Tourism marketing and country image
Table of Contents:
The curious case of Bangladesh and Nepal: tourism advertising to transform country image and empower developing countries
Imran Hasnat and Elanie Steyn
Being categorized as a developing or developed country involves an intricate combination of factors “to better understand their social and economic outcomes” (Gbadamosi, 2020). The World Bank, for instance, uses World Development Indicators to “aggregate, group, and compare statistical data of interest” (The World Bank, 2020a). Similarly, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) uses the Human Development Index that combines “longetivity [w’c], education and income” and considers “political freedom and personal security’” (Gbadamosi, 2020).
Not only are many developing countries faced with historical and current realities of complex economic, social and political systems but they’ also have to address issues of “crime, terrorism, political unrest, natural disasters, epidemics and accidents” (Avraham and Ketter, 2016). As Avraham and Ketter (2016) also point out, these realities and challenges leave developing countries having to function within systems with “limited effectiveness of public services, safety and security issues, public health issues, inadequate access to technology, poor public educational services and low level of environmental sustainability” (also see Aliaskarov et al., 2017). These realities result in many’ developing countries having a poor international image, one often shaped around stereotypes (formed by media, the appeals of charity’ organizations and representation of “us” vs. “them”) and the extent to which they’ deal with these issues (see Hallenslebcn, 2017).
How others see the world around them, including a country, its people, its government structures and its role in the international arena is the result of both informal and deliberate factors and efforts (Hasnat and Steyn, 2019). Tourism marketing and nation branding are two deliberate efforts governments and decision makers in developing (and developed) countries use to counteract a negative country’ image or build upon a positive image in the eyes of the international world, especially the eyes of the international media (Avraham, 2017, p. 275).
This chapter focuses on the importance of tourism advertising for developing countries and highlights some benefits as well as challenges tourism advertising brings to a country' or destination. It also points out some strategies for developing countries as they implement tourism advertising as a tool to improve their country image. The authors finally apply these elements of tourism advertising to two case studies: The “Beautiful Bangladesh” campaign and the “Visit Nepal Year 2020: Lifetime Experiences” campaign.
The importance of tourism advertising for developing countries
Tourism advertising as a part of integrated destination marketing and branding has become almost an inevitable part of efforts to shape any country’s international image (Ferreira, 2019). As Avraham (2017, p. 276) points out, however, these efforts are especially important for developing countries, as governments and other stakeholders realize the need to address an often negative international country image, for a variety of reasons. He indicates that leaders and decision makers in these countries know that “a negative image among world public opinion is an obstacle to the arrival of tourists, companies, and investors, and can lead to sanctions against a country.” Similarly, research (e.g. Fullerton and Kendrick, 2013; Kendrick et al., 2015) has shown that positive messages about a country can change an audience’s perception about people, government and a country’s potential as a tourism destination (see Hasnat and Steyn, 2019).
Chibaya (2013) has found this to be true for Zimbabwe, as it changed its tourism advertising campaign from “Zimbabwe: Africa’s Paradise” to “Zimbabwe: A World of Wonders” (p. 90). By taking into account the country’s historical and political context, the effect of economic and other events on the country’s tourism industry and by involving stakeholders from the government, private and public sectors, the tourism advertising campaign focused on the country’s strengths to attract more tourists, investment and infrastructure development.
Other research (e.g. Fullerton et al., 2009; Hasnat and Steyn, 2019) indicates that mediated messages about a destination or a country can “spill over” or “bleed over” to positively affect more than the number of people visiting the country (Anholt, 2006; Rcwtrakunphaiboon, 2007). It can help increase the sales and quality of a country’s products (Erdem and Sun, 2002), increase and expand the number and scope of organizations and companies in a country and put it in a position to better compete in the international arena. This, in turn, helps developing countries to close the economic and development gap between themselves and other more powerful entities (Anholt, 2006). All in all, these spill-over effects contribute to growth in developing countries’ GDP and the export of goods and services as a percentage of GDP, as well as increased direct and indirect employment opportunities for a country’s workforce (see Salehi and Farahbakhsh, 2014; Tuhin and Majumder, 2010, p. 287).
