Ethiopia is endowed with all sorts of tourism potential. Unlike the previous times the incumbent is now extending its hands to harness this untapped potential. Of all the avenues, setting national tourism brand is the smartest intervention to build the positive image of the country and entice foreign tourists into it.
As attested by many studies, a well constructed and communicated branding means attracting more tourists and investors to that specific country. The competitive nature of this globalized world is challenged by countries which are capable enough to pull potential resources or attention to their best interests.
Therefore, countries like Ethiopia are trying to craft influential brand to market their natural resources, values, blessings or wisdom. In this context, Ethiopia has already launched a new national tourism brand- "Ethiopia: Land of Origins".
The newly crafted brand is attributed to country's rich natural, historical and archaeological accounts that confirm for its being origin mankind. It is telling the world that the country is the home of the human ancestors and origin of coffee which will make Ethiopians the first industrialists, and where the Blue Nile begins the longest journey. All these make the country a contributor to the civilization of the Blue Nile Valley.
What is more, though it anticipates further studies, it is believed that St. Yared's melody and music notes to be the source of the notes seen in Europe in the 15th century. More importantly, the country is a home for world class athletes.
For these and other obvious reasons, the Ethiopian brand that declares the country as land of origins is quite perfect and self-explanatory.
With no doubt, the assertion made in the brand is justified. The active consultation made among pertinent actors in the sector is attributable to come up with the precise brand. The task of crafting national brand is getting the best representation for the country. This has been the case for Ethiopia as many believed that the country is a place where many things originated from.
It is quite clear that the big task is positioning and campaigning about the brand after devising a well-constructed brand image that speaks truth to the realities on the ground.
For this to happen, the smart use of various mediums and advertising campaign that is fashioning a well-communicated brand is instrumental. As many would agree such intervention would cost huge sums of money for developing countries like Ethiopia.
However, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has been devising cost effective strategy to popularize the brand to the rest of the world in selective and potential avenue that would enable the nation benefit the best out of these opportunities.
Spotting the country's growing conference industry through preparing travel and tour package for big international media outlets that come to cover the conference is a commendable practice that needs to be further expanded.
The role and contribution of the Ethiopian tour operators in communicating Ethiopia's image using international trade fairs to promote the country and the brand is valuable.
By the same token, the Ethiopian Tourism Organization (ETO) is using fair trip method that includes using travel bloggers from popular market source countries in the e-media to promote the brand instead of using huge and big international media.
Brand using international acclaimed media outlets are also important to lure much more tourists around the world. Therefore, the Ministry, ETO and other actors in the tourism and hospitality industry should look into potential and influential media to reach out more tourists.
It is unquestionable that branding the country would help promote nation's potential and increase the revenue generated from the sector. As the country is working to be one of the top five tourists' destination in Africa and to increase the share of tourism for the country's Gross Domestic Products, exploiting every opportunity especially marketing nation's brand on reputable international media is the best option.