5th ITSA Biennial Conference, November 2014,Perth,WA: Second Call for Papers.

Posted on Nov 4, 2013 | Comments Off on 5th ITSA Biennial Conference, November 2014,Perth,WA: Second Call for Papers.

 

murdochTheme: Tourism, Cities and the Environment in the Asian  Century.

Main organizer: International Tourism Studies Association

Host organizer: Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia
 Venue: Fremantle, Western Australia

 

Date: 26th -29th November, 2014

The 5th ITSA Biennial Conference to be held on November 26 – 29, 2014 in Perth, Western Australia is calling for full papers, case studies and oral presentations on the following themes:

Theme 1 China outbound tourism market

 Positioning Western Australia (and Perth) in the China market
 Chinese backpacker market
 Cruise and boating/sailing market from China
 Impact of China Tourism Law (2013)
 Independent travellers vs. group tourists from China
 Marketing Australian nature to China
 Profile of nature-based tourists in China
 Self-drive tourism and the Chinese market
 Shopping tourism
 Site management/visitor facility needs in Australia
 Slow tourism (including rural and small town tourism)
 Tour guiding requirements in the Australian context
 Tourist behaviour management  

Theme 2 Nature based tourism in the Asian Century

 Aboriginal tourism
 Adventure tourism in Western Australia
 Coastal/waterfront tourism
 Monitoring visitor activity
 Role of Australian protected areas and wildlife
 Sustainable experiences
 Sustainable wildlife tourism management in Australia
 Visitor management in natural areas
 Wine tourism  

Theme 3 City tourism in the Asian Century

 Australian cities as quality tourism destinations
 Business events (MICE – meetings, incentives, conventions,exhibitions)
 Chinese cities and the concept of the world tourism city
 City parks and open spaces
 Concept of nature in the city as a tourist attraction
 Festivals and events
 Food tourism
 Green cities
 Heritage and cultural tourism in Australian cities
 Perth as a liveable and world tourism city
 Smart tourism   
For oral presentations please submit abstracts of 250 words to Associate ProfessorDavid Newsome Email: D.Newsome@murdoch.edu.au. 

We are also inviting abstracts of 1,000 words for full papers for possible inclusion in the referred proceedings and expanded papers of up to 8,000 words for publication in the International Journal of Tourism Cities. Please contact Associate Professor David Newsome for further information.

 

ITSA and 2013 Academic conference of Eastern Foothills of Helan Mountain of International Organisation Vine and Wine

Posted on Oct 21, 2013 | Comments Off on ITSA and 2013 Academic conference of Eastern Foothills of Helan Mountain of International Organisation Vine and Wine

wine

From left to right: William H. Pelzer, French; Ming Yang, Manager of Changyu Pioneer Wine Company;  Prof. Bihu Wu, ITSA Secretary-General; Heinz Schuhmann, PATA; Huirong Shen, ex-officer of China National Tourism Administration); Marie Jacob, France

 

September 23-25, 2013, Professor Wu Bihu, the Secretary-General of the International Tourism Studies Association (ITSA) was invited as an honored guest to attend the 2013 Academic Conference of the Eastern Foothills of Helan Mountain on International Organisation Vine and Wine in Ningxia, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

 

During the sessions on Wine and Tourism, Professor Wu Bihu discussed the development of wine tourism in the Eastern Foothills of Helan Mountain in Ningxia along with other experts from different areas. He made an excellent speech and proposed that the name of Eastern Foothills of Helan Mountain should be changed to Helan Mountain, which is more easily communicated and remembered, and other experts agreed with this suggestion. After the conference,Professor Wu Bihu met the President of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Mrs. Hui Liu and they discussed all issues regarding the development of wine tourism in Ningxia.

 

The eastern part of Helan Mountains in Ningxia, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is a rapidly-emerging wine region in Asia. With the fast progress of the wine industry in Ningxia, the government has given approval to the development of the eastern base of Helan Mountains as an area suitable for wine production. Wineries have sprung up like mushrooms and wine tourism has truly arrived in the area. To encourage the development of wine tourism, the Ningxia government has commissioned the International Center for Recreation and Tourism Research (CRTR) to evaluate the ranking of tourism wineries in Ningxia.

