Know-how transfer to Lviv / Lwów / Lemberg / Leopolis

The West Ukrainian metropolis saw European Cities Marketing in action

With a “delegation” of five experts from European Cities Marketing on invitation of the city, the first tourism conference in Lviv on 29th and 30th October 2009 contained of diversified exchange of know-how between Graz, Gothenburg, Vienna and the stakeholders of tourism business in the capital of the historical lands of Galicia. Lviv, 735,000 inhabitants and only 330 flight kilometers east of Vienna, may be one of the Euro 2012 cities, since the European football championship in that year will jointly be hosted by Ukraine and Poland.
The tourism conference with the title “Win with the lion” dynamically introduced Lviv’s coat-of-arms’ animal and brand patron to involve stakeholders and citizens of all kind, Andrij Sidor and Oksana Myskovich of the Office of Culture and Tourism of Lviv’s Municipality this summer set out to hold the first meeting on city tourism since the Ukraine became independent in the early 90’s. ECM president Dieter Hardt-Stremayr (Graz, Austria) was invited as well as Ossian Stiernstrand (Gothenburg, Sweden), John Heeley (ECM Board Advisor) and Brigitte Weiss and Wolfgang J. Kraus (Vienna, Austria), who have been counseling Lviv’s city tourist office since 16 months. In a meeting of ECM president, Dieter Hardt-Stremayr with mayor Andrij Sadovy the mayor gave the “green light” for his Office of Culture and Tourism to become an ECM member.
Dieter Hardt-Stremayr opened the conference with an updated briefing on why European cities’ tourist offices and convention bureaux are systematically and intensively networking amongst each others. To show the practical benefits in, the General Manager of Graz Tourism Ltd. presented the marketing efforts of Austria’s no. 2 city and the outcome of ECM’s working groups.
Ossian Stiernstrand, strategy and research director of Göteborg & Co showed the audience how Swedens no. 2 city, Gothenburg, came to involve not only hoteliers and restaurant owners but several major industrial companies into the work and financing of the city’s destination marketing. His special theme was a video report on sports events’ sites from Beijing to Gothenburg.
Dr. John Heeley, until February General Manager of Nottingham(shire) destination marketing, talked about city branding, pointing out chances and dangers of branding processes and that many European cities avoid the risks of going into such a process. Dr. Heeley, looking back on a sound scientific career as well, will soon publish a book on this theme.
Brigitte Weiss, head of visitor services at VTB, presented structures, financing and managing VTB and the new “Now or never” advertising campaign for Vienna. She explained how she was preparing an educational programme to be delivered in Vienna for the staff of Lviv’s tourist office. Having designed strategies for Vienna during many years, Wolfgang J. Kraus, Deputy ManagingDirector, Vienna Tourist Board until last year, summed up the destination marketing jobs which lie ahead of Lviv on its way to the mind-map of European city travellers. Lviv will concentrate on four international source markets besides the large domestic market: Russia, Poland, Germany, and Britain. It will need the commitment of all stakeholders in Lviv to “win with the lion.”
How come that an Ukrainian city tourist office is counseled by experts in Vienna? In mid-2008, Mr. Sidor and Ms. Myskovich had taken into account Lviv having been the capital of an Austrian crown-land for 140 years, while the city developed to a major metropolis. They visited Vienna Tourist Board for know-how exchange, where Wolfgang J. Kraus and Brigitte Weiss became their prime sources of information.