Sydney must leverage its inherent strengths as a visitor destination to build a broader business and knowledge offer.
Sydney’s efforts to re-position itself as an Asia Pacific city have succeeded and it is ready to face the next step in building a business brand to rival its visitor destination identity.
‘Location branding 2012’, published by PublicAffairsAsia and Ogilvy PR in September 2012, sees Sydney as the third strongest brand in the Asia Pacific region. The report’s findings are based on the analysis of responses taken from 300 Asia Pacific communications experts, with over 3,000 years of collective professional experience between them.
The report highlights the widely held belief that countries within Asia Pacific, in general, face a growing struggle to define their brand, but that Sydney is one of the few cities in the region that has successfully overcome this hurdle. The city has indeed been one of the world’s most dynamic performers in a wide range of international benchmarking indexes in recent years, although there is still much work to be done. The ‘Location branding 2012’ report focuses its research primarily on two aspects of location branding, namely investment attractiveness and desirability as a visitor destination for tourists.
The New South Wales (NSW) Government established Destination NSW (DNSW) as a statutory authority in July 2011 as a means of supporting the growth of the state’s tourism and events brand. The authority consolidated the activities of four previously separate organisations, Tourism NSW, Events NSW, the Homebush Motor Racing Authority and the Greater Sydney Partnership.
DNSW is the body charged with devising and implementing strategies to grow NSW’s visitor economy, with a strong focus on driving tourism and acquiring and developing major sporting and cultural events for Sydney and regional NSW. The organisation is furthermore the primary investor in Business Events Sydney, which, amongst other activities, aims to attract more international conventions, corporate events and exhibitions for Sydney and regional NSW.
DNSW’s strategy, which is still in the development process and is being coordinated by the Visitor Economy Taskforce, will receive in excess of $400 million of funding over the next four years in order to ensure its effective implementation.
Founded in April 2011, New South Wales Trade & Investment is the driver of sustainable economic growth across the State of NSW, of which Sydney is the capital. The newly formed organisation is the brand custodian which promotes Sydney and NSW to the world as a location for doing business. NSW Trade & Investment do this by working with, and supporting, a wide variety of businesses and industries to advance investment, innovation, activity and improvements. The organisation acts as a unifying entity for the efforts of the key NSW Government economic development agencies, offices and authorities.
The organisation’s first strategic plan (2012-2015), while complementing NSW 2021, “sets the overarching direction of the department for the next four years. It articulates our vision and values, defines our key results, the intended outcomes, and the strategies we will put in place to achieve those outcomes.”
The next step
With nearly half of the world’s urban population now living in Asia Pacific, and a majority of the world’s megacities predicted to emerge in Asia over the next decade, the competition for investment and tourism continues to intensify. Given its small size and relatively remote position, Sydney must work hard to consolidate its business brand and communicate effectively with the world.
Business operating environment, political stability and the built environment are the top three priorities for campaigns to attract business investment. Sydney’s cultural offering, the natural environment, hotel leisure facilities and transport are critical in successfully attracting tourists. Sydney’s task now is to leverage its inherent strengths as a visitor destination to build a broader business and knowledge offering in order to differentiate itself from other Asia Pacific, and World, cities, while promoting itself through a more diverse range of media-channels.
Top image credit : Photobank gallery