5th ITSA Biennial Conference, November 2014,Perth, WA: Call for Papers.

Posted on Sep 9, 2013 | Comments Off on 5th ITSA Biennial Conference, November 2014,Perth, WA: Call for Papers.

murdoch

Theme: Tourism, Cities and the Environment in the Asian  Century.

Main organizer: International Tourism Studies Association Host organizer: Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia
 Venue: Fremantle, Western Australia

Date: 26th -29th November, 2014 

The 5th ITSA Biennial Conference to be held in November 2014, Perth, Western Australia is calling for full papers, case studies and oral presentations on the following themes:

 Major themes

  • 1. China outbound tourism market

Becoming China ready – research need Site management/visitor facility needs in Australia Marketing Australian nature to China Profile of nature-based tourists in China Positioning Western Australia (and Perth) in the China market Tour guiding requirements in the Australian context

  • 2.    Nature based tourism in the Asian Century

The role of Australian protected areas and wildlife Sustainable experiences Visitor management in natural areas Monitoring visitor activity Sustainable wildlife tourism management in Australia

  • 3.    City tourism in the Asian Century

The value of Asia-Australia sister state and sister city relationships/partnerships The concept of nature in the city as a tourist attraction Chinese cities and the concept of the world tourism city Australian cities as quality tourism destinations 

For oral presentations please submit abstracts of 250 words to Associate Professor David  Newsome
Email: D.Newsome@murdoch.edu.au images

We are also inviting abstracts of 1000 words for full papers for possible inclusion in the referred proceedings and expanded papers of up to 8000 words for publication in the International Journal of Tourism Cities Please contact Associate Professor David Newsome for further information.

ITSA signs MoU with IULM in Milan, Italy

Posted on Sep 8, 2013 | Comments Off on ITSA signs MoU with IULM in Milan, Italy

 

Milan, June 2013. During his visit to Milan, Prof. Alastair M. Morrison, President of ITSA signed an MOU with Prof. Manuela De Carlo, IULM University to collaborate with each other so as to promote the advancement of international understanding, dissemination of learning and strengthening of cultural ties.

The aim of the MoU is to share a mutual intent to support and promote academic collaboration, including conferences, workshops, seminars, and symposiums. The agreement will be valid for the period of 5 years, during which period the two parties will commit to joint research and publishing on topics including the inbound and outbound markets and marketing for Italy and Mainland China, urban and city tourism, heritage and cultural tourism, food and wine tourism, information communication technologies in tourism, destination management and marketing, tourism policies and planning, tourism research methodologies, tourism development, and other topics of mutual interest. The collaboration will also include also participation in the International Journal of Tourism Cities (IJTC), several projects to promote greater tourism and cultural understanding between Italy and China, and other collaborative projects of mutual interest. This MoU is a good opportunity to enhance cultural and tourism relationships between China and Italy.

 

Announcement from International Tourism Studies Association (ITSA)

Posted on Jul 16, 2013 | Comments Off on Announcement from International Tourism Studies Association (ITSA)

ITSA cancels Mongolia International Tourism Theme Conference

Dear ITSA Members,

ITSA sincerely apologizes for its decision to cancel the proposed International Theme Conference in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in October 2013. This is due to recent government policy changes in Mongolia and the lack of local financial and logistical support.

This decision does not influence ITSA’s enthusiasm to assist with Mongolia’s future tourism development. ITSA hopes to organize other events in Mongolia in the future.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused by the cancellation of this event.

Best ITSA Regards,

International Tourism Studies Association

ITSA Executives Appointed to Provide Expert Advice to WTCF

Posted on Jul 2, 2013 | Comments Off on ITSA Executives Appointed to Provide Expert Advice to WTCF

deputy  Beijing- June 25th  Prof. Alastair M. Morrison, President of ITSA has been appointed as the Vice-Chairman of the Expert Committee of the World Tourism Cities Federation (“WTCF”).  Professor Bihu Wu, Secretary-General of ITSA, was invited as a founding member of the WTCF Expert Committee. Both positions were made by Cheng Hong, Vice Mayor of Beijing and Lu Yong, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Cities Federation and the Head of Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development The Expert Committee is a high-level, advisory group to WTCF and also functions as a think-tank. It is composed of 15 world-renowned university and industry experts providing WTCF with intellectual support through research and functioning as an academic exchange platform for increasing the global development of tourism in cities.

