Story: Liberia, Amazing Discoveries (en)
When you think about your next holiday, Liberia might not necessarily be the first place that comes to mind. But the small coastal West African nation has much to offer those who seek golden beaches, luscious rainforests and even verdant savannahs filled with wildlife.
That is why tourism is now at the forefront of the Government's plan for boosting its economy.
Stakeholders from the Liberian Government, private sector, media and civil society came together to validate Liberia's first-ever tourism brand and marketing strategy for Africa's oldest republic.
More than 35 officials deliberated on the new strategy, including H.E. Lance Gba-Gonyon, Deputy Minister of Tourism, and representatives of the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
"The objective for the development of the tourism brand and a marketing strategy is to have a well-defined framework that showcases Liberia's tourism potential and promotes the tourism sector; and makes it stand out from rivals, attract customers, and generate brand awareness," said H.E. Lance Gba-Gonyon.
The branding and marketing development forms part of a wider Tourism Development Project, implemented by ITC in collaboration with UNWTO and the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
"As owner and custodian of the project, the government is determined to make this a reality. The political will is there and we will work with all stakeholders, especially the private sector in the implementation and realization of the objectives of this strategy," added H.E. Lance Gba-Gonyon.
About the brand strategy
Leading up to the strategy's validation, ITC organized four workshops with all relevant parties to discuss Liberia's main tourism marketing assets and challenges. They pinned down Liberia's market positioning as the best destination in West Africa for nature, culture and water sport discoveries and defined the country's brand essence as "the freedom to discover" and its marketing slogan as "Liberia: Amazing Discoveries".
The marketing strategy consists of three phases and will span the next seven years.
About the Tourism Development Project
The Liberia Tourism Development project emanates from the National Export Strategy on Tourism 2016-2020 and responds to the strategy's implementation.
The objectives are:
- improving the policy environment and institutional capacity;
- developing new tourism destinations around surfing and other historical and natural attractions;
- targeted promotion and advocacy campaigns to promote tourism to international, regional and domestic markets.
ITC is implementing the project in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, and UNWTO, with funding from the Enhanced Integrated Framework.