#CongregationsIndia: Promoting a Place is Building it as a Brand - Nitin Singh Bhadauria, DM, Almora

Industry Watch | January 6, 2021 | News

Congregations India Nitin Singh Bhadauria Pravin Shah BigBrandTheory

Nitin Singh Bhadauria, IAS, District Magistrate, Almora was in conversation with Pravin Shah, Founder, BigBrandTheory at a session titled ‘Building a destination brand with festivals, faith and focus’ at the virtual ‘CONGREGATIONS INDIA: Government, Political, Sport & Religious Events Summit’ organised by EVENTFAQs Media on December 24, 2020.

Building brand Almora

“Although Almora is rich in cultural heritage, distinctive local handicrafts and its signature cuisine, people were not aware of this place as it was not exposed very well. So, whenever we got an opportunity, we started various branding exercises including word-of-mouth publicity and social media promotion. We also started various festivals like the Almora Festival, Jageshwar Festival and more, thereby creating buzz to attract people. I feel we need to blend in all sorts of tourism, be it eco-tourism, village tourism, religious tourism, resort tourism and more - and these are the things that we are trying to achieve. The COVID pandemic did affect the global tourist inflow, but it also helped us find new value propositions and projects to work on,” said Bhadauria. “I believe promoting a destination is all about building it as a brand, and social media is a big tool.” 

Road to recovery for Tourism

Talking to session moderator Shah with regard to recovery projections for the tourism industry, Bhadauria said, “It’s way ahead. We need to be very cautious about how COVID or any other disease could develop as it disrupts the supply chain. Having said that, people do want to take the necessary precautions and visit a place. There is definitely a lot more happening online and location-independent work models are coming up. The ideas we get while interacting with each other is the way to go forward. The positive disruption that took place due to the pandemic is this digital revolution. COVID has accelerated the growth of digital platforms. I find a lot of digital marketing channels coming up. COVID is also an opportunity for the Tourism industry to open up for homestays and ‘workcations’, which will help in increasing productivity as compared to work from home. We also need to support the supply chains by imposing restrictions, but not to the point of killing the industry. Besides, we need to establish direct market connect through aggregate digital platforms and providing quality services to the traveller.”

He said ground experiences cannot be completely replaced by online experiences, “but a part of the responsibility also lies with the audiences attending our events”.

Branding strategies

“The first aspect of branding is that the consumer must be aware of what the destination offers and why they need to visit the place. Second is the value offering of the place and quality control aspect, that will curate the experience for the consumer. We are already done with national branding through Incredible India and now it is time to start with State-level and district-level branding to give the destination its necessary attraction and intrigue people to visit these places. Lastly, we are increasing the value proposition of the destinations through events like festivals, museums and more work on public private partnership model to gain more sponsorship,” concluded Bhadauria.

Speaking at the summit, Nitin Singh Bhadauria, IAS, District Magistrate, Almora, dwelt on leveraging the history of Almora to promote it as a destination

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