In an Era of creativity, innovation and global information, more and more, we are citizens of the world. In this new reality is essential to stimulate and promote the potential of the places. People want to live in places where they can reflect and strengthen their identity as human beings. More than ever the world is a smaller place, and every country, city, region, place is a possibility of choice for tourism, investment or to live. “…places increasingly compete with other places to attract their share of tourists, businesses, and investment. The marketing of places has become a leading economic activity and, in some cases, the dominant generator of local wealth.” (Rein, 1993)
If a country wants to be competitive in the present economy, it is needed to consider that there is a global battle for investments, tourism and talents. To be successful in the current economy, public and community leaders need to detect and explore the factors that differentiate the place, in order to promote to the target groups and create a competitive, refresh and innovative place, based on, the best the place has to offer.
Taking the city of Lisbon as an illustration, with its iconic golden bridge, cable cars, great surfing, with a lot of new startups and young entrepreneurs and being the host of 2016 Web Summit, Lisbon is starting to be a hub in the tech scene, and is hoping to position itself as Europe’s San Francisco (Hyde, 2015).
Regions and communities are competing for talents, the so-called creative class, so places have to be ready to provide attractive and challenging jobs, but also its own involvement in the city. Inspiring, energetic and open minded place, with a wide range of cultural services is important for this class (Zenker, 2009).
Where people choose to settle, for doing business, to live or even to visit, is not irrelevant, it’s really one of the most important decision that a person can make. Finding the right place is so important, because the place may determine our occupation, our income, the people we meet, the friends we will make, the partners we choose, the choices that will be on our disposal in the future, in short, can determine our happiness, in a personal and professional way.
Portugal in the most valuable Nation Brands index 2015, occupies the fiftieth position, with a brand value of 137 USDbn (below Vietnam and above Kuwait) and Brand Strength classified as AA (Finance, 2015). According to strength of perception across associative dimensions, Portugal is positioned in the 27º place in the world (Brand, 2014). These indicators show, that there is a path to walk in the terms of branding for Portugal.
Portugal occupies the 10th place in the European ranking of Tourism and the 22nd position in the world, positioning the country itself as one of the best country brands for tourism in Europe (Consulting, 2014).
Surfing has been identified as a key tourist attraction in many locations (Buckley, 2002). Surf can provide an unique entertainment experience. The surfer is a person that follows the waves, they live the search, for them home is where the waves are, and with that they create a sense of belonging to the places, The surfing community can be considered a tribe, for them the beach is a sanctuary (Luiz Moutinho, 2007).
An important area for innovation is sports because of their visibility benefits, the emotional heat they establish between places and their markets, and their ability to attract tourists, investors, and residents (Irving Rein, 2007).