The leadership of this new group consists of Prof. Xiaoan Wei, Expert Committee Chairman and Professor of the China Tourism Academy, Prof. Morrison of Purdue University and President of ITSA, Prof. Hui Zhang of Beijing Jiaotong University, and Prof. Tongqian Zou of Beijing International Studies University. expert committee members

 

The Expert Committee is established as a non-governmental organization of World Tourism Cities Federation by the Chinese Government with foreign expert leaders in the highest positions. Prof. Morrison will be primarily responsible for the Research Committee of the expert group and for the professional development and global marketing strategy for guiding international research projects.

Background on WTCF: First proposed by the Beijing Municipality, the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) is the world’s first non-profit international non-governmental organization which is co-initiated by a number of international tourism cities with voluntarily memberships by tourism cities and other tourism organizations around the world. With “to create better city life through better tourism” as its motto, WTCF is committed to promoting exchanges and cooperation among member cities, creating opportunities for members to share experiences in tourism development, exploring tourism issues and problems, strengthening development and cooperation in tourism markets, enhancing the development levels of tourism, and promoting the coordinated economic and social development of world tourism cities.

More:

 

http://www.wtcf.org.cn/english/newscenter//Development/20130628319.html

 

 

ITSA-Italy International Theme Conference

Posted on Jul 2, 2013 | Comments Off on ITSA-Italy International Theme Conference

 

Dr. Manuela De CarloMilan, June, 2013 The Regional Vice President of ITSA for Western Europe, Professor Manuela De Carlo has proposed that an International Theme Conference be held in Milan, Italy in late July, 2014. The ITSA Secretariat has agreed to co-organize this conference and especially since ITSA’s 2nd Biennial Conference in 2008 in Shanghai had a similar theme in advance of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

World Expo 2015 has the theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” and the ITSA International Theme Conference will therefore focus on two topics:milan expo

The synergies between Shanghai World Expo 2010 and Milan World Expo  2015.

The many interrelationships of food and tourism.

It is proposed that students in the Master in Tourism Management at IULM will assist with the organization of the ITSA International Theme Conference.

 

Positioning and price

Posted on Jun 17, 2013 | Comments Off on Positioning and price

Portugal,5th June — President of ITSA, Prof. Alastair M. Morrison make a presentation on IAST panel discussion on “Positioning and price”

In the tourism and hospitality sector, how may the price variable be driven upwards in times of low occupancy (demand  shortage) and economic contraction? 

Should innovations in the tourism industry focus on “on line” sales/touristic destinations sites?

Here the comments by Prof. Alastair M. Morrison:

Consider positioning before pricing

Strategy-wise, positioning should be considered before price and not vice-versa. Positioning is an important part of a destination’s/business’ tourism marketing strategy and represents the image that the destination/business decides to communicate to its existing visitors and potential tourists. It is also the foundation upon which a destination/business brand is developed. Just for the purposes of clarity, positioning is not a slogan or strapline; although it is a good practice to distill a positioning statement into such.

destination positioning

 

 

Develop new experiences rather than products

Nowadays when considering positioning, it is vital that the old practices of tourism product development be discarded and we think about markets in a more contemporary way. Today, people (tourists) buy experiences, not products! The Algarve website identifies 9 products: sun and sea; golf; meeting industry; residential tourism; health and wellness; culture; family tourism; nature tourism; and sport (with the first four being classified as the major products). In future, a strategy of defining the unique experiences that visitors can have in the Algarve should be the strategy – and the Signature Experiences Collection ® program of the Canadian Tourism Commission is a great model to follow.

