Odessa may not exactly leap to mind as a hotbed for book lovers – it is perhaps better known globally for its "mail-order bride" industry. And although it lacks the literary pedigree of St Petersburg, Edinburgh, Paris or Tangier, it has a storied past as a stopping point for Europe-trotting writers and intellectuals.
As stated by The Soft Power 30 in their report, not long ago, museums were a form of hard power. They acted as safeguards of the spoils of war and conquest of mankind. It was a form of expression of the state hegemony and cultural diplomacy. However, the role of museums has gone through some changes in the past years.
In recent years, the discipline of nation branding has become a new frontier in how nations position themselves to compete for global share of, amongst others, attention, tourism, investment and skills. Cities have become an integral pillar in building strong competitive nation brands because a nation is, after all, a collection of cities - or city brands.
Fez, Morocco’s cultural and spiritual capital, may have lagged behind Marrakech when it comes to stylish riads and sophisticated restaurants, but a subtle transformation is under way along its medieval alleyways. Ancient buildings are being restored, designers are breathing new life into age-old crafts and chefs are opening exciting restaurants.
Expo 2017, held this summer in Astana, opens up a lot of opportunities for Kazakhstan: from modernization of the energy sector to a breakthrough in tourism and from the optimization of transport infrastructure to the strengthening of international cooperation. One of the expo’s most important achievements, undoubtedly, will be the promotion of Kazakhstan’s national brand.
Thailand has been listed among the “ones to watch” in the annual Soft Power 30 report published by Portland Communications on Tuesday. [...] The cuisine, culture and warm hospitality also played a role in attracting international attention, the report said.
France is this year’s top soft power, according to a report published Tuesday. The Soft Power 30, published by PR firm Portland Communications, ranks countries on their exercise of soft power — the ability to influence others through attraction and likability rather than coercion.
Luke Dalla Bona, a former Sault resident currently living and working in Ecuador, has a plan to help a small South American community prosper by getting a completely natural product on the market. [...] After the earthquake took a painful bite out of Agua Blanca’s tourism revenue, the villagers, Dalla Bona said, decided to pursue bottling of natural shampoo, using the surrounding forest as a resource.