Nigeria set for new tourism brand identity launch

Posted: June 6, 2013 in travel & tourism

nigeriaFollowing the January 9, 2013 approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, has announced the first week of July as date for the formal unveiling of a new tourism brand identity for Nigeria.

Duke who revealed that date at a media briefing which held at the VIP Lounge of the National Theatre, Friday, said the move had become imperative and long overdue, also used the occasion to present literature backing the proposed launch fixed for Abuja.

To be known as Fascinating Nigeria, the concept, according to Duke, which took a year to develop, is in line with best destination marketing practices that have seen popular and tourism powerhouses in the world evolve ethos in consonance with their products.

“It is my belief that Nigeria deserves to have a distinctive tourism brand identity. In several fora where the issue of the masterplan have been discussed some of the stakeholders have raised the fact that we have not done enough in refreshing the Nigerian tourism brand, which to me is like owning a brewery without a product.

“We have therefore been working in the last one year in developing a distinct tourism brand identity. Some of us are aware that most countries renowned as exotic tourism destinations have something that speak for the ethos of the products by way of tourism brand identities and I’m sure we all remember the days of South Africa’s Limitless Possibilities, Impossible and others. Nigeria, the biggest black nation on earth deserves more than that,” said Duke.

According to the minister, the media launch pre-launch will be backed by preliminary activation of promotional campaigns in selected mass media, just as he explained that an extensive marketing strategy for the tourism brand identity will follow the formal launch in Abuja.

“On January 9, 2013, a tourism brand identity was approved by the Federal Executive Council for the country and it became expeditious for us aggressively towards the formal launch. Hence the first week of July we expect the formal launch of this brand to take place and before then also we expect the social media to commence airing of the brand. Also we are unveiling some of the collaterals and elements of those collaterals backing this brand,” Duke stressed.

Duke who was accompanied at the media presentation by the newly-appointed Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs Sally Mbanefo and General Manager of the National Theatre, Mr. Kabiru Yusuf, explained the launch represented a response by the country to similar strategies employed by other countries to corner the global tourism market at the expense of Nigerians.

“As a source market for the tourism revenue of several worlds, we deserve more. I sat and listened to President Jacob Zuma as he related to President Goodluck Jonathan recently on how his country has immensely benefitted from Nigerians visiting and spending in his country, I think Nigeria deserves a swift, appropriate and dignified response; and not a response in that kind of sense but a response in the sense that we also have something that we can be proud of,” he said.

Continuing, Duke explained the first stages of marketing to involve the utilization of the social media platforms by way of limited activations as well as literatures detailing the concept of Fascinating Nigeria.

“There will be appropriate activations within the limit of our resources to promote the product and in the next few weeks some social media will begin preliminary exposure of the new tourism brand identity for the country.

“On the day of the formal launch also we also intend to unveil some of the various other brand strategies we have developed in the ministry. It is my belief that when we have this going we will then be talking about a truly identifiable tourism brand. I love to hear people talk about Incredible India, Malaysia Truly Asia, and all the likes.

“Our brand identity is Fascinating Nigeria because there is nowhere else in the world where this appellation best suits, whether it is in business, nature’s endowment, investment climate, agriculture, whatever, tourism is the first letter of recommendation and our culture is a major collateral for it to activate,” the minister stated.

Introducing Mbanefo to the media, Duke explained that her choice for the position by federal government was informed by the need to woo the private sector into the tourism subsector of the economy against the backdrop of the impending termination of public funding for the NTDC with effect from 2018.

“It was the recommendation of the Oronsaye Panel that the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) be excluded from benefitting from public funding with effect from 2014, but with appeals by the ministry that decision by the federal government was rescinded and extended to 2018. Mbanefo’s appointment is therefore informed by the need to co-opt the active and full participation and support of the private sector in the tourism industry since she has spent over 25 years in the private sector serving as chief executive to some multi-national corporations,” Duke explained.

Remarking, Mbanefo assured of transforming Nigeria’s domestic tourism industry, as she promised to give the sector high priority under her tenure.

She outlined her focus to be the development of inbound tourism as she noted that ‘before we can successfully sell Nigerian tourism brand to the outside world we must address the domestic market potentials, secure the buy-in and confidence of Nigerians in the sector and get Nigerians to be proud of their tourism heritage and industry.’

The development of the domestic tourism would also entail other core mandates which include job creation, poverty alleviation and revenue generation.


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