Strengthen the destination branding of the Algarve

A great destination branding approach needs to follow after the best positioning strategy is determined. The Algarve has a cute slogan as “Europe’s Most Famous Secret” but if this is a reflection of its destination brand, it is not strong enough and does not communicate meaningful differences to the market.

Focus on yield and not price

The first question should be rephrased since this is not just a micro- level challenge for hotels and other operators; it is a macro-level issue that needs to be dealt with at a whole Algarve destination level. So it is suggested that “How may the price variable be driven upwards in times of low occupancy and economic contraction?” be revised to “How can the Algarve attract higher yield tourists year-round and especially outside of the high seasons?” The answer lies in diversifying the experiences on offer and the origin market portfolio, as well as making more effective use of online marketing.

Diversify origin market portfolio

The official website for the Algarve identifies 11 major origin markets (UK, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Scandinavia, France, Italy, Canada, Poland, and Russia). With the exception of Canada, these are the traditional north-to-south tourist markets from Europe. This portfolio is a “too-many-eggs-in-one-basket” approach and especially when the European region is beset with difficult economic circumstances. Moreover, the seasonal flow patterns from these origins tend to be quite similar. The Algarve definitely needs to diversify its origin market portfolio and like major destinations worldwide the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries should be assigned a high priority (see VisitBritain Brazil tourism market strategy milestones below for guidelines on what to do for that group). After these five, some of the N-11might be considered (e.g., South Korea, Turkey, Mexico, Indonesia, etc.)

 

Schermata 2013-06-17 alle 12.02.06

Improve and emphasize online marketing

The second question about “tourism industry innovations” asks if online marketing should be a focus of innovation and the answer is definitely “yes.” Having viewed the present destination website for the Algarve, it is definitely in need of improvement and more language versions need to be added including Russian, Chinese, Korean and Arabic.

The Algarve is already using popular social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, but it should be more innovative in how it uses these channels and will need to add other sites when it diversifies origin markets. For example, several of the world’s leading tourism destinations have used crowdsourcing (based on their own residents or visitors) very effectively including Australia, Canada and New Zealand. If targeting markets such as China, the Algarve will require a presence on the most popular “domestic” social media such as Weibo.

 

 

 

Why the Chinese market represents an economic opportunity for Italian operators

Posted on Jun 13, 2013 | Comments Off on Why the Chinese market represents an economic opportunity for Italian operators

“Our (Italian) system continues to look at the Chinese through an obsolete lens: seeing them as potential illegal immigrants hocking counterfeit bags and sweaters on the streets of Naples, or huddled in Prato, the textile producing town near Florence that hosts Italy’s largest Chinese community” (quote from La Stampa).

OFL_9412 @ OFL_9413 OFL_9050

 

Prof. Alastair M. Morrison, President of the International Tourism Studies Association (ITSA), was the keynote speaker at the Graduation Ceremony of the Master in Tourism Management class of 2011-2012 at IULM University in Milan, Italy. The topic of the keynote presentation was, “Why the Chinese market represents an economic opportunity for Italian operators.” Prof. Morrison described the recent growth in the Chinese outbound tourism market and provided reasons why Italy should place a much higher priority on attracting tourists from China. The following are excerpts from the speech by Prof. Morrison.

 

The Reasons

 

Why does Italy need to put a higher priority on the inbound tourist market from China?

 

There are several reasons for Italian operators to invest more in the Chinese market and to give China a higher priority in Italy’s international tourism marketing, including the very high growth rates in GDP, personal disposable incomes and urbanization. Participation in higher education has increased and so has the curiosity about the world outside of China. More Chinese students are studying abroad; according to OECD, 18.2% of the students enrolled in member countries are from China – the largest proportion and highest absolute number of foreign students.

 

The lifestyle trend for greater consumption is growing very quickly. Spending on luxury products by the Chinese exceeds all other countries (McKinsey).

There is more purchasing of international product brands including luxury goods as conspicuous consumption is very evident in the expanding middle class of China and among the very wealthy. Also, Chinese Government taxes on imported luxury products are very high.

