on tourism and hospitality.