All of this is the direct outcome of tourism advertising and a contribution to public diplomacy, a strategy Tuch (1990, p. 3) describes as “a government’s process of communicating with foreign publics in an attempt to bring about understanding for its nation’s ideas and ideals, its institutions and culture, as well as its national goals and policies.” However, as Anholt (2007) indicates, governments
Tourism advertising to transform image 301 and government agencies need to reach visitors and potential visitors with a tailor-made message to try and convince them to either visit a country or change their perception of that country. This is where tourism advertising comes in (Morgan et al., 2011; also see O’Guinn et al., 2012) as a “global communication between nations and travellers of all countries” (Salehi and Farahbakhsh, 2014, p. 124).
Specifically relevant for developing countries and their efforts to reach international audiences through tourism advertising campaigns is that messages take into account the opportunities and challenges of a “dynamic and multidimensional marketplace” (Pike, 2008, p. 268). As a result, these campaigns cannot ignore the political contexts and cultural realities of both the host country and the countries native to those they are trying to reach. As Ferreira (2019) points out, “different destinations have different challenges and opportunities. . . [and] they have different stakeholders too. . . . [Therefore,] it is very difficult to create a universal plan.” However, tourism advertising plans should incorporate as many stakeholders as possible and combine a shared vision with specific timelines and outcomes.
In designing and implementing tourism advertising campaigns, role players, especially in developing countries, could take note of the following benefits and challenges related to the process and its outcomes.
Benefits of successful tourism advertising campaigns for developing countries
Al-Masud (2015, p. 14) points out that “developing countries are deprived of benefits derived from tourism.” However, research has indicated that developing countries specifically can benefit most from the “socio-cultural, economic and environmental factors” that come with successful tourism advertising and marketing campaigns.
The most obvious benefit of successful tourism advertising campaigns for any country or community is an increase in tourism numbers (see Levine, 2015; Buckley, 2019). However, in addition, there is the potential of new joint ventures between different countries. As highlighted in the Model United Nations International School of the Hague Report (2014), visiting a country can lead to those with technologically advanced expertise or products collaborating with those in a developing country where raw materials are cheaper and labor wages lower. As these collaborations flourish, the international image of the developing country is likely to improve and tourism numbers likely to increase.
As tourism numbers increase, the local economy of the host country can benefit. Not only do visitors spend money on accommodation and food but they also visit local attractions, buy local products and in general boost the local economy. In addition, foreigners buying local products create international awareness of a product as physical products are taken back to the visitors’ home countries. This does not only help the individual companies who manufacture and sell those products but it also creates opportunities for growth in employment, empowerment of local communities (e.g. women who earn an income, investment ineducation and infrastructure) and products leaving the physical borders of the country in which they are manufactured (see Robertson, 2013).
A benefit that comes from the above cycle is that poverty in developing communities could potentially be alleviated (Ali and Chowdhury, 2008, p. 8) through a better economy, more employment, investment of tourism money into infrastructure development and ultimately education. This, in turn, creates an environment of sustainable development and improvement if communities see a steady influx of tourists and tourism expenditure (see Croes and Rivera, 2014).
Many developing countries struggle with the reality of natural resources and the environment being exploited. However as Green (2018) points out, successfill tourism advertising campaigns that focus on ecotourism can help developing countries and communities within those countries protect their natural resources and environment. In addition, ecotourism can help create jobs for local communities, empower local inhabitants with skills that they can transfer to other jobs or even assist them to start their own small businesses (Ali and Chowdhury, 2008, p. 13). Green (2018) states that travellers also benefit through these experiences, as they realize “the importance of conserving resources and avoiding waste,. . . [get educated to] live more sustainably at home, and . . . increase their understanding of and sensitivity toward other cultures.”
Challenges of successful tourism advertising campaigns for developing countries
While the advantages of increased tourism and exposure through tourism advertising campaigns are plentiful, developing countries and communities should also be cognizant of the challenges increased numbers of tourists bring. The developers and implementers of these campaigns should collaborate and find ways to address the challenges so they can continue to reap the benefits these campaigns bring to their communities.
One of the most general challenges if tourism advertising campaigns are too successful is that, as Simpson (2008) points out, it has the potential of destroying cultures, “undermining social norms and economies, degrading social structures [and] stripping communities of individuality” (p. 1).
Related to this, Azarya (2004) points toward the dangers of marginalization as a result of an influx of tourists. While increased tourism and awareness has the potential to bring more income to a country and an indigenous community, for instance, it also has the potential of “freezing” them to the “peripheries of the world” (Azarya, 2004, p. 961). The uniqueness of these communities is what attracts tourists: their ceremonies, traditional food, art and customs. If not managed properly, these communities can become “tourism exhibits themselves”.
