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23 Dec 2016

World Tourism Organization to help Belarus create country’s brand

MINSK, 23 December (BelTA) – The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will help Belarus create a national tourism brand, BelTA learned from Belarusian Deputy Sports and Tourism Minister Mikhail Portnoi.

The relevant working group is busy studying various options. Attempts to create the brand of the city of Minsk are being analyzed. “We are focusing on our own accomplishments but we are going to invite serious world experts in the future. An international conference on the branding of territories will take place in Minsk on 5-7 July 2017. Matters concerning Belarus directly will be discussed during the conference,” noted the official. UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai has confirmed he will participate in the conference. It will be the first time such a high-level event of the World Tourism Organization will be held in Belarus.

According to the Belarusian Deputy Sports and Tourism Minister, the brand needs to reflect distinguishing traits of the country and has to be authentic. Many ways of achieving authenticity have been discussed. Suggestions have been voiced in favor of using the cornflower, the stork and other symbols, no agreement has been reached yet, but an understanding of what the brand should be is taking shape.

“We are going to present our vision of the brand before the UNWTO. International experts will give us their advice on ways to improve it. And then we may make up our minds on the national brand by late 2017. It needs to be a good product that will really work. Apart from devising and putting together the brand it is necessary to fill it with meaning and work out an effective strategy to promote the future brand,” said the Belarusian Deputy Sports and Tourism Minister.

Mikhail Portnoi also spoke at length about the creation of new videos to advertise the country. “The reels we have are getting old fast. The country needs to be advertised. New promo reels about the country — 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 30 seconds long — will be made by the end of December. They will be sent to our embassies and consulates. They will be presented during expos and presentations. If possible, they will be broadcast on foreign TV channels.”

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