 

The Chinese now account for significant proportions of certain luxury brands’ worldwide sales; Louis Vuitton (27%), Gucci (28%), Prada (34%), and Burberry (25%). Buying of luxury products when traveling outside out China is growing in popularity; in a recent survey, 75% of Chinese reported buying luxury goods while abroad. There is huge worldwide interest in the purchasing of luxury products by the Chinese, both when buying in China and when traveling abroad.  Italy is strongly associated with high fashion along with France, USA and UK. Many Italian fashion brands are already well-known and highly sought after. Italy rated highest for “famous for Arts” by Chinese in a KPMG survey and was rated second highest after France for “famous for luxury design” and “famous for fashion design.”

 

The China outbound market grew by 167.5% from 2005 to 2012 and reached approximately 83 million tourists in 2012. However, about two-thirds of all these outbound tourists were to Hong Kong and Macau. It is forecast that there will be at least 155 million outbound tourists from China by 2020. Italy attracts a very small proportion of Chinese outbound tourists (less than 1%), but the volume is growing. A recent survey by the China Tourism Academy showed that 54% of China luxury travelers most desired overseas destination in the next year was Europe. France, Hong Kong, USA, and Italy are the first-choice shopping destinations for Chinese luxury travelers.

 

A survey conducted for the U.S. Travel Association indicated that 5% of the Chinese respondents were likely to visit Italy in the next two years (France was 12% and UK was 6%). The Chinese increasingly are recognizing the rich history and culture of Italy as represented by destinations such as Venice, Rome and Florence. Many Chinese consider Italy to be a romantic destination. They are becoming increasingly aware of the Italian cuisine and wines and Italian food is considered to be very healthy.

 

The largest Internet population in the world is in Mainland China and the Chinese are making huge use of the social media channels that are open to them. Italy needs to make more informed and extensive use of these Chinese-language Internet communication opportunities in the future.

 

The Challenges

 

What are some of the major challenges in targeting and catering to the Chinese market?

 

China is a very large country with a huge and very diverse population. It cannot be treated as one uniform market, but has to be segmented into smaller parts and targeted. This presents a major challenge for destination marketers. There are significant differences by regions (e.g., north vs. middle vs. south vs. west) and cities (first, second, third, and lower tiers); age groupings; foreign travel experience; tour groups vs. FIT; interests; household income levels; Internet users vs. non-users, etc.).

 

Another important challenge is the language and the cultural differences. Chinese prefer to speak and read Mandarin or Cantonese; not many know English very well and much fewer have mastered Italian. Chinese tourists tend to be more willing to do things in groups when traveling. Food is extremely important! Dining and drinking are major social activities for the Chinese; a way of having fun and sometimes “showing off.” Dining can be very noisy and animated.

 

Little things that count for Chinese travelers include having slippers and in-room tea service, round dining tables, sockets for Chinese electrical appliances, and playing cards and Chinese snacks in guest rooms. These are just a few of the things that will provide better travel experiences for them.

 

The behaviors of some Chinese tourists offer unique challenges to European destinations that are not familiar with this market. At times, these behaviors can be considered rude or unusual and even senior Chinese government officials have criticized their own citizens for not adapting their behaviors to foreign norms.

 

The Recommendations 

 

What does Italy need to do to get a larger share of the outbound market from China?

 

1)    Italy must invest more in marketing its tourism in Mainland China if it wants to achieve a larger market share. One of the most important challenges is the fierce competition from all the world’s major destinations. Competitive destinations have a greater presence in China and are spending significantly more than Italy in appealing to Chinese outbound travelers.

 

2)    An integrated and concerted promotional campaign across multiple partners is required. The present tourism marketing and promotions from Italy are fragmented without a concerted thrust; this is not the most effective approach to marketing in China. A partnership approach involving multiple regions and tourism companies is highly recommended.

 

3)       Italian fashion and automobiles have high awareness among Chinese consumers as luxury items. However all brands and products are being marketed separately and not in combinations that might be more attractive to Chinese consumers. A co-branding approach is recommended, possibly combining tourism regions and cities with fashion goods, autos, wine, and food products.

