Philippe joined our team this year. He has extensive experience working with Countries, Regions and Cities worldwide, specialising in Tourism Development and Crisis Management. Philippe loves his job. As he states in the interview, work life and personal life go hand in hand, and one improves the other.
Tell us about your professional background.
I’ve built my professional career serving several dozen DMOs from around the world, which have trusted me to design and implement their tourism attractiveness strategies and tactics.
The first part of my career involved promoting French destinations internationally in conjunction with the travel industry, the press and opinion leaders. The second phase led me, conversely, to bolster the emergence of destinations from five continents in France and Europe. This experience naturally led me to advise destinations on their global strategy.
In most cases, Tourism Development and Destination Marketing were essential vectors and levers to enhance the attractiveness of these territories in terms of economics, soft power, investment, exports, talent, etc. Thus, as a Tourism Development professional, I’ve always integrated considerations of Country and City Branding and Placemaking into my practice. So, I logically crossed paths with Bloom Consulting…
What were your major professional challenges before joining Bloom Consulting?
Crisis Management and Communication, serving destinations affected by major geopolitical and internal turbulence, health matters, or even during natural, climatic or humanitarian disasters. These situations require total availability, great resistance to stress and a mastery of the right messages to broadcast at the right time through the appropriate communication channels.
Each blunder or lack of professionalism in Crisis Communication can have direct impacts, both immediate and lasting, on people who are suffering. The challenge is to be obviously relevant in the emergency while anticipating the requirements of the “post-crisis” and ensuring, even in the storm, the conditions that will be necessary for a possible and rapid return to “normal.”
Each crisis is a new challenge, although, over time and experience, I have acquired the know-how necessary for their successful management. My experiences with crises in Taiwan, the British Virgin Islands, Kenya, Mexico, Sri Lanka and so many other places have literally transformed me.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
My greatest pleasure is experiencing a meaningful job every day. I like to feel useful to Countries, Cities, Regions and the people who live in them. It is always a great honour to be elected by a territory to support them in their strategic thinking and influence in the world.
My job is carried out in multicultural environments and allows me to live as a true “citizen of the world.” It is a privilege and a daily joy.
What do you believe are the critical factors that make a Nation or Place Brand unique and attractive to tourists?
We could talk about it for days. But, in short, I’d say that for any territory, the key is understanding and respecting its fundamental identity in its competitive environment. Knowledge of its deep identity, its uniqueness, and its own energy are the basic ingredients to then be able to shape a unique personality, an attractive and lasting brand for a Place.
It is this base that makes it possible to deploy treasures of creativity, innovations and emotions in the service of a tourist experience that humanly enriches both tourists and their guests.
When the destination’s tourism professionals are proud of the identity of the place, they generally deliver services of excellence, the same services that create customer satisfaction, and therefore loyalty.
The challenge, however, is to always remain coherent between the deep substance of the Destination Brand and the diversity of products, services, experiences and events developed by the different players in the industry. Good brand management creates and nourishes the magic of a Place.
Which City Brand or Country Brand would you love to work with in the future, and why?
At Bloom Consulting-Paris, we believe that the time has come for France and the French-speaking world to benefit more from the methodology developed over 20 years with success in so many other countries on the planet.
We would also like to support cities with strong brands, such as Paris, Dakar, Geneva, Quebec, Brussels, Marrakech, Tahiti, Monaco, Tunis, Mauritius… which one might a priori think have little need for support in that discipline, that of the countries and cities of the French-speaking world which deserve so much to reveal themselves more to the world through in-depth work on the potential of their brand.
I would also like so much that countries dear to my heart such as Algeria, Madagascar, Cameroon, the Comoros and Haiti move up year after year in the international reference rankings, such as the Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking.
As for our expertise in Tourism Development, the department I lead, our curiosity and our passion make us to want to deploy it on five continents.
Outside of work, what are some of your hobbies or interests that you’re passionate about?
If I tell you about travel, will you be surprised? I also have a limitless passion for Paris, my adopted city for more than 20 years, and the Alps, my native region, on which I’ve already written no less than seven history books! So, I travel a lot in space, but also in time. Reading, historical research, and writing are indeed my daily oxygen.
My historical books reveal the identity and deep driving and sometimes invisible force of places. I love seeing the impact of history books on how locals and their guests revisit and appreciate the spirit of places. For me, history is a discipline that can make the present and the experience of a destination more beautiful and meaningful.
It’s no secret that Bloom Consulting is celebrating 20 years of devoting time to building better and more attractive Nation and Place Brands. What do you wish Bloom Consulting on its upcoming 20th anniversary?
20 years is the end of adolescence and the beginning of adulthood! I therefore wish Bloom Consulting to continue to cultivate its enthusiasm, curiosity, creativity and adolescent energy over the coming decades… while further deploying its maturity acquired through so many experiences in the world. 20 is generally the age when you realise that it is possible to make your own dreams come true, and Bloom Consulting has a lot for itself and its clients… I wish us the best in bringing them to life.
How do you find the balance between work and personal life?
Thanks to the love of the person who I’ve shared life with for almost 30 years! Also, work and personal life are not strictly separated and in opposition like the two sides of a scale would be, because these two spheres of my life feed each other and often intersect.
The personal passions that I spoke about just before make me a better professional. Conversely, my job allows me to satisfy them even more! In these two dimensions of my daily life, my driving forces are the same: passion, pleasure and the joy of accomplishment. My work makes my personal life even more beautiful and interesting.
My personal life provides the necessary foundation for my professional commitments to always find meaning. I also have the luxury of having made friends among my clients and business partners. Why deprive yourself of such pleasure when work and personal life come together?