Impact Publications : MICEBTN-72
MICEBTN - March-April 2019 • Page 7 ECM Scotland meet shows how events can boost cities globally THE EUROPEAN Cities Marketing (ECM) Spring meeting in February in Edinburgh, Scotland has shown how events can promote cities to a global audience. Edinburgh was chosen to host the meeting following a successful bid which showcased its World Her- itage and Festival City status. An audience poll asked the question: What’s more important, investing in and developing recur- ring smaller events that develop with the destination DNA at core or bidding to host international mega-events on a global cycle of different host cities around the globe? Not surprisingly, 90 per cent of the audience was in favour of home-grown events. Author Robert Govers explained how and why cities need to stage imaginative events that appeal to audiences’ dreams. “When creating an event, look at the sense of community and use it to create a unique event that can only happen in your city,” he said, because when cities use events in an imaginative way to reflect local identity and purpose - by creating something new, something extraor- dinary, memorable, distinctive and uniquely local - they potentially add real long-term value to the city. The conference also featured sessions on ‘festival of failures’ in event management , including how Copenhagen was so unprepared for the 2014 Eurovision Song Con- test that the fallout left people with “stress and depression”. Gothenburg’s nightmare was from the 2017 equestrian event FEI European Championships, while the Fêtes de Genève left a financial hangover. On the plus side, Ulrik Ørum-Pe- tersen said, the challenge is to cre- ate festivals where people want to come back and/or tell their friends to come, while Marina Wollheim Araoz from Propaganda GEM said cities, like brands, must compete with one another on the global stage. As a note to the Spring Meeting, Dieter Hardt-Stremayr, European Cities Marketing’s president said: “European Cities Marketing is all about sharing, inspiring and con- necting. Events are a great way of manifesting cities to a global audience and attendees heard about the successes and failures of events whether they were global events or home grown ones.” The next ECM conference will take place in Ljubljana on June 5-8, 2019 with the theme Tomorrow Today. More information and registra- tion will be available soon on www. europeancitiesmarketing.com The next ECM conference will be held in the Slovenian city of Ljubljana. Australians still setting records in Japan - ABS NEW figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show Ja- pan was the fastest growing overseas destination for Australian travellers in 2018, recording a 17 per cent increase on 2017. This meant that Japan became the seventh-most-popular international destination for Australians, cementing more than 10 years of impressive visitor growth. The ABS data showed 460,700 Australians travelled to Japan last year, out- stripping destinations such as India, Singapore and Fiji. “Interest in Japan from Australian travellers has been growing for some time, but we have noticed a significant increase in recent years,” said Kana Wakabayashi, JNTO Sydney Office executive director. “This most recent data from the ABS supports our own findings, which showed that 2018 was a landmark year for Australians visiting Japan – they arrived in record numbers, stayed longer than almost any other nationality, plus recorded the highest spending of all international visitors. Being named as the fast- est-growing destination and the seventh most-visited country is further confirmation of Japan’s broad appeal to Australian travellers.” The ABS figures also showed that between 2008 and 2018, Australian visi- tor numbers to Japan grew by 213 per cent, second only to Indonesia.