In addition, mass tourism can have negative implications on societies and communities that the developers and implementers of tourism advertising campaigns do not always anticipate and that communities cannot always properly accommodate. In Lake Elsinore, California, local authorities responded to “Disneyland size crowds” “inundating” their city to take pictures of “hillsides blanketed in
Tourism advertising to transform image 303 brightly coloured flowers” (Chiu, 2019). Similarly, local residents on Paris’ Rue Cremieux “demanded that the city of Paris protect their privacy by closing the street to visitors on evenings and weekends” because of the influx of Instagrammers (O’Sullivan, 2019). Though both examples refer to communities in the developed world, the impact of these occurrences in the developing world might be even more significant. Many cities in developing countries are already feeling the strain of infrastructure and resources that cannot keep up with local demands. Huge influx of tourists to an area as a result of a successfill tourism advertising campaigns or a major sporting event like the World Cup or the Olympic Games can make the situation even more dire (Model United Nations International School ofThe Hague, 2014).
In cases where mismanagement and corruption in developing countries are prevalent, communities stand to be affected by the negative impact of mass tourism even more. Nepali authorities have recently received significant criticism for mismanagement of permits to hikers applying to ascend Mount Everest, following “human traffic jams [and].. . an aggressive, unruly atmosphere” (Sharma and Gettleman, 2019) that resulted in 11 deaths on Everest in 2019. Media organizations and insurance companies uncovered “a conspiracy by some guides, helicopter companies, teahouse owners and hospitals” to bill insurance companies after evacuating climbers who showed “minor signs of altitude sickness” (Sharma and Gettleman, 2019). This led authorities to announce that they will review the “old laws” and require climbers to provide better proof of their mountaineering experience and health conditions (Both, 2019). The impact of overcrowding Everest became even more apparent when several climbers died in early 2020 (Knowles, 2020).
Strategies developing countries could take into account as they develop tourism advertising campaigns
Baker and Cameron (2008) outline a number of strategies developing countries could keep in mind as they develop tourism advertising campaigns. They emphasize that these campaigns, and the impact thereof, should “satisfy the needs of all these stakeholders as well as target segments ... it should occur not only on the demand side to increase visitor numbers, but also on the supply side to market the destination” (p. 82). In addition, they recommend that campaigns should “enhance the long-term prosperity of local people,” satisfy the needs of visitors, strive to create maximum profitability for local businesses, optimize the multiplier effects that come from these relationships and ensure a “sustainable balance between economic benefits and socio-cultural and environmental costs” (Baker and Cameron, 2008, p. 82).
When discussing specific strategics and key points to keep in mind when developing tourism advertising campaigns, Ferreira (2019) highlights that countries should focus on including “physical items like local attractions, transportation and other facilities, and the infrastructure” in the planning mix. He also emphasizes that countries cannot overlook the role of people in effectively managingtourist activity and other outcomes that stem from implementing the campaigns. Ferreira (2019) states the best way to do this is by treating “residents of the local communities as industry stakeholders and make them aware of the different benefits of tourism.” When the residents and communities themselves can benefit from the campaigns and their results, it is even more beneficial.
Loda et al. (2007) advise that when developing and implementing tourism advertising campaigns, stakeholders should keep the following in mind to provide potential visitors with more effective information. They highlight that pub-licit}' has a bigger impact than advertising and that the impact of the tourism advertising campaign can be increased by preceding it with a publicity campaign. The timing of publicity, followed by the advertising campaign, necessitates that campaigns should be planned well in advance. Planning and timing are especially important when being committed to involve larger groups of stakeholders in the campaigns and taking into consideration the physical realities of the destination the campaign focuses on (see Al-Masud, 2015, p. 13).
