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Branding strategies for India

Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) Chairman Hitesh Bhakta will lead a delegation of AAHOA leaders to the…

Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) Chairman Hitesh Bhakta will lead a delegation of AAHOA leaders to the second annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in New Delhi, India, from Jan. 9-11, 2004. On Jan. 10, AAHOA will partner with the government of India and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to co-host a special session on the tourism and hospitality sector Tourism: Branding Strategies for India.

Evidenced by the 2003-2004 Reassurance Campaign through India`s department of tourism, India is well aware of the challenges it faces in branding and the importance of reputation management in international press and markets, said Bhakta. This campaign appears to be successful, as India is seeing consistent growth in its number of visitors over the last several months. However, it`s important to continually evaluate India`s audience and brand reputation. With that information, India can continue enforcing their consistent, positive image and message.

In Tourism: Branding Strategies for India, AAHOA leaders will discuss brand image and its importance to travelers:

  • Brand image invokes an emotional response and greatly influences travel decisions. According to Asia Market Research Dot Com, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore are the three most recognizable and perhaps most visited travel destinations in the Asian marketplace. All three of these locations have strong brand recognition and a clear reputation in the global marketplace. For example, according to a 1998 survey commissioned by the Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board, Singapore is seen as clean, modern and safe, while Thailand is viewed as exotic, fun and friendly.
  • On its Web site, India`s department of tourism lauds the diversity of India calling it a vivid kaleidoscope of landscapes. Tourism strategies need to include emotive appeal to world travelers. It should also address issues of concern to today`s traveler such as safety and security issues. Travelers today are more cautious and concerned about safety and security than perhaps they were three years ago.
  • As with any brand image goal, enforcing India as a safe and desirable travel destination can be most easily accomplished through joint efforts between the public and private sector. Individual resorts and destinations need to work with India`s department of tourism to market their location and their country with consistent messaging to reinforce the perception of India in the global marketplace.
  • Building a brand is a long-term effort. Just as India has made great gains in the last several years in the international marketplace, Indian hotel owners in the United States have been working through AAHOA to build a national brand image for more than a decade, concluded Bhakta. Through Tourism: Branding Strategies for India, we hope to bring the benefits of our experience and an outside perspective to India`s campaign.
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