Destinations Tell the World They Are Open for Business!

This time of year, especially with the opportunity of large exhibitions such as the WTM in London last week, we see the launch of new marketing campaigns by destinations announcing to the world that they are “Open for Business”. Let’s see what’s new for several destinations around the world.

New Marketing Campaign for Egypt

At the World Travel Market 2011 (WTM) Egypt soft-launched its new touristic campaign “We’re Egypt” addressing to potential tourists the following message: “we are friendly, we are open-minded, we are proud of our country, we are Egypt, see you soon in Egypt”, a warm invitation to come and share the outstanding experiences Egypt has to offer.

In his opening allocution, the Egyptian Minister of Tourism Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour emphasized on the stability and security in Egypt and announced the upcoming efforts of his Ministry aiming to develop and diversify the touristic offer in Egypt for it to include more efficiently eco-tourism, desert safari along with cultural and seaside tourism. The aim of the campaign is to show Egyptians enjoying their own country, give a clear positioning of the experiences in different parts of the destination, and clearly target families, older people, couples, youths and honeymooners.

M. Abdel Nour also pointed out that tourism indicators show the beginning of a recovery in the tourism sector. He moreover welcomed the fact that the decrease in the number of tourists to Egypt during the year 2011 compared to 2010 is only 25% in spite of political turmoil.

Speaking at the opening of travel trade exhibition World Travel Market (WTM), WTM chairman Fiona Jeffery said the speed at which the marketing campaigns have been launched “demonstrates the importance the new democracies in Egypt and Tunisia have put on inbound tourism for their long-term economic future”.

“Tourism can help build up these countries’ new democracies and has the potential to do so across all the Arab Spring countries.”


Thailand’s Offline Marketing Initiative

Thailand is stressing it is still open for tourism with a bus advertising campaign launched in London last week which will run for the next three months.

Two London buses will carry a fully-wrapped design with an iconic beach scene on one side and image of an elephant appearing to spray water over top deck passengers on the other. They will supported by buses with smaller panel ads. A similar campaign will start in Dublin in January.

Speaking at World Travel Market, Tourism Authority of Thailand UK consumer marketing and PR manager Jo Cooke says there had been no question of pushing the campaign back despite flooding in the country. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is currently advising against non-essential travel to Bangkok and other areas affected by flooding but passengers can still connect to other parts of Thailand through its international airport Suvarnabhumi.

The capital’s domestic airport is flooded but Cooke says this has had minimal impact with the two low-cost carriers that use it having moved to Suvarnabhumi. Beyond Bangkok the flooding has mainly affected rural areas. All the popular resorts are fully open.

Cooke says tour operators and agents are still reporting healthy bookings: “Premier Holidays tells us Thailand is still selling well and we are still in Trailfinders’ top three destinations.” She adds: “The floods have already cost Thailand about two billion Euros or more. Tourism accounts for 10% of GDP. We need tourists.”


Cape Town Tourism Launches New Global Marketing Campaign

Cape Town Tourism has unveiled its new global marketing campaign, with the tag line “You don’t need a holiday, you need Cape Town”. The new campaign aims to encapsulate everything Cape Town has to offer, including tourism, design, business, studies, nature, and the rich diversity of its people, to capture a bigger share of the international and local travel market. The inclusive marketing campaign was launched internationally at the World Travel Market in London.

According to Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariëtte du Toit-Hembold, Cape Town needs to retain its existing successful initiatives and overlay them with a “compelling global marketing and communications campaign…that takes Cape Town to the world in a bold and comprehensive manner”. “The marketing campaign is about more than just attracting tourists. It’s about incorporating business and investment, the creative and innovation sectors and academia into one vision and direction: economic growth, job creation and inclusion to the benefit of all citizens,” Du Toit-Hembold said.

“Whilst we acknowledge that Cape Town is still plagued with serious social issues, we must illustrate the determination to resolve these issues via tourism, education, service delivery, city planning and design,” she said. Tourism contributes an estimated R14 billion to the city’s economy every year, employing just under 300 000 people. She pointed out that the tourism market has become more difficult, especially due to the global financial crisis, and Cape Town must be differentiated from other cities, with the message incorporating not just natural beauty but personal stories that inspire and resonate with both locals and visitors.

“The marketing campaign offers inspirational Cape Town as the antidote to an uncertain and changing world – an urban elixir, if you will … take a good dose of the tonic and although we can’t promise what you will find, we can promise that you will find your better self. The tagline is ‘You don’t need a holiday, you need Cape Town!'” Cape Town Tourism aims to generate demand locally and domestically (and try shed the image of an expensive destination); ensure optimal visitor dispersal and spend; and improve the tourism industry’s capability to convert prospective business into revenue. It will work with airlines and tourism operators to offer better travel packages, and will also launch a series of Discovery Channel and National Geographic television programmes in 2012.


Bulgaria Launches Enhanced Advertising Campaign 

As it prepares to position itself as one of the key international tourism destinations for UK tourists, Bulgaria’s Deputy Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, Mr Ivo Marinov and Mrs Anelia Genova, Director of Marketing for Tourism were in London to announce Bulgaria’s tourism strategy for the next decade, including the launch of an enhanced advertising campaign titled ‘Bulgaria: Magic Lives Here’.

Known primarily as a beach and skiing destination, Bulgaria is keen to showcase its other attractions including a rich history and culture, a diverse nature and delicious food and wine. Bulgaria also wants to turn the spotlight on some of its fast-expanding tourism products including city breaks, spas and eco-tourism.

Having just  November 2011, the campaign will reveal little-known aspects of Bulgaria such as a heritage steeped in rich history and culture, a diverse and beautiful landscape and its natural mineral springs. The campaign’s underlying message is that Bulgaria is both ‘unexpected’ and value for money.

The media campaign consists of advertising in print and electronic media in the UK, the internet and outdoor advertising. Advertisements, advertorials and articles about Bulgaria will be published in specialised travel media as well as in more general media. The television campaign includes four new promotional videos of Bulgaria – “Image”, “Nature”, “Culture” and “Spa & Wellness”. The other components of the campaign are outdoor advertising with more than 200 locations in England and Scotland, as well as internet campaign encompassing 7 web-sites.


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