The project secured funding from the Heraklion Municipality for a period of two (2) years (2015 – 2017). The project was based around the problem identified in Heraklion, namely that despite the fact Heraklion is the main tourism gateway to the island of Crete (for both air and sea travellers), nevertheless visitors tend to disperse to the north and the south of the city, with very few of them staying locally. This problem of very low stay locally is translated into low levels of tourism receipts for the city. Thus, the municipality wanted to create a strong destination identity in order to attract more visitors (tourists) in the wider area of the Municipality. In addition, the goal is for the visitors of Heraklion not to be just “passers-by” (to have short visits) but to increase the time of stay and mainly to experience more within the limits of the Municipality.
Designing a successful destination is becoming more and more imperative for the successful promotion of countries / cities. Implementing a comprehensive tourism marketing plan based on a holistic destination identity has undoubtedly enormous social and economic benefits for the local communities it serves. Designing a destination ID is not an easy task. Identity is not just the name of the destination, a logo and other visual or visual elements. It is about the development and promotion of the destination identity (destination identity) and it essentially concerns how the destination is perceived by the visitors at the current time and how the planners of the destination strategy want to place the destination in the minds of the visitors.
The abovementioned information confirms that the development of a destination identity (in short):
- Is a comprehensive strategic planning process that determines the broader marketing of a destination.
- Initially requires extensive research at all levels, which will help in selecting the appropriate strategy.
In implementing the strategy, it requires the participation, coordination and consistency of many entities (eg citizens, businesses, organizations).