The current turmoil in the tiny Himalayan nation notwithstanding, Nepal Tourism Board has come up a new tourism brand with the slogan ‘Naturally Nepal, once is not enough’ with an aim to strengthen the ailing tourism industry.
The brand was recently unveiled in the Capital by Nepal’s Minister of State for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yankila Sherpa. Speaking on the occasion, Tek Bahadur Dangi, CEO, Nepal Tourism Board, said, “The new tourism brand has evolved with three major segments – weekend breaks, adventure holidays and lifetime experience. The brand is expected to promote Nepal as the next generation mountain destination among holiday makers abroad.”
Alchemy, an India based social infrastructure agency, which was appointed by Nepal Tourism Board last year to develop and promote brand Nepal, has plans to reinvent Nepal’s diversity, modernity, and cultural heritage to make the country a more popular tourism destination.
Rahul Sen and Arun Anand, Brand Consultants, Alchemy, pointed out five reasons for the repositioning. According to them, it was needed to “repackage the diverse, existing product offerings, increase the number of tourists visiting Nepal, increase the revenues and profits of the Nepal Tourist Board, align Nepal Tourism Board’s stakeholders and the Nepali tourism industry to a common future and define branding guidelines and investment vehicles for building a low-cost international consumer brand in the very competitive tourism industry.”
When asked what ‘Naturally Nepal, once is not enough’ signified, Sen said, “‘Naturally Nepal’ is a simple expression that repackages Brand Nepal in a positive light. ‘Once is not enough’ not only accurately captures the tourists’ feeling at the international airport’s departure gate, but also serves as a war cry, a mantra and, most importantly, a decision making tool that enables the Nepali tourism industry – individually and collectively – to focus on customer retention rather than customer acquisition. Together, they form a new identity for Brand Nepal that appeals to its customers and stakeholders.”
The brand is aimed at repositioning Nepal’s image in the international tourism market. It incorporates a strategy to attract additional 300,000 tourists in Nepal in a year by making around Rs 100 million investments in tourism promotional campaigns.
On the marketing mix that will be adopted for the promotion, Sen and Anand, said, “Till Nepal’s current political problems are resolved, the Nepal Tourism Board will employ an international, low-profile, low-cost, print, digital and word-of-mouth campaign using conventional and unconventional travel and lifestyle media. In the future, we will be seeking radical innovations that will give Brand Nepal a number of low cost-high impact marketing initiatives that will directly increase the number of tourists visiting Nepal.”
On the amount allocated for the promotions, Anand said, “The Nepal Tourism Board is committed to spending a minimum of Rs 6.25 crore between April and September 2006. The first tranche of investment of Rs 1.5 crore will be made in Delhi between April and June 2006. Based on the success and return on marketing investments in India, the Nepal Tourism Board will release additional budgets that will be used to target other markets across the world for the rest of the year.”
As far as promoting Brand Nepal in other international markets is concerned, Sen said, “Given its limited budget, the Nepal Tourism Board will target ‘cosmopolitan cities’ only. Over the next 10 years, the Nepal Tourism Board will focus its marketing efforts and budgets on the top 35 cosmopolitan cities in the US, Europe, Australia, Asia, India and the Middle East regions. We will start with Delhi in April 2006. London will be next.”