Destination Product Development
By way of example, 'The Gateway Arch' designed for St Louis (Missouri, USA) has come to virtually define that city in many people's minds.  Smaller communities have also used gateway/landmarks to great effect, in more strongly presenting their local spirit and sense of identity. Obviously the size or scale can matter, as it will affect the capacity for visibility and impact.   But there are many additional innovative ways to create a gateway or landmark - as a significant public work of art - that are also able to authentically capture visitors' imaginations. The exciting use of light & color for added night viewing, being just one atmospheric example. [...]
developtourism.com
Destination Development Using landmarks & gateway projects to develop local identity By Bruce Dickson (TDS), 6 March 2012 Destination dilemma: Striking first impressions?  Or 'could be anywhere'? By default, highly prominent commercial signage - featuring the generic brand names of fast food chains, gas/petrol stations (and the like) - often defines the first impressions of towns and places ... and usually does so right at their 'front door', on the main entrance road or highway. By contrast, imaginative gateway and landmark projects provide communities with the opportunity to make a memorable statement about themselves, while also announcing to travelers their arrival at the destination. In many instances, these creations become major tourism attractions and powerful destinational 'icons' in their own right.
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“By default, highly prominent commercial signage, featuring the generic brand names of fast food chains or gas stations, often defines the first impressions of places.” “And usually does so right at their ‘front door’, on the main entrance road or highway.” 
Generic chain signs defining local identity?
 Copyright 2012: Bruce Dickson, Tourism Development Solutions. All rights reserved.
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