TODAY -

Strategic place branding and place marketing of Manipur

Rajesh A M *

Breath-taking landscape of Manipur taken by Bullu Raj :: 2011
Breath-taking landscape of Manipur taken by Bullu Raj :: 2011



To many of us articles on tourism potential in Manipur might sound like an overdose and might have already crossed the threshold of readers' patience. But until unless a modest level of tourists inflow is achieved the articles are here to stay. It is a must, has to be digested fact. We need to develop liking, though unpalatable, to such articles.

One reason that tourism sector has not been able to achieve desired goals is we might have failed in Strategic place branding and place marketing of Manipur. A huge tourism potential is of no consequence without proper place branding and place marketing. With proper place branding and place marketing, one can achieve better results even with few resources.

Place branding is about managing reputation, building an authentic image of a place and loyalty among tourists (and the likes of investors, traders etc) and more importantly is supply driven, long term process. Place branding requires investment in infrastructure, events, buildings etc. It is about focusing on our strengths and building authentic stories over it.

Place marketing is about advertising and communicating who we are and delivering strategically strengths and stories to right audience through appropriate channels (slogans, logos, publicity videos, price, subsidies, discounts etc). It is demand driven. Hence supply (Place branding) and demand (Place marketing) are interdependent, a simple economics.

Without place branding there is no significance to place marketing. Place marketing and place branding are few of the best ways to change the psychology of tourists and the likes and are the reason behind Jammu & Kashmir's success in tourism. Jammu & Kashmir ensures that tourists have adequate information about main ingredients of tourism (people, natural and cultural heritage).

In order for an effective place branding what we need is organic (based on cultural and natural heritage) place branding because culture and traditions of Manipur and neighboring states demands it. For our state tourism that is secular and organic stands out to gain more compared to cities dominated by inorganic tourism (likes of the so called sin city "Las Vegas").

Organic tourism will address the concerns of customs and traditions of all the communities of our state. Many of the tourism infrastructures to support cultural and natural heritage have been launched by the government of Manipur. To say, there is a progress in our efforts towards place branding of Manipur. Few things that can contribute to place branding can be replicated.

Luxury house boats can float in Loktak Lake, which is no less beautiful than Dal Lake of Jammu and Kashmir. Why do not we facilitate setting up of spa and associated therapeutic centers? Of course, with strict guidelines to conform to the local customs and traditions. Why do not we replicate home stay concepts and Jungle Lodges & Resorts in Karnataka?

Ecotourism festival, which was held first time in Armenia in association with WWF, is a viable event and can be a best place branding strategy. It may include erecting of tents/camp sites, Local cuisines prepared out of organically grown foods, book and literature festival, trekking and exhibition of local culture, flora and fauna. These will add to place branding of our state.

Key factor is to form Joint Tourism Management committees on the lines of Joint Forest Management Committees and make them partners in all the new products of tourism.

Manipur tourism policy, 2014 clearly pointed out the factors affecting tourism in Manipur as security and internal conflicts, lack of Visa-on-Arrival facility, limited tourism infrastructure facilities, slow progress of infrastructure projects, lack of good road infrastructure and others. But inadequate Place marketing is equally a deterring factor. It is the place marketing domain in which we have not been able to get desired results.

We have not been successful in capitalizing on few realities like Manipur was 5th (2005) position in Human Development Index, 5th in Sex Ratio, 9th in Literacy and We were never in the league of so called racist states. Same is the case in Cultural heritage (traditions, rituals, dances), Organic food (organic agriculture and horticulture), Polo and other sports, Natural heritage (Unique flora and fauna, Loktak Lake, Tropical to temperate ecosystems), free from air pollution, largely self reliant population (near zero number of beggars), Women empowerment, low infant mortality at 9 per 1000 (better than some of the South American and Arab countries), low crime rate (against children and women) etc.

Mr. Lord Irwin once called Manipur as the "Switzerland of India" and Jawaharlal Nehru as the "Jewel of India" and by these both have already contributed to place marketing. But again no capitalization of such past place marketing.

Staging of few high quality events like football matches (between international teams and best clubs in the world), literature festivals, international film festivals and any other events of national and international significance will be one of the strategies to showcase the undiscovered and unexplored natural and cultural heritage of our state and indirectly help in place marketing.

Manipur Sangai Festival alone is insufficient to market Manipur as tourism destination and as a change in strategy Sangai festival should be organized in different districts on rotational basis so that the host district gets benefited in multiple ways.

Slowly we have grabbed the top spot for bandhs, hartals etc from Kerala (which then was sarcastically labeled as "hartals own country") and West Bengal. This is a serious issue and onus is on us to assure that tourism is not affected by blockades, hartals and bandhs. The difference between Jammu and Kashmir and other states is that Jammu and Kashmir invested about Rs. 31.3 million in 2015 for tourism promotion through print and electronic media.

