City positioning decision is a crucial decision in determining how a city’s activities and locations are strategically positioned and planned to attract tourists and investors. That no event is an accidentally publicized piece or a tourist haven allowed to only exist in its crude form.
Just as they are employed in selling goods and services, marketing techniques are often used to help a city’s transformation into a post-industrial centre of tourism, culture and re-development. From the background that city tourism is playing an increasingly important role in deciding economic development strategies by the local authorities all over the world.
Some people are just simply attracted to the natural habitat we are blessed with but nature can’t sell itself. It cannot remain on its crude form forever.
The idea behind marketing a city is that we have to give tourists a reason to visit our city. This involves the definition of a city’s product (the city as a product) and its image, in such a way that its recipients will see it as to the marketing intended and not just any ordinary product struggling to be picked.
So, city marketing plays an important role, forming a bridge between a city’s potential and the use of this potential for the benefit of the local society.
The main reasons for which a marketing strategy should take place for our state are as follows;
• To attract tourists
• To attract investment and develop industry and entrepreneurship
• To attract new residents
• To influence local society – “internal marketing”.
• Attract tourists and visitors to its businesses
• Attract business from elsewhere
• Maintain and expand existing business
• Promote small business and help create new ones
• Expansion of its exports and its investments of abroad
• Expansion of its population or change in its population’s distribution.
WHAT IS THE IMAGE OF OUR STATE?
The image of a city in some cases seems to play a very important role than its reality in shaping the opinion held by visitors, investors and its residents with regard to the place. Knowing this in 2011 motivated me to create the Platform, WeJosRock to come up with marketing techniques that will be used to help towards the transformation of our city into a post-industrial centre of tourism, culture and development. City tourism plays an increasingly central role in defining the strategies for economic development. In Nigeria, the competition for attracting tourists is even greater than we can all imagine. We have seen this played out in Kaduna, Lagos and Cross Rivers among other states of the Federation where each prides itself for something. A state that refuses to sell itself will look like a third world country among committee of nations.
Our state, in order to create more opportunities, must have the ability to attract more investment, business, residents and visitors.
States are just like products, they must be advertised with accuracy and attractiveness. But before advertising comes a great responsibility of fixing the mobility of the state. Workers salaries paid regularly as it has been, residents and businesses are satisfied with conditions of running, and when tourists, new businesses and new investors have their expectations met; hotels, clubs and lounges are cashing out, the transportation industry flourishing, people are stepping into cenimas (At least we have one), coffee shops, tomatoes markets, Irish potatoes market and so on. Then, our state’s policy of taxation can be revisited.
The Multiplier Effect Of Toursim– While in Plateau State for event X, they will interact with YZ and ABC will benefit.
When we properly sell our state, new cinemas will like to open, new hotels or an upgrade in the existing ones may happen.
WHY WILL PEOPLE VISIT?
SO, IF YOU ASK ME ABOUT THE FIRST STEPS I WANT US ALL TO MARKET THIS CITY, I WILL SUGGEST THESE ACTIVITIES
– Let us design the provided services and define particular characteristics of the city; something like an emblem. That It will come to mind whenever our city is mentioned.
– Promotion of our city’s image and values so that the potential visitors know its distinctive advantages.
Just as I have mentioned that a city cannot continue to Sell itself on its crude form, we need a strategic city marketing plan has to include improvements in urban planning, infrastructures, basic services like health, safety and education, attractions and people. That while the image markers such as WeJosRock are doing the talk, governance is taking its rightful place.
There are a number of primary tourism elements that have the ability to attract tourists and visitors.
Primary tourism Elements
– Amusement facilities
– Night clubs and lounges
– Organized events
– Culture facilities
– Museums and art galleries
– Concert halls
– Fairs & Festivals
Exploring the opportunities here as a state is very strategic
People can also Visit and interact with our Social and cultural characteristics
Language: We can talk about our languages and people interested in that can visit and learn more. For instance, we can profile the number of tribes we have in Bassa LGA for instance.
–Hospitality; One import product we have not been selling proper is how hospitable our people are.
–Historical routes traces
–Ancient monuments and statues
–Parks and green areas
– Mountains, Rocks and Valleys
–Water, canals, Ponds.
There are also secondary or additional elements, such as:
– Catering facilities
–Commercial centres or areas
– Tourism facilities, e.g. information offices, maps, leaflets, guides, merchandize etc.
Let us talk about organizing events as a strategy for selling Plateau State.
When a lot of people will want it focused on large-scale festivals – mainly sporting events Mega Concerts, Trade fairs, Carnivals – as ways to draw tourists, I want to emphasize that we should not ignore small-scale events for our city.
There are people who will simply visit because of the weather, but then– they will need spots to relax, hotels to lodge and a transport system that works.
How about some talent shows, movie screening, pep talks, organize events/festivals based on sports, having famous sportsmen and women visit the city.
Event based famous people/characters; films and culture.
Festivals; Economic and cultural.
When a city rolls out a conversation that will bring out a workable document that states the economic problems of the city and a plan to solve them;
It brings together, economists, financial experts, captains of industries and the business community together.
Key thing we are doing with these events and individuals– City branding, Events, Festivals, Tourism, Positioning strategies.
If the city prospers, everyone benefits.
As we do that, one important work that needs to be done is that we must impress it on visitors, who we are, what we are offering in a form of emblem that it is identified with at each point of implementation just as I’ve mentioned earlier.
We can do that by exploring the new media place and the traditional media using;
• Story telling
• Trends on social media among many others.
So, if someone is planning to visit Plateau State, there should be just one major positive picture they will have in mind.