Some time ago we started with covering an interesting aspect of destination marketing among ex yu states – country branding. So far, well accepted articles have been written in respect of Macedonia and Montenegro. The point of these articles is to sum up briefly performed marketing efforts in order to reshape country’s image in world’s and media’s eyes. Somewhat tricky and challenging tasks. Today we are about to bring you closer list of efforts performed by Serbian state.

Country Branding

Serbian flag

Unfortunate events that took place in the last decade in 20th century listed Serbia (according to mainstream media) as a “no-go” zone. Changing this false understanding was a must to-do for all Serbian governments so far.

Serbia as the biggest ex-yu market is not dedicating extraordinary amount of money in order to promote itself as a tourist heaven. Simply this comes as a result that country is landlocked with somewhat developed mountain resorts. Moreover without long history as a tourist destination its prior intention is to promote itself as an investment friendly place. However, National Tourism Organisation from time to time launch promo campaigns in order to raise the awareness of Serbia as a potential holiday/weekend/conference destination. Results it gets are tremendous. Some of the promo videos are listed down below and they became astonishingly viral and successful.

On the other side, well established and widely respected hub for independent travelers, Lonely Planet, listed Serbia as number 7 on Top 10 destinations to visit in 2015. Prior credits for this ranking goes to Exit Festival, which is ranked by CNN in top world’s events. Furthermore as Lonely Planet said: “This astonishingly inexpensive country is one of the Europe best-kept secret”. Through marketing prism: There is no such a thing as a bad publicity. End of story.

Furthermore, even some of the most influential media nowadays (e.g. Mirror, Huffington post, Trip Advisor etc.) are increasingly reporting on positive developments in Serbia. Frankly to say, I do not believe this was strictly preplanned by the authorities. 🙂

As a matter of fact, tourism is not the core and essential sector Serbia is trying to be recognized for. On contrary, the sole intention lies in promoting Serbia as an investment friendly environment for foreign direct investments. Therefore numerous actions have been performed starting from promo videos, strong and aggressive promotion throughout conferences and fairs up to the forming of agency (SIEPA) which will be responsible for attracting investors and their further engagement. The strategy itself is somewhat successful but far less than from what is expected. Detailed events covered by the agency you can find here. Some of the promo videos intended to promote business boost in Serbia as delivered by SIEPA.

Even, newly formed AirSerbia dedicated portion of their new promo video promoting Serbia.

So far, Serbia succeeded to rank itself as number one business environment among ex-yu states (although severe “fight” is to be expected with Macedonia). However it is still unclear what benefits might the ordinary ones get after all.

Videos and pictures credits goes to TOSSIEPA and AirSerbia.