"Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going."
- Paul Theroux


Views and Interviews

May 2024

Industry Awareness Feature

Branding and positioning for the tourism industry

In the vibrant and diverse landscape of India's travel and tourism industry, branding and positioning play a pivotal role in attracting tourists. Especially if you look at various examples from India's tourism industry and understand the impact of promotion effort on the growth of tourism in these regions. With our rich tapestry of cultures, traditions, and natural beauty, India presents a panorama of experiences that can inform, entertain, and engage tourists from different parts of the world.

However, in this highly competitive market it is equally important to create a unique identity and a brand personality that positions the destination in a way that it stands out in the crowd.

Branding in the tourism industry is about creating an image, a perception in the minds of potential tourists. It is also about telling a story that resonates with the target audience, makes them curious, and gets them to experience the story for themselves.

This is where a cleverly conceived slogan comes into play. A slogan like "God's Own Country" does not just describe Kerala, it encapsulates the essence of the place, its serene backwaters, lush green landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. It positions Kerala as a slice of paradise on earth, a place so beautiful and tranquil that it could very well be God's Own Country.

The role of positioning in the promotion exercise

Positioning, on the other hand, is about top-of-mind recall in the minds of the tourists. It is about associating certain characteristics or experiences with a particular place. In a country as diverse as India, every state and every city has something unique to offer. The challenge lies in identifying this uniqueness and conveying it to the world. This is where clever promotion strategies come into play – to promote tourism and contribute to the overall growth and development of the region. Promotion effort can also create employment opportunities, and help in preserving and promoting local culture and heritage.

The “God's Own Country” exercise is a good example of how a clever slogan can make a significant difference in positioning a place and making it popular among tourists. The slogan is part of a toolkit that has transformed a state into a popular tourist destination. It’s about weaving a story and making it an unforgettable part of a traveler's journey.

Quick takeaways on the “God’s Own Country” exercise

  • “God’s Own Country” is an excellent platform for marketing and advertising. The consistent use of this slogan across different media opportunities helps in creating a strong brand recall.
  • “God’s Own Country” not only encapsulates the “Kerala experience” but also creates a unique property that stands out in tourism promotion efforts for the state – within India, and outside the country.

  • “God’s Own Country” creates an emotional connection with potential tourists, making them curious and eager to experience this heavenly place. This emotional connection can be a powerful motivator for travel.
  • “God’s Own Country” creates visual cues suggesting a place of divine beauty, serenity, and natural abundance. When people think about taking a vacation, the memorable slogan “God’s Own Country” might come to their minds, influencing their decision to choose Kerala as their holiday destination.

In Kerala, this slogan has united all players in the value chain of tourism and travel. Very clearly it has given them a sense of belonging. For years, the slogan has encapsulated the very essence of Kerala and its people, making it an unforgettable part of a traveler’s journey.

Some interesting background information

History Behind Kerala Tourism’s campaign of “God’s Own Country”

Useful links

AIRDA Website
The AIRDA advantage
Timeshare FAQs
List of AIRDA members

Image credits: Images licensed from Freepik.

Content Disclaimer: The views expressed in our interviews and stories do not necessarily reflect the official policies, practices and guidelines of the All India Resort Development Association, or its members. These views are based on personal experiences, private opinion, or open source information. Images used here are either paid-for stock photos, images shared by the people we interview, or images under one of the open source licenses such as Creative Commons and others. For some of our features we acknowledge the use of AI referencing and writing inputs from Bard (Google) and Bing/Edge (Microsoft). We also acknowledge the use of publicly available AI assistants to generate relevant images for our feature stories.

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