SW Associates, LLC