Last night we were invited to Uzbek Embassy in Washington DC, where they hosted leaders of tourism and hospitality industry. The goal was to introduce exotic and not as well known tourism country of Uzbekistan to the American market.
This was their beginning stages of a branding campaign, which needs a lot of brand awareness projects to find the target market who would enjoy experiencing eastern hospitality. While sharing delicious Uzbek cuisine; pilaf made from Uzbek rice, tandoori naan, sumalak and even delicacy horse meat, we enjoyed a video promo about Why to visit Uzbekistan.
Since I know very personally the tradition, language and mentality of this country, I was left with a lot of questions and thoughts. The number one question was since Central Asian countries ( former Soviet union) are mostly visited by European tourists for very popular eco and ethno tourism, while American tourists historically are more interested in entertainment experiences and leisure, will there be enough interest and need for this type of tourism? It might might be something unique or it might remain unknown to the american market.
It all depends on how strategically the branding and marketing campaigns are positioned to compete with leading tourism destinations. Does the country need branding or Rebranding for a new market?