 

4)       Italian food and wine must be popularized within Mainland China. Italian food is enjoying greater popularity in China, especially pasta and pizza. Italian wines are not particularly popular now and lag well behind France and other countries. Staging Italian wine and food festivals in the larger cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou will be a great idea.

 

5)    One big problem for Chinese tourists that want to travel to Italy is the visa. It is difficult and often a frustrating experience for Chinese citizens to get visas for the Italian authorities within China. Immediate attention needs to be given to the current system of screening applicants to speed up visa approval times and to give Chinese citizens a better impression of Italy and its willingness to welcome them as tourists. Given that the Chinese today are notoriously “last-minute” planners, systems such as Visa on Arrival (VOA) are very  popular (e.g., Thailand, Maldives, and Bali).

 

Our (Italian) system continues to look at the Chinese through an obsolete lens: seeing them as potential illegal immigrants hocking counterfeit bags and sweaters on the streets of Naples, or huddled in Prato, the textile producing town near Florence that hosts Italy’s largest Chinese community” (quote from La Stampa).

 

6)    The VFR market based on Chinese living in Italy needs to be given greater marketing attention and consideration. Chinese people are very family oriented and want to visit their family and friends living abroad. A special program should be considered of working with the Chinese living in Italy to invite their family and friends to visit them. This program could be launched via the Chinese social media using Chinese micro-blogging and chat websites.

 

7)    Surely the holding of the 2010 and 2015 World Expos in Shanghai and Milan respectively offers a unique and huge opportunity for the two cities to cooperate. It is recommended that Italian tourism operators create a joint marketing campaign for 2014-2015 and also a “sister city” arrangement for Milan and Shanghai.

 

8)    The fame and recognition of Marco Polo in China must be capitalized upon. Marco Polo spent significant time in China and is well remembered especially in the cities of Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Yangzhou in the Yangtze River Delta Region (YRDR). Joint marketing of Marco Polo heritage should be initiated with these cities.

 

IULM May 27-2013 Morrison PPT

Interview with President of ITSA in Mongolian Economy Magazine

Posted on May 20, 2013 | Comments Off on Interview with President of ITSA in Mongolian Economy Magazine

The Mongolian Economy Magazine recently sat down with Professor Alastair Morrison, President of International Tourism Studies Association, to discuss the Mongolia’s tourism industry, as well as current developments in regional tourism for special interests. Below are excerpts from the interviews with Prof. Morrison and others.

“The fool wanders, a wise man travels”, said British clergyman and author Thomas Fuller. It is prejudiced to call every traveller a tourist. A tourism industry that adapts its management and marketing well to the draws of a country and the expectations of its patrons will provide them with the best experiences. Those travellers will leave the country feeling as if it were their own. The sustainable growth of tourism is based on the preservation of nature and traditional culture. It has been 20 years since the seeds of this industry were planted in Mongolia. Now it is time for tourism to wash its face and come out with a clean and new look. It is hard to describe in one word how foreigners imagine Mongolia. Some envision the ancient land of Chinggis, nomadic civilization, beautiful nature, or a bustling mining industry. Though people around the world know Mongolia better now than in the past, there are still many who mistake the independent nation of Mongolia for the region of Inner Mongolia in China—or even forget that a separate nation exists. These days the mining sector gets the most attention and is the most stand-out feature for most. This is undesirable to tourism, which looks to entertain and give a freewheeling impression. Many feel the happenings in mining are overshadowing tourism in the country. The Mongolian Tourism Association set out to create the image that best suits the country for tourism. Meanwhile the image put out by various private companies and NGOs may be inconsistent with each other.

“It does not benefit much, though we spend a lot of money advertising to foreigners. This shows us that we do not have a definite overall understanding of marketing”, said, Nergui Shagdarsuren, director of New Juulchin Tours.

The subject that has gathered the most attention in the industry lately is branding. Travel companies have accused the government of taking tourism for granted in Mongolia. In the last two decades since the transition to a democratic and capitalist system, tourism has been grouped with various other interests and sectors in government, most recently settling with sports and culture. Almost everyone who works in tourism admits doing business is a mess here. They are nearly begging for a single, all encompassing policy they can follow. Recently, the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism presented measures to tourism workers, one being branding.