The impact of tourism advertising campaigns can also be increased if stakeholders in and implemented of these campaigns look for campaigns within campaigns or destinations within the bigger country destination. For instance, Al-Masud (2015, pp. 15-17) highlights how a country such as Bangladesh can, within the broader “Beautiful Bangladesh” campaign, benefit from site tourism, business tourism, archaeological tourism, educational tourism, religious tourism, medical tourism and adventure and recreational tourism (including nautical tourism or water tourism) (also see Sarkcr and Begum, 2013, p. 106). Rewtrakunphaiboon (2009) summarizes this approach as countries having to look for and invent “new destinations to be sold”. As such, a country can focus on historical locations, locations with a specific political significance or even locations that are connected with the media and entertainment industries (locations for film shoots, hotels and restaurants featured in films or television programmes, locations included in travel or cooking shows etc.). Especially in cases where locations are featured in media and entertainment, the audience will have a positive connection with them. Tourism advertising campaigns can use this positive destination image to remind potential visitors of this connection, drive more visitors to the area or to focus on the elements that make these locations unique (Rewtrakunphaiboon, 2009).
To summarize, the most optimal strategy that developing countries can take to make their tourism advertising campaigns as effective as possible is to take an integrated approach between government actors, private and public sector role players, local communities and those impacted by the campaigns the most (see Alimmed, 2013, p. 38). Through this integrated approach and proper planning for designing, implementing and evaluating the campaigns, developing countries can ensure that all benefit from it, not just those in higher positions in government and elsewhere (see Al-Masud, 2015, p. 15; Tuhin and Majumder, 2010, p. 295; Ali and Chowdhury, 2008, p. 1).
The next section of the chapter highlights ways in which two countries in South Asia, Bangladesh and Nepal, have taken advantage of tourism advertising
Tourism advertising to transform image 305 to change their country image and reap the additional benefits just highlighted. It also focuses on some of the previously mentioned strategies these countries have implemented in their “Beautiful Bangladesh” and “Visit Nepal Year 2020: Lifetime Experiences” campaigns.
“Beautiful Bangladesh” tourism advertising campaign
Bangladesh is a country located in a delta of the Bay of Bengal. The roots for Bangladesh’s poor international image go back several decades, right after its independence from Pakistan. On the one hand, the newly independent country faced the aftermath of the independence struggle but on the other hand it had to confront and resolve realities of poverty, natural disasters and uncontrolled population growth. These struggles caused thcn-U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to refer to the country as the “bottomless basket” of the world (Bari, 2008). The international media reinforced this image from the 1980s onward and only a few years into the 21st century is the country seeing its international image change into a somewhat more positive one (see Abi-Habib, 2018; Tinne, 2013; Islam, 2009).
Changing Bangladesh’s image from a struggling, developing country with little to offer (sec Sarker and Begum, 2013, p. 104; Tuhin and Majumder, 2010, p. 288) into one that is attracting tourists, showing signs of significant economic growth and technological advancement (The World Bank, 2020c; 2020d), eradicating poverty and making improvements in healthcare (Scholte, 2014; Tinne, 2013) has taken deliberate efforts from various role players (Leung, 2012). One such initiative is launching the country’s first national branding campaign through the Bangladesh Tourism Board in 2011. The “Beautiful Bangladesh” campaign promoted the natural beauty, friendly people and tourism attractions of the nation as well as the message that Bangladesh is open for the world, hinting at its renewed secular and liberal foreign policies. The initial campaign, with the slogan “Beautiful Bangladesh: School of Life,” ran concurrently with Bangladesh co-hosting the Cricket World Cup with India and Sri Lanka, giving it a higher visibility’ among international audiences. It continued in 2014, when the Tourism Board commissioned “Beautiful Bangladesh: Land of Stories.” The “School of Life” campaign television commercial was widely broadcast during the 2011 International Cricket Council (ICC) Championship, with the original telecast being during the opening ceremony of the tournament on February 17. An international audience in more than 180 countries saw this telecast. It continued to air on different local and international television channels throughout the cricket tournament. It was also featured at several tourism film festivals and won the award for the third best television commercial at the Zagreb Film Festival (Bangladesh Tourism Board, n.d.).
Research shows that actors in the Bangladeshi government and tourism industry seem to have successfully tapped into the benefits of the “Beautiful Bangladesh” tourism advertising campaign and the strategies developing countries can implement as they develop these campaigns (Al-Masud, 2015). As Howlader
(2016) points out, “the present government is paying much importance to tourism. As part of various initiatives for the development of the tourism industry, the prime minister declared 2016 as a Visit Bangladesh Year. The Visit Bangladesh Year will be observed . . . until 2018.” The Visit Bangladesh initiative includes members of various communities, including a focus on youth and involvement by the Bangladesh missions abroad. However, critics mention a “lack of pragmatic initiatives” and a lack of focus on international tourists as elements that might hamper its success (see UNB, 2016).
