Rebranding interventions to alter Nation’s reputation


A tourism destination is continually iterated that a tourism destination is a dependant on the image it projects and maintains in the global arena. Tourism destinations ride the wave of success when the country maintains an impeccable image, portraying safety and security, cleanliness and sustainability. These can and should be, any tourism destination’s unique selling points to be used in visibility campaigns to ensure relevancy. The big challenge is working to safeguard the image one has. Investing in this process is so important because rebranding is always more costly, and often difficult because published material takes a long time to be replaced.

In his recent interview with The Ethiopian Herald, Hawassa University lecturer, Dr. Nigussie Meshesha, reiterated that apart from using ‘Land of Origins’ as its tourism motto, Ethiopia needs to renew its image in the international arena utilizing its other virtues.

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He also said for many centuries, Ethiopia’s multiculturalism has been manifested via unity in diversity and this can play key role in this regard. According to him, diversity is also manifested through pluralistic view which serve for the flourishing of political and religious tolerance.

Nigussie pointed out that the monument of Axum, Lalibela Rock Hewn Church, the Gondar Castle and the Walled Town of Harar are showcases of the centuries old civilization and level of the then society thought. With the rain-fed agriculture, achieving sustainable development and eradicating poverty which is the source of bad image is impossible. Hence, transforming the sector is vital.

Other countries rebrand themselves through exporting highly valued commodities and in this regard Coca Cola and Toyota products not only brand their companies but also their countries, he noted.

“In our context coffee is originated in Ethiopia but other newly emerging countries such as Vietnam outshined us doubling their export volume qualitatively and manage to rebrand themselves. The same is true in Teff and by now Netherland illegally claims the product as originated from its country, hence, to reverse the situation daunting task is a head of the nation.”

As to Nigusie, the Ethiopian Airlines has been doing great in rebranding the nation throughout the world providing air transport service which promote business.

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.