-Unveils 10 years’ marketing strategy

(Margibi, January 27, 2022) The President, along with high-level government officials and international partners, joined the Liberian tourism industry on Thursday, January 27th to unveil the country’s new tourism brand identity, 10-year marketing strategy, and tourism booth in the arrival hall at Roberts International Airport.

Speaking on the various tourism documents developed to guide tourism development over the next ten years, His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, said, “These documents do not only describe the current status of the sector, but outline possible investments and marketing strategies that will enhance growth and development.”

He said Liberians take special pride in the diversity of their heritage and tourist attractions—the lush green vegetation, beautiful waterfalls, pristine beaches, and other stunning landscapes.

The President added that Liberia is also blessed with a striking coastline of over 560 kilometers. “We have unique flora and fauna, largely unexplored wildlife, and an excellent ocean tide, thus making Liberia an ideal destination for tourism.”

The Liberian Chief Executive expressed delight in launching the National Tourism Marketing and Branding Strategy, which unarguably “is a first in our country’s history.”

He reiterated his administration’s commitment to investing in tourism and making it a key sector to drive the country’s economic growth.

The sector, Dr. Weah said, has the potential to create employment for thousands of Liberians while contributing to revenue generation.

The President noted that “tourism development brings together all sectors, including the private sector, which is an important engine of growth and economic development,” calling on actors in the private sector to play a major role in the development of the Liberian tourism industry, either as independent entrepreneurs, or through public-private partnerships with the government.

Let me at this point convey my sincere gratitude to the International Trade Center and the United Nations World Tourism Organization for their strong support and collaboration. We would also like to thank the Enhanced Integrated Framework Program for funding this project. I am hopeful that the other components of this project will be implemented and completed as planned,” Dr. Weah noted.

He thanked the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism, the Liberia Tourism Association, and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for working in partnership to lay the foundation for the important initiative.

Liberia’s first-ever official brand promises adventure in what is the last and largest remaining portion of the Upper Guinea Rainforest. In a new promotional video, Mr. Ledgerhood Rennie, the country’s tourism minister, invites visitors to “come and experience Liberia’s amazing discoveries.”

Speaking on behalf of the United Nations World Tourism Organization about the branding and marketing launch of the Liberia tourism industry, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General, said, “UNWTO is committed to working with our African Member States to promote “Brand Africa” and allow them to reach new audiences with a positive and inspiring narrative.” This new brand and marketing initiative by Liberia will showcase its many and varied attractions and makes clear the country is ready to harness the power of tourism to drive growth and provide opportunities for all.

The International Trade Center (ITC) and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in collaboration with the Government of Liberia through the Ministries of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism (MICAT) and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) are carrying out the project, with funding from the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Program.

Mr. Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director, EIF, said, “The COVID-19 crisis presented an opportunity to appreciate the significance of the tourism sector in contributing to sustainable economic recovery. The Enhanced Integrated Framework is pleased to have supported these efforts together with our valued partners, which will undoubtedly allow Liberia’s tourism sector to realize its full potential.

Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, Minister Lance Gbagonyon, MICAT said, “The objectives of the project are to increase knowledge and awareness of the sector; develop tourists’ services facilities; improve coordination and advocacy, particularly governance; and brand and promote the sector.”

The Liberia National Tourism Association (LINTA) has played a critical role in the overall delivery of the branding and marketing strategy. According to Mrs. Mai Urey, President, LINTA, “the launch of the brand today gets Liberia a promise, and it is the responsibility of all stakeholders to individually and collectively keep this promise of “amazing discoveries” alive. This is a challenge, especially for my colleagues in the private sector.

In unveiling the brand and marketing strategy, Ms. Hesta Baker, ITC’s National Branding and Marketing Consultant, said Liberia stands to gain 80,000 visitors, create 2,000 new jobs, add $120 million dollars in foreign exchange and benefit local communities and entrepreneurs in various districts and towns by 2025 once the plan is implemented. She introduced the new logo and slogan, “Amazing Discoveries,” and said the brand promises the “freedom to explore and discover Liberia’s virgin rainforest; cultural confluences; point break waves; the unchained heritage of Africa’s oldest republic; and the warmth of our tropics.”

Juanita Yiah, Director of Tourism, MICAT, who travelled the length and breadth of Liberia with Baker in developing the Compendium of Resources as well as image and video library, brought the brand to life in a promotional video showcasing Liberia’s “amazing discoveries.”

Closing out the program, Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Ledgerhood Rennie, thanked the President, partners and his MICAT staff for their continual support and hard work, sending a clear message that the sector is on an upward trajectory.

The President describes Liberia’s tourism potential as “endowing and immense.”

About the Tourism Development Project 

The Liberia Tourism Development Project emanates from the National Export Strategy on Tourism 2016-2020 and responds to the implementation of the Strategy. It has the objective of developing the tourism sector’s offerings by: a) improving the policy environment and institutional capacity; b) developing new tourism destinations around surfing and other historical and natural attractions; and c) undertaking targeted promotion and advocacy campaigns to promote tourism to international, regional, and domestic markets. Specifically, the project aims at: a) establishing a tourism information booth at the Monrovia Roberts International Airport; b) developing tourist reception facilities at the Robertsport beach-front, the Providence Island, and the Marshall Island; and c) developing a tourism marketing strategy and a tourism brand identity for Liberia, focusing on Robertsport as a surf tourism destination.

The International Trade Centre, in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism, and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, implements the project. The Enhanced Integrated Framework Programme funds it.

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