“It is vital to give the impression to the world that Mongolian tourism is amazingly unique and invaluable”, said Tserendolgor Enebish, director of Tseren Tours. There are many attributes of Mongolia that can represent the country, such as the authentic nomad life, different types of natural formations, its rich history and rare animals. According to global tourism branding practice, one thing is for sure: Mongolia has to choose one particular image to position itself in the world as a “choice” market”. Mongolia’s tourism industry will receive acceptance from the world when people from other nations can imagine a clear image of it. “Mongolia has to emphasize what makes it a unique place in the world. At this forum, people are talking about the nomadic concept. That is a good concept because many people know Chinggis Khaan”, said Alastair Morrison, President of the International Tourism Studies Association at the 2013 Mongolian Tourism Forum. “The most important thing to focus upon is to not try to be like other destinations.”

At this year’s forum participants suggested some branding themes such as “nomadic Mongolia” and “horseback Mongolia”. But these days Mongolia has many young Mongolians who do not know much about horse-riding equipment, how to ride a horse or cannot even recall the five traditional animals. “An image is something that is felt from a country’s wind and their resident’s eyes. It is necessary to find that image. Also, it cannot be something only seen in advertisements, but something every Mongolian can understand and express”, said Tsomorlig Erdenechluun, a lecturer of tourism at the National University of Mongolia. According to the company Total Marketing Destination, a brand of tourism introduces personality, tells a story, arouses the senses and stimulates emotions through its connection to the core values of that place. This contributes towards a deeper relationship between the place and its key audiences. A brand is inspired by the logo, colors, key words, style, fonts, emotional benefits, and personality. These characteristics set it apart from other brands. For tourism in developed countries, government binds the general policy while institutions like the National Tourism Organization takes responsibility over marketing. For instance, Australia’s major branding initiative, Brand Australia, was launched in 1995 by the Australian Tourism Commission. It broke new ground in how the country was branded to the outside world, separate from their mining. Australia’s nickname, “The Land Down Under” gives the impression that Australia is carefree and laid back. In addition to tourism, Australia’s strong brand recognition was helpful to trade, business, and investment opportunities into other sectors and industries.

“Our challenge is to capture and recognize that this connection with Australia goes beyond the physical to the emotional and is true and powerful for everyday Australia. We call it the ‘Australian effect’”, said Zoe Shurgold, a public relations manager to the United States for Tourism Australia.

 

There are two types of travelers: traditional and special interest. Special interest tours are designed to fit one’s specific interests. According to world tourism classifications, Mongolia’s tourism operations are categorized as special interest. Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism Tesedevdamba Oyungerel announced that her ministry was planning to develop regional tourism for special interests. Special interest tourism in Mongolia would include specific trips for bird watching, hunting, paleontology, nomad culture, photography, and winter excursions.

“It could be the best solution for us to have one main goal instead of chasing after many. But I cannot say that special interest tourism is the best fit for Mongolia”, said D. Gansukh, president of the Tourism Education, Training and Research Center NGO. Choosing a single image to represent the country is the most challenging aspect of this issue, but it is one other countries have struggled with in the past. “Special interest tourism is not just found in this particular part of Asia. It is a worldwide trend. It is a good strategy for Mongolia because it is not a mass tourism destination”. Mongolia’s nomadic lifestyle is the calling card of the country. This became evident after the slogan “Go Nomadic, Experience Mongolia” received nearly all the votes at the 2013 Tourism Forum. However, there is hesitation among people whether the nomadic way of life is a sustainable image for Mongolia.

“Growing urbanization and the vanishing of the nomadic lifestyle means there might be an absence of culture to display in Mongolia”, said Tseren Tours Director Enebish. Mongolia is not the only place featuring the nomadic lifestyle in the world, but it is perhaps the most authentic. Whereas in Mongolia nomads arouse romantic images and thoughts of adventure, in other countries the perception is of wanderers and beggars. Governments around the globe are confidently investing billions each year into establishing and exposing to the world their destination brands. In this way Mongolia can present its image at the frontline to global travelers and draw them like a magnet.