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Nepal launches new tourism brand

Nepalese tourism industry has felt necessary to reposition its image in the international tourism market with a popular brand amidst the stiff competition among destinations. New Brand, which was unveiled by…

Nepalese tourism industry has felt necessary to reposition its image in the international tourism market with a popular brand amidst the stiff competition among destinations. New Brand, which was unveiled by State Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mrs. Yankila Sherpa on March 5, 2006 amidst a grand function, is a contemporary approach of promotion that Nepal`s tourism industry has taken so far to re-position the country in the competitive world of destination promotion.

To project the myriad images of Nepal in a condensed way, Nepal Tourism Board has launched a New Tourism Brand incorporating entire spectrum of tourism products/services, which provides leeway to Nepal to promote and market its tourism product in a complete package. The New Tourism Brand will be adopted by all the travel trade and other concerned agencies that market Nepal nationally or internationally.

Explaining the New Tourism Brand, Tek Bahadur Dangi– Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board says: New Nepal Brand will be instrumental in increasing the number of tourists to Nepal. Prior to this Campaign, we were solely dependant on the individual overseas tour operators to promote Nepal but we will now all be working together in a concerted, focused and centralized effort to penetrate new segment of consumer market also that has great potential.

The thrust of New Tourism Brand is to reinvent Nepal’s diversity, modernity and cultural heritage while keeping in view the sustainability and environmental aspects at bay. To be very precise, Nepal`s New Tourism Brand is all about the true feeling of hospitality; smiling people; festivals throughout the year; extreme adventure & air sports; meditation and many more. Our philosophy is that a destination brand is the totality of perceptions that a customer holds about the experiences associated with a place, Mr. Dangi adds.

The brand, developed by India based social infrastructure agency Alchemy, is the result of more than six months of research and planning with the Board in consultation with a wide range of other private and government agencies in Nepal, India and other major tourist generating market. The massive collaborative exercise has been carried out to unleash the Nepal`s tourism brand in a given time frame. The new brand has tried to redefine Nepalese tourism with a different flavor. Though Nepal`s traditional role as a destination is important, it must not only retained but also improve upon- through the reformulation of the Nepal product into a truly world class one.

And with a strategic location and supporting infrastructure, Nepal is well suited to be both short and long haul destination. This option has been explored in this branding. The reformulation of the Nepal product is about building upon existing strengths and minimizing in on the weakness. It is about catering to the myriad interests of the visitors while ensuing that locals` own needs are met. These all approaches are incorporated in new brand, which will address the global concept of branding a destination. While every care is being taken to attract Indian tourists for weekend from Indian cities, more emphasis is being given to long haul tourists coming to Nepal for adventure holidays from Europe and America.

The new tourism brand has evolved with three major segments: Weekends breaks, Adventure holidays and Lifetime experience. Weekend break deals specially for Indian markets and other regional markets due to their proximity and easy air connectivity and Adventure and Lifetime experience aims at long haul markets like USA, Europe, Australia and others.

Unlike other countries, tourism branding exercise carried out by NTB is considered to be cost effective in terms of huge expenses that are being made by other countries in branding. NTB`s brand consulting Company Alchemy Social Infrastructure was hired though global tender based on their merit of cost effective budget which was deemed appropriate in view of NTB`s resource dispensation.

Minimum amount required for the effective Brand campaign in India and other primary markets like UK, Germany, France and other South East Asian countries was proposed to be in tune of NRs. 10 crore Nepali Rupees for Guerilla type of brand campaign, however, due to the paucity of funds with the Government and NTB, the proposition could not be entertained. Therefore, austerity campaign measure is adopted by NTB to handle with bare minimum budget of nearly 2.5 crore within this Fiscal year. After an extensive research and substantive ground work of nearly six months, NTB has finally rolled out this new brand to kick start the process of campagain from the home front followed by unveiling at ITB-Berlin in March 11, 2006 by Minister of State of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Mrs Yankilla Sherpa.

This new tourism brand is first of its kind created with professional expertise in the tourism history of Nepal. Previously also, lots of national programs were run but they were not based on the outcome of research and surveys. However, this new tourism brand is absolutely backed by the research and surveys, hence has lot of ingredients to support for the yield subject to availability of matching resources and required environment. Therefore, if this new brand is owned by all the major stakeholders of tourism industry in the country with the support of our foreign counterparts with univocal voice for its promotions at all levels, NTB is optimistic to generate desired outcome from this national brand exercise. Nepal Tourism Board firmly believes that tourism industry of Nepal will find belongingness in this national tourism brand- closer to its heart.