Indicators also show that Bangladesh is already seeing the positive impact of the “Beautiful Bangladesh” campaign as its effects “bleed over” into other areas in the country. This can be seen, for instance, in the country’s booming (yet sometimes controversial) ready-made garments industry and the “Made in Bangladesh” brand (see Sherman, 2014; Kamlani, 2013; Haider, 2007). Similarly, Bangladesh sees a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem and organizations such as the Grameen Foundation play a significant role in economically empowering women, poorer communities and disenfranchised groups through micro loans and other support. Tourism numbers and expenditure in Bangladesh are also increasing. The latter has grown from $87 million in 2010 to $357 million in 2018 (The World Bank, 2020c) and tourism’s contribution to GDP has increased by one-third between 2011 and 2017 (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2017), contributing to 4.4% of the country’s GDP in 2018 (Knoema, 2020). Similarly, the export of goods and services as a percentage of GDP has increased from 16% in 2010 to almost 18% in 2016 (Trading Economics, 2018). However, this percentage did decline to just below 15% in 2018 (The Global Economy, 2020; The World Bank, 2020d).
The impact of the “Beautiful Bangladesh” campaign seems to continue, as the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019 (pp. 31-33) stated:
Bangladesh had the world’s greatest percentage improvement on its overall TTCI (Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index) score, helping it move up five spots to rank 120th globally. The country enhanced its safety and security (123rd to 105th), ICT readiness (116th to 111th), T&T prioritization (127th to 121st), (and) price competitiveness (89th to 85th) . . . [indicating] the nation’s high potential for upward mobility. . . . [These improvements] are likely to make Bangladesh more conducive for travel.
“Visit Nepal Year 2020: Lifetime Experiences” tourism advertising campaign
Similar to its South Asian neighbour, Bangladesh, Nepal is also in the process of rebuilding its international image. Situated between China and India, Nepal, with an area slightly larger than New York State, is home to just over 30 million people (The World Factbook, 2020). In 2006, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement saw the end of a decade-long conflict in the country that cost it significantly in
Tourism advertising to transform image 307 terms of loss of lives, political instability and subsequent economic impact (The World Bank, 2020b). This started the road toward transformation in the country, beginning with a new Constitution in 2015 and successful elections in 2017, GDP growth of more than 7% in 2019 (following three consecutive years of GDP growth of above 6%), growth in the tourism industry positively impacting the retail, hotel and restaurant sector and an influx in remittance money from abroad (The World Bank, 2020b).
However, this process suffered a significant setback in April 2015 when an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale left “9,000 people dead, 22,000 injured and several million people without homes” (Carswell, 2017). Not only did Nepal face food, energy and infrastructure crises following the earthquake (Lorch, 2015), but one of its major contributors to GDP, the tourism industry, suffered a severe blow. International media images showed the reality of people left dead, injured and panicked following the quakes (Taylor, 2015). While the Nepali government tried to assure international travellers that it is safe to travel to the country, more earthquakes struck. This saw the number of tourists to Nepal fall from close to 800,000 in 2014 to just over 500,000 in 2015 (Carswell, 2017).
In an effort to counteract the realities left by the earthquakes, socialtours, com, a responsible tourism company in Nepal (www.socialtours.com/about/) launched the “I Am in Nepal now” social media campaign. This campaign encouraged travellers to Nepal to hold up a placard stating that they are in Nepal now, take a picture and post it to social media (The Kathmandu Post, 2015) and featured both dignitaries and everyday travellers (Lorch, 2015). The Nepal Tourism Board joined forces with socialtours.com (and other tour operators) and set up the Nepal Now website (https://nepalnow.org), featuring facts, figures, news, events, stories and a blog related to tourism happenings in Nepal. This initiative received support from the Centre for the Promotion of Imports (CBI) in the form of training programmes and expert advice (CBI, 2017). From a tourism advertising strategy perspective, this approach speaks to the idea of collaboration, involving different role players and benefiting a variety of entities in a country or community. Not only did this collaboration empower local tour operators through training but it also provided expertise to the Nepal Tourism Board to “independently manage and update the campaign website and their own destination website” (CBI, 2017). As an additional clement to this campaign, the Nepal Tourism Board set up the WelcomeNe-pal website (welcomenepal.com) as a “permanent source of information about Nepal”. Following these initiatives, tourism numbers for 2016-2017 were restored to the same levels as before the earthquake (Cuskelly, 2017), reaching close to one million. These numbers increased by 24% between 2017 and 2018 (Thapa, 2020a).
