Developing new Tourism products & Marketing strategies: good practices and policy recommendations

Covid-19 will further accelerate the need for product innovation, strong branding, digital transformation, and marketing, which engages people and is more socially responsible

In the world of rapid technological evolution and the digital economy, consumers are continuously changing – tourists are among the first to do so. In the new normal (in post-pandemic times), the visitor is becoming more demanding, makes decisions more prudently and expects a more trustworthy, inclusive, authentic, safe and personalized experience. At such a time, vision, trust, and branding become all the more important, including more socially responsible engagement through marketing and building stronger relationships. River tourism can capitalize on the trend towards open spaces, nature and outdoor activities – visiting a city is more and more connected with exploring a wider region. River tourism and local tourism could be "winners" of the pandemic.

STAR Cities selection of good practices

PartnersGood practicesDescription
NECSTouRWater Museum of VeniceDigital and open-air museum promoting the heritage of Venice’s inland minor waterways.
Val-de-MarneExplore Paris Booking platformA booking platform promoting unusual guided tours and touristic activities to explore the secret spots of Paris capital city and its suburbs.
HamburgElbe Cycle BusThe bus takes cyclists and their bikes as well as hikers to destinations, cycling and hiking trails in the "Altes Land" near Hamburg.
HamburgHerzapfelhof Apple FarmOrganic fruit farm with an attractive touristic offer. Visitors experience how fruit is cultivated and harvested. 
HamburgSup Club StadePublic-private partnership in the unused city harbour, by creating a stand-up paddle club which became an attractive meeting-point.
Lazio Region/RomeTibertour, from Umbria to Rome 7 days river tour for paddlers, cyclists, walkers along the Tiber to promote sport, nature, tourism through healthy and respectful understand.
NECSTouRBlue Ways in Barcelona ProvinceAmbitious project to convert almost 300km for bikers and hikers along the main rivers of the province of Barcelona.
Val-de-MarneSummer in the canal Festival near ParisFestival built on public-private partnership and aiming at enhancing the tourism attractiveness of the canals.

Policy recommendations to enhance river tourism product development and more socially responsible marketing:

  1. An absolute necessity for innovation and new business models
  2. The time has come for more unique river experiences
  3. Public-private partnerships start with an alignment of vision and values
  4. There is no river tourism without river landscape accessibility
  5. Targeted product development to enable better management of visitor flows and guarantee nature protection
  6. Marketing and communication to become more socially responsible and engaging

Learn more on the Good Practices Guide