We need more intensive tourism campaigns. The planning and publicity wing should be formed to ensure place branding and place marketing. Making and streaming of "Safe and Beautiful Manipur" and "Explore Manipur " campaigns (video, print etc) with views of both domestic and foreign tourists visiting Manipur will definitely help, when widely publicized, improve and or change perception about our state.

It is time all stakeholders imbibe tourism as an ideology and make it a movement. The Asian Development Bank, long back, discovered the 'unrealized potential of the region as an ecotourism product". Manipur is a gateway to South-East Asia, with the Asian Highway 1 passing through the state and Railway set to enter the state.

Considering these facts a strategic place branding and place marketing document with a comprehensive promotion plan comprising new destinations, innovative tourism products and commitment from as many participants from public and private sectors and civil societies and with special focus on convenience (accessible to differently-abled tourists), coverage, confidence (tourists) and cost will be a reinforcing factor for tourism sector and then only we can witness articles focusing on other aspects of tourism in print media.


* Rajesh A M wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is DFO/Senapati Forest Division, Government of Manipur
This article was posted on March 26, 2017.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.


LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #2 : Gallery
  • Yoga Day: Celebrating Your Health
  • Chak-hao - black gold of Manipur
  • In response to the culture of shaming
  • 3rd Documentor Imphal
  • 4th International Day of Yoga by AR
  • Appeals for Resolution of MU Crisis
  • Recommendation to control Flood damages
  • International Yoga Day at Loktak PS
  • After Flood : Introspection about the future
  • MUSU & JAC : Hot issues before the Govt
  • Zeliangrong orphaned by Nationalism #2
  • General Thangal Eco Park : Gallery
  • Letter to President on Crisis at MU
  • Precision medicine & life sciences
  • Black topping-can ground leveling be behind
  • Condemns security force intrusion in MU
  • Developer wanted at LMP, Konjeng Leikai
  • AR gears up for International Yoga Day
  • NPF rejoinder to NDPP : 20 June
  • Rejoinder by Dr. Shurhozelie : 20 June
  • For a little bit more
  • Deadline of 5 days time set : MU crisis
  • Garlic Festival @Ukhrul #4 :: Gallery
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #3 : Gallery
  • Inungshi, Gaichanglungliu :: eMing
  • Taking 'Hau' Music to Rest of World
  • Kakching bags cleanest city in NE Award
  • JRF (Junior Research Fellow) at IBSD
  • Oxfam India launches emergency response
  • VC, MU - Resign immediately :: MUTA
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Translation of ancient Manipur texts begin
  • Pre Yoga Capsule organized
  • NDPP Rejoinder on 19 June
  • NPF Youth Wing Rejoinder on 19 June
  • Favouring digital govt : still a Virtual dream
  • June 18 Anniv : Consult all stakeholders
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #1 : Gallery
  • Binota Thokchom at BRICS Young Scientist
  • The Merger of Manipur
  • Improving school management in Manipur
  • Pros & cons of screening tests
  • NPF Rejoinder on 18th June
  • Nagaland CM statement on Aboi ambush
  • June 18 significance: Still living on prayer
  • Need to identify one's strength
  • 18 Immortal Souls Remembered : Flash
  • The Great June Uprising : Read all about it
  • The Pitfalls of Identity Politics
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • All his sons :: Poem
  • Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016
  • Eid bring cheer in flood hit areas
  • Willong Khullen, Maram #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Defending the environmental defenders
  • Delusion in self - cause of worry
  • Road to Russia: FIFA World Cup
  • It must be love :: Poem
  • 'Future of Naga people is bleak'
  • Give a miss call to Amnesty
  • 'Naga area' bandh on June 18
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #2 : Gallery
  • Id-Ul-Fitr Festival
  • Letter to PM Modi on Naga Talks
  • Greetings on Eid-Ul-Fitr
  • Rejoinder to NPF statement
  • Rejoinder to Nagaland Chief Minister
  • Flood relief continue on 3rd day
  • India-Vietnam Youth Dialogue 2018
  • MU debacle: Why would it be left unnoticed
  • Spirit of World Cup : Brazil to Russia
  • NEC to come under Home Ministry
  • Manipur NGO hosts summit on LGBTQ
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #1 : Gallery
  • Women Struggle in Self-Determination
  • 14 June- World Blood Donor Day
  • Naga Integration not possible- NPF react
  • Naga Integration is not possible- CM Rio
  • Relief work in flood affected areas
  • A day which keeps our spirit alive
  • Ranked 320 in the country : MU
  • Flood in Imphal [13 June] #2 : Gallery
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #5
  • Be alert: It's admission time
  • Yin and Yang
  • Watermelon beauty benefits
  • Temp accommodation for Aligarh students
