Creating a Singular Place Brand


Advertising image and return- on-investment research has long demonstrated that in varying degrees—but almost always to the positive—tourism advertising and the visitation it inspires have a positive impact on consumers’ image of destinations as a place for leisure travel and recreation. Potential visitors who are exposed to positive messaging about a destination, and subsequently choose it for a leisure trip, are very likely to come home with a more positive opinion of that place than someone who has never seen the destination advertised or visited it.

Psychologist Edward Thorndike described what we now call the Halo Effect as follows: “Our judgments of a person’s character can be influenced by our overall impression of them.” Applying this concept to advertising, in this case tourism promotion advertising, it would imply that the gains in image by a destination from its tourism advertising would extend beyond the destination’s image as a place to visit.

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George Zimmermann is the chairman of Longwoods International USA. The former head of Travel Michigan, Zimmermann has served on the U.S. Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board as well as on the boards of the U.S. Travel Association and the National Council of State Tourism Directors. For further information, please visit or e-mail