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2022/2023  KAN-CCMVV2031U  City Branding and Tourism

English Title
City Branding and Tourism

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Erik Braun - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
  • Sebastian Zenker - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Communication
  • Marketing
  • Political leadership and public management
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 23-08-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
This course aims to introduce to the students the complexity of marketing cities to residents, companies and tourists and to learn how to adopt marketing strategies for urban environments. To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Describe and to discuss the assumptions that underlie the various marketing concepts from marketing, branding, communication, as well as from the presented consumer behaviour studies.
  • Identify and analyze the relationship between relevant models, concepts and theories from the curriculum.
  • Analyse and explain the differenses between the profit, non-profit and non-traditional marketing sectors (i.e., tourism and city marketing).
  • Evaluate different place branding strategies and place brand management approaches for their usability in the area – especially for meausuring place brands and success.
  • Apply these models and concepts, singly or combined to fit a concrete case situation under study and critically assess the value and relevance of models, concepts and theories presented throughout the course in relation to their practical application in a relevant case.
  • To follow academic conventions in the written presentation.
Course prerequisites
Please note: since this is a postgraduate course, an undergraduate-level knowledge of the basic principles of marketing is expected of all students.
City Branding and Tourism:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Case based assignment
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
The re-exam will be the same case with new questions
Description of the exam procedure

The exam is an individual, home written assignment (written product; take-home exam) with a maximum of 15 pages. The student will receive a specific case and detailed questions regarding the case. In a 2 weeks’ time the students should analyse the case and apply knowledge gained through the course to answer these questions as written in the learning objectives

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Today cities are in strong competition for talents (residents), companies and investments, as well as tourists. Therefore, places are more and more run like ‘businesses’ and for ‘businesses’. In order to differentiate one place from another, city marketers increasingly focus on establishing the city as a brand and adopt other marketing techniques in order to better promote and ‘sell’ their place to its existing and potential target groups. Unfortunately, city marketers and consultants often underestimate the complexity – due to the fact that places are complex products themselves and that the needs and wants of the different customer groups regarding a place vary widely.


City marketing therefore needs a more holistic and complex approach. It must include the understanding of all target groups and stakeholders needs. It deals with all types of place communication (not only advertisement), but even the physical communication of city planning and architecture – and it must follow a more democratic and participatory approach then ‘normal’ marketing activities.   


In the course we will explore the impact of city marketing activities for companies – talking in particular about the creative industries and tourism – and on other business fields. At the same time we will also discuss the social problems we create by making a place ‘too much’ of a business. By this means, studentd should not only be able understand and use strategies in city marketing and tourism at the end, but also see the benefits for companies and citizens in using city marketing in this regards.


This master course is a cross-disciplinary and research-based course, integrating findings from marketing, urban planning and management, public administration and the field of tourism. The aim is to introduce the service-dominant logic of marketing to cities and translate carefully different marketing and branding concepts. Furthermore, the differences between city marketing (general marketing activities for all place target groups) and destination marketing (tourism oriented city marketing) will be elaborated and the idea of an integrated approach will be presented.


The master course requires no previous knowledge (but an undergraduate-level knowledge of the basic principles of marketing is expected) and is open to different disciplines. To each lecture the reading of one or two scientific articles is mandatory (reading list will be given).

Description of the teaching methods
Through providing an overview of relevant literature about content and methods, as well as some hands-on insights from research practice the course is designed to be highly interactive. The course builds upon the principles of active learning: students are expected to comment on readings, and do group exercises (e.g., Oxford debates) throughout the course.

The course will start with an introductory session at which the course co-ordinator will explain the rationale and structure of the course, the course aims, the literature base, and the structure of the exam.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students will receive feedback in various forms during the course: For instance, through discussions in class, collegial-feedback from a voluntary home-written assignment (test-exam), and written feedback after the exam.
Student workload
Preperation 123 hours
Teaching 33 hours
Exam 50 hours
Expected literature

More exam-relevant reading will be enrolled during the course:


  1. Boisen, M., Terlouw, K., and van Gorp, B. (2011). The selective nature of place branding and the layering of spatial identities. Journal of Place Management and Development, 4(2), 135-147.
  2. Braun, E., Eshuis, J., & Klijn, E.-H. (2014). The effectiveness of place brand communication. Cities, 41(1), 64-70.
  3. Braun, E., Eshuis, J., Klijn, E. H., & Zenker, S. (2018). Improving place reputation: Do an open place brand process and an identity-image match pay off?. Cities, 80, 22-28.
  4. Connell, J. (2012). Film tourism – evolution, progress and prospects. Tourism Management, 33(5), 1007-1029.
  5. Hanna, S. and Rowley, J. (2015). Towards a model of the Place Brand Web. Tourism Management, 48, 100-112.
  6. Jokela, S. (2020). Transformative city branding and the evolution of the entrepreneurial city: The case of ‘Brand New Helsinki.’ Urban Studies, 57(10), 2031–2046.
  7. Jørgensen, O. H. (2015). Developing a city brand balance sheet – Using the case of Horsens, Denmark. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 11(2), 148-160.
  8. Vallaster, C., Von Wallpach, S., & Zenker, S. (2018). The interplay between urban policies and grassroots city brand co-creation and co-destruction during the refugee crisis: Insights from the city brand Munich (Germany). Cities, 80, 53-60.
  9. Zenker, S., & Braun, E. (2017). Questioning a “one size fits all” city brand: Developing a branded house strategy for place brand management. Journal of Place Management and Development, 10(3), 270-287.
  10. Zenker, S., Braun, E., & Petersen, S. (2017). Branding the destination versus the place: The effects of brand complexity and identification for residents and visitors. Tourism Management, 58, 15-27.
  11. Zenker, S. and Erfgen, C. (2014). Let them do the work: a participatory place branding approach. Journal of Place Management and Development, 7(3), 225-234.
Last updated on 23-08-2022