  • Wrath of Mother Nature: Why challenge..
  • 60 pc is no longer first class : 95 pc
  • Flood in Imphal [13 June] #1 : Gallery
  • Sanamahi Laihui & Sanamahi Laining
  • Kuhi- Essential plant for Nungbi pottery
  • Climate justice is integral to development
  • The bridge :: Poem
  • Lt S Vijaya Devi felicitated
  • Then : Indifferent :: Now : Hyper sensitive
  • Phumdigi Tantha : Dance Drama : Gallery
  • Grief at Xavier Rutsa's demise
  • Modi's India: A descend into Ochlocracy
  • The Philippine Experience
  • Cry of a Dying River #33 :: Poem
  • Community Iftar at Moijing, Cachar
  • Candle Light at DU over Assam lynching
  • Demand replacement of Manipur Univ VC
  • The Tragedy of Higher education
  • Unacceptable points spelt out
  • Teinem Luira Phanit @Ukhrul #3: Gallery
  • RPL-PMKVY trainees @Hojai : Gallery
  • Manipur Sports University in UP ?
  • Coloniality of the Postcolonial
  • Yellow leaves in the autumn :: Poem
  • Prof N Irabanta-distinguished academician
  • Leadership matters
  • Artificial turf for budding talents
  • 2 municipal bodies in NE awarded
  • Who is Arambam Somorendra ?
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #3 : Gallery
  • Linthoi's "The Tales of Kanglei Throne" #2
  • Grass root challenge- Education in hills
  • Earth does not belong to us...
  • Sita Mata as test-tube baby
  • What happen to VIP Culture Mr. CM
  • Merchants of education
  • Laitonjam Rajnikanta : Profile
  • A blessing to see :: Poem
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #4
  • Difference between Hinduism & Hindutva
  • How to choose the perfect fragrance
  • Iftaar party at Lilong
  • Bitter truth of Manipuri society
  • MU, NSU, IGNTU : Students at the centre
  • Amuktang-Ga Haikho #1 : eRang
  • Sangai Veterans' Football #2 : Gallery
  • Pony : A Cavalry Horse Par Excellence #2
  • Issues that keep Manipur burning
  • Cry of a Dying River - 32 :: Poem
  • CM & AR interaction with villagers
  • Certification of PMKVY trainees of Hojai
  • Christian appeals for Peace in Shillong
  • How safe are our women?
  • Riders put up by JAC for talk
  • Khangkhui Cave in Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • Pluralism, Democracy & Ethnic Relation #2
  • Irom Sharmila meets with Mehbooba Mufti
  • JRF @ Mizoram University (Biotechnology)
  • Tobacco and heart disease
  • Understanding SOWA - RIGPA #2
  • Campaign "to End Child Sexual Abuse"
  • Implementation of 7th Pay
  • Indigenous street vendor sing gi wafam
  • The crumbling Manipur University
  • Kang Tournament @ Yaiskul : Gallery
  • Zeliangrong orphaned by Nationalism #1
  • A rainy night :: Poem
  • HSLC Exam is the start! What next?
  • 1528 cases of fake encounter
  • Linthoi's "The Tales of Kanglei Throne" #1
  • Handloom Weaver @Bishnupur : Gallery
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Hinduism in Manipur : Political Perspective
  • All the World and his Wife :: Poem
  • Tribal Cultural Festival #1 : Gallery
  • Women in CCpur turn to self-help groups
  • Purul Paoki Wrestling : Gallery
  • Sangai Veterans' Football #1 : Gallery
  • Khangminashi IV (Lecture) : Report
  • Seminar at MU - Hinduism in Manipur'
  • Evolution of The Meetei State
  • Heartbreak at Ukhrul: Unfolding Shirock
  • State Level Khurpui-Lam Festival: Gallery
  • June Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • School Girls Basketball #2 : Gallery
  • Where is Manipur....???
  • 'Manipur' in Google maps : Gallery
  • The Killing Fields - 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Mama Poktabi :: Funga Wari
  • Veterans Football Tournament #2 : Gallery
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #1 : Gallery
  • Sougrakpam Vijaya makes history sailing...
  • Arunachali unfurled Salai Taret at Mt Everest
  • Panthoiba: 2nd Rank- class XII, Uttarkhand
  • Ras Leela @JNMDA Day : Gallery
  • HSLC 208 Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • HSLC 2018 :: Toppers Listing
  • HSLC 2018 :: Check Result
  • HSLC :: Statistical/Subject Topper
  • HSLC 2018 :: External
  • Poumai Purul Hiimai Paoki #2 : Gallery
  • Kakching Garden :: 360 Panorama View
  • Folk Dance Festival #5 : Gallery
  • Aerial view from Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Curtain Raising- Sangai Fest 2017: Gallery
  • Lainingthou Lai Lam thopka #2 : Gallery
  • Re-visiting Khangkhui caves in Ukhrul
  • Gardening @Ema Keithel #2: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #2: Gallery
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #2 : Gallery
  • Steelheart @ Shirock , Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • A. Halim Chowdhury: A Profile
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Class XII Result : Science Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Arts Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Commerce Toppers
  • HSE Result 2018 : District Wise
  • HSE Result 2018 : Highest Marks
  • HSE Result 2018 : Science Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Arts Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Commerce Stream
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS