Sierra Leone National Tourist Board website Explore Freedom branding

About

Summary

Sierra Leone has a wealth of natural assets, including one of Africa’s most beautiful palm-fringed coastlines, lush rainforest, dramatic mountains, exotic wildlife combined with resilient, naturally hospitable people, vibrant culture and heritage central to the abolition of the slave trade and the repatriation of freed slaves. Sierra Leone has an abundance of adventure and eco-tourism potential. However, negative perceptions of the country based on the long civil war, Ebola outbreak and the recent mudslide continue to hinder the development of the country’s tourism sector.

The Government of Sierra Leone has prioritised tourism as a priority sector for diversifying the country’s economy, and the World Bank’s Economic Diversification Project includes improving the performance of the tourism sector.

Acorn Tourism, along with joint venture partners, The Journey Tourism Consulting and Management, were commissioned by the Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project to provide the National Tourist Board with an international Marketing and Rebranding Strategy, funded by the Government of Sierra Leone and the World Bank.

The marketing and branding strategy and action plan provided the National Tourist Board with a roadmap to build a positive narrative for the country, improve the destination’s position, and increase the value of the tourism sector. The Journey-Acorn team also initiated the digital marketing campaign and advised on the domestic marketing campaign.

Our Approach

The objective of this consultancy was to develop a national tourism marketing strategy and brand identity that was feasible for the National Tourist Board to implement, resonated with tourism stakeholders and target markets, and embraced the importance of sustainability.

We undertook a three-phase process commencing with a Situation Analysis which informed the Marketing and Branding Strategy Formulation and short and medium-term Implementation Plans.

The analysis included in-depth one-to-one conversations with over 20 tour operators in the core international source markets to establish the opportunities and barriers to selling more tours to Sierra Leone. Both the marketing strategy and brand development are demand-driven. They balance the needs of international markets with the aspirations of local stakeholders for developing tourism in their country. These aspirations were identified during a series of stakeholder workshops in the north, south, east and western regions of Sierra Leone.

The strategy guides tourism marketing for the next ten years and includes a 5-year action plan with related activities, tactics, targets and budgets. Throughout the consultancy, we fully engaged the National Tourist Board and delivered virtual and in-person training sessions, to ensure they took ownership of the strategy and proposed actions and had the resources and skills to deliver the strategy, digital marketing campaign and roll out the new national brand.

Outcome

The Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and the private sector approved the new national brand and 10-year marketing strategy, which provides a phased roadmap for long-term sustainable growth of high-value, low-volume tourist arrivals. The 5-year action plan details the required activities, tactics, targets and budgets to deliver the strategy’s objectives. 

The NTB launched the new brand promise “Sierra Leone is the realm of the free and it invites you to explore freedom” and the tourism marketing slogan “Explore Freedom” along with the destination brand identity/ logo.

The team designed and launched a new national tourism website www.tourismsierraleone.com along with other marketing collaterals. To kick-start the launch of the Explore Freedom brand, we also conducted an influencer-led digital marketing and social media campaign.

Directions

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Sierra Leone National Tourism Marketing Strategy and Rebranding

Client:

Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project, World Bank and Ministry of Trade,

Location:

Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project, World Bank and Ministry of Trade

This project contributes to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Acorn AwardsSDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and work SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and work 2020
  • Acorn AwardsSDG10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries SDG10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 2020

Contact us

3 Woodland Enterprise Centre, Hastings Road,
Flimwell, East Sussex, TN5 7PR, UK

+44 (0) 1580 879970

contact@acorntourism.co.uk