Coopetition among destinations: Western Silk Road, a creative tourism growing brand

The present scenario is becoming more and more competitive, and new forms of alliance are being considered. Tourism destinations are experimenting new strategies where cooperation and coopetition co-exist, namely coopetition.

By this, synergies are envisaged in terms of promotion, knowledge, access to finance, technology and other aspects.

Coopetition among destinations can be found in itineraries and routes or other kind of formal and spontaneous alliances. Today, they are present under several forms:

  • itineraries (local, national and transnational);
  • routes (local, national and transnational);
  • trails;
  • specific projects;
  • transnational products;

As previously reported, the UNWTO Silk Road Programme is probably the biggest example of coopetition among destinations, evoking unique travel experiences and connecting East to the West.

Europe is benefitting from this through the Western Silk Road (WSR), which includes the territories between the Caspian See and Venice (Italy).

On Dec. the 5th Twissen moderated the WSR Focus Group in Venice at the amazing venue of TIM Future Centre San Salvador, to which participated representatives from Region of Veneto Tourism Unit, City of Venice Tourism Unit, Council of Europe, City of Venice Unesco site, Vivovenetia, Confartigianato Tourism, CERS – Consortium of European Re-enactment Societies and Telecom Italia.

This high-level meeting called attention to the potentialities of the Programme and to the number of tangible and intangible heritage that can be exploited to promote attractive tourism products. Discovering the components linked to the handicraft, such as fabrics, perfumes and, obviously, silk was a pleasant surprise.

Despite a general concern in sustainability of tourism in the area, stakeholders are aware that Venice represents the door for unique travel experiences off the beaten tracks branded Western Silk Road.