This prompted the Nepali government to set a goal of bringing two million international visitors to Nepal by the end of 2020, resulting in the “Visit Nepal Year 2020: Lifetime Experiences” tourism advertising campaign (Thapa, 2020a; 2020b). In August 2019, the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil
Aviation, Hon. Yogesh Bhattarai summarized the focus of the campaign (Visit Nepal, 2020):
The need at this hour is to improve our products, to design the campaign carefully, to refine our marketing strategics, to develop human resource and to upgrade use of technology. Our success however is incumbent on the synergy of our efforts. We must lay emphasis on sustainable and responsible tourism practices. The campaign initiatives must reflect that we are working towards the highest standards in promoting Nepal as a preferred travel destination, and a country that values and safe guards its environment and heritage. Tourism is a powerfi.il way to advance inclusive economic growth. It creates jobs and provides livelihoods in the remotest corners of our country. It promotes social mobility, develops critical infrastructure, connects economies to global value chains, increases trade and investment, and when done carefully, protects the environment and preserves our cultural heritage. Its transformative impact can drive our country on the path of shared prosperity.
Though the minister’s words ring true to some of the benefits of successfill tourism advertising highlighted earlier, as well as some of the strategies developing countries could take into account when designing and implementing successful tourism advertising campaigns, commentators warn of the challenges the country will face. As such, Thapa (2020a) points out that “lack of budget, resources and security and rampant corruption . . . [lack of] good air connectivity with major tourist source markets, . . . [and] poor services” (at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu) are among some of the hurdles the government needs to address to deal with the potential benefits of a successful tourism advertising campaign. On the flipside, it is estimated that, in preparation for the results of a successful VNY2020 campaign, “about four thousand new hotel rooms of star level will be added in Kathmandu, Chitwan and Bokhara” in 30 new hotels, including five international hotel chains (Thapa, 2020b).
It is too soon to tell whether the campaign will be successful. However, Nepal’s previous attempts at implementing tourism advertising campaigns (from the first “Visit Nepal 1998” to “Nepal Tourism Year 2011”) have seemingly been successful in increasing tourism numbers, adding to local employment opportunities, growing the local economy and highlighting the need to improve infrastructure (Prasain, 2020).
Given the consequences of planned and unplanned circumstances, many developing countries face the reality of having a poor international image, struggling economies and unstable political conditions. Add to this international media coverage that often does not portray these countries in a positive light, many have to counter a negative country image and a lack of interest from international audiences. Tourism is the fastest-growing industry in the world, not only generating
Tourism advertising to transform image 309 revenue and “cultural wealth” for a country but also driving economic growth and development as it is estimated to provide “20% of total world employment since 2013” (Loss, 2019). Successful tourism advertising campaigns are therefore key initiatives through which a country can transform its country image and empower communities, individuals and organizations.
This chapter highlighted the benefits developing countries especially can gain from tourism advertising campaigns. At the same time, we outlined some of the challenges many of these countries have to overcome in their attempts to reap the benefits. We highlighted some strategies tourism organizations, governments and community stakeholders can implement as they think about developing tourism advertising campaigns that would most benefit their constituencies. Finally, we applied these to two case studies: the “Beautiful Bangladesh” campaign that was launched hand-in-hand with the country hosting a major sports event in 2011 and the “Visit Nepal Year 2020: Lifetime Experiences” campaign being launched at the beginning of this year. We illustrated how the former campaign (in conjunction with other developments and initiatives in the country) has set Bangladesh on a path to promote a more positive country image internationally, strengthen its economy and make major strides in its competitiveness as an international tourist destination. While the “Visit Nepal Year 2020” campaign is still in its infancy and it faces many challenges (the latest being the death of several hikers following an avalanche the Annapurna region in January 2020 and the outbreak of the coronavirus in the same month), previous tourism advertising campaigns in Nepal have contributed to the development of Nepal in positive ways.
While other countries can learn from the challenges Bangladesh and Nepal are facing as they implement their tourism advertising campaigns, they can most certainly also capitalize on the benefits these campaigns have brought to the two small South Asian countries that strive to improve their economies, become more politically stable and promote to the world the depth of their culture and traditions.
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