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The coastal regions’ DNA

All coastal regions have mapped out their DNA as part of PROFIT, in order to visualize the similarities and differences more effectively. Have a look at the map at the right, showing core values, narratives and tools for all regions. Want to know more about the DNA of the regions? Please have a look at the DNA of the Belgian coast, the Côte d'Opale region in Pas-de-Calais, Southend-on-Sea in Essex, Medway in Kent and Zeeland.  

All DNA studies brought together a wide range of actors: tourism bodies (local and regional), SMEs, travel trade professionals, visitors and local people. It has become the basis for renewed public-private collaboration in all of our regions to further invest in regional development. All regions developed specific narratives that have become the structural basis of new strategic visions for the coast and are now being used in marketing and communication throughout our wider organizations. Many SMEs in the 2 Seas area adopted the regional narratives and DNA in their activities. This allowed them to showcase not only their own business, but also their wider connection with the destination. Results can be seen in the innovation plans of the SMEs as a result of the innovation programme in PROFIT.

Defining the coastal DNA for all of our regions has had a major impact:

  • On the regions, as a basis for product development and wider regional development
  • On SMEs, to distinguish themselves from competitors, identify shared identities and build upon their strengths
  • On our own organizations, to redefine and validate our strategic orientations
  • On a global level, based on the DNA of the Belgian Coast, ISTO created the DNA for ‘Tourism for All’ in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This DNA will be used in over 40 countries.

Thanks to this public-private partnership, the image of all of our coastal areas is being further developed in a strong and unambiguous way. We can say that a legacy has been created. The DNA process is now central to cultivating innovation and creativity, helping the tourism sector to build on a shared approach to attract visitors to a vibrant, innovative and cultural destination.