The core product in the tourism sector (that which is the object of the visit) – whether it is nature, therapeutic, religious, ecology, food or wine – may be well suited for branding through the use of trademarks, designs, copyright and GIs.
However, while the “core product’ may be the focus and object of the visit, the total experience depends on a whole host of other services that nurture and/or package the “core product” and are in turn nurtured or packaged by the core product. They are, therefore, interdependent and as such integral to the success of the tourism industry. Here we speak of the support services such as hotels, restaurants, transport, shops, hospitals, interpretation, guides all of which contribute towards the total quality and experience of the “Product.”
It is important to also keep in mind that, just as much as the IP system is a resource for businesses to compete effectively, failure to respect the IP rights of others could be costly. As such, when picking a trademark it is important to not take a sign already owned by another, when using material to not use the materials of others and likewise to not illegally access the confidential information of other businesses.