Destination branding important for tourism

RaktiSar-2006-0309

Shimla: Importance of destination branding and its implications affecting tourist flows, especially in times of information deluge about epidemics, terrorism and natural calamities was what attracted the attention of educators and planners at two day conference here.

Conducted by Himachal Pradesh Univeristy’s Institute of vocational (tourism) studies the conference came up with the suggestion that unforeseen circumstances are encouraging destinations to be well prepared with a strong brand value, which can withstand adversities of external circumstances and remain attractive for tourists.

The current trend is to market ‘unique selling proposition’ of a destination for providing differentiation amongst competitors but emphasis was laid upon branding, re-branding and creation of innovative marketing campaigns to keep a destination ahead of others, said a university spokesman.

Himachal needs to up branding

Delegates pointed out the unlike Kerala with its backwater country image or highway tourism of Haryana, Himachal lagged in branding.

Though Himachal abounds with natural, cultural and recreational attraction sites but the marketing strategy has not been able to build an unique image that can holistically portray the state.

Wrapped in a Himalayan landscape, the exotic mountains itself was an unique natural asset upon which the state could brand itself, was one of the suggestions that the conference came up with.

Though the state was considered a safe destination but hygiene and cleanliness at major tourist places was declining and if steps were taken to improve them through proper planning regulations by encouraging environmentally sustainable activity, its attraction for tourists could increase.

Other than the natural assets, adventure, health and medical tourism hold tremendous potential , was another suggestion that emerged at the deliberations.

Mountain sports including, trekking, mountaineering, mountain biking, skiing, golf, aero sports and water sports, did exist on a small scale but scaling up could boost tourism tremendously.

Over 100 delegates from places like, Kurukshetra, Rohtak, Chandigarh, Palwal, Gaziabad, Noida, Agra, Jhansi, Gwalior, Burdwan, Durgapur, Kerela, Delhi, Manipal and others participated in the conference, the spokesman said.

File photo by Payson Stevens.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik has nurtured Hill Post for over a decade. A chequered path had him drift from managing family owned apple orchards, to turning a documentary filmmaker, to a journalist - with India’s leading television networks and newspapers, to boot strapping in founding Start-Ups. He lives in Shimla.

4 Comments

  • Agree with vivek, Himachal politicains are just good for nothing and keeps shining in news and media only with crafted news only ! Just visit the most important tourist destinations like Manali and Shimla…just go to the main bus stand and see how our so called international destinations welcome visitors “WITH SHI* FOUL SMELL AND ROTTEN INFRSTRUCTURE where guets and tourists feel like cheated. Parking is like hell, touts stick to tourists like leeches and garbage darshans are add on along with darshans of Sacred Shrines and temples. In the name of tourism if compared Intrenationally our politicains will die out of shame of given a chance to sit with worlds best destinations/representatives. Our politicains just know how to have commissions out of every damm thing..be it a hospital machinery or garbage disposal scheme or some construction of school building tender.. they are beggers only and will remain so. No one is at fault if we have such corrupt system because we “THE PUBLIC IS UTTELRY FOOLISH” and scoundrels rule us !

  • This study by University for tourism promotion is not practical. Himachal doesnt neet branding for tourism because branding is feasable when the product or service is finally well crafted. The tourism in HImachal is in doldrums, see the stumbling infrstructure in Manali, Mcleoadganj, Chamba & Shimla..not even proper parking and Haphazard construction of hotels have rape* mountains. To promote tourism Himahcal, the governemt has created Sabzi mandi’s of hotels and guest houses everywhere with no apparent control over services and standards. They (Politicians) blow out bogus statements of eco tourism and so on and I bet that even 95% hoteliers dont even understand and implement Eco tourism anywhere in their daily services. Just be a guest in HPTDC’s Jwalaji hotel and experience the fowl smell in furnishing and beds..Internationally ahead ! Our politicians are the only brands who can be marketed as they are so unique and distinctive in their own self, found nowhere else in world who matches their standards !

    If our politicains are given a chance to speak up something on international level, you can be sure that none of them will be able to explain briefly the “so called international branding for tourism” as there is none ! Just take our CM to Manali Main Bus stand toliet and ask him to recoginise its international standard..

    Tourism flourisehs with basic infrastructure and necessary public ameneties, not with theories of research and paper work accross the tables that get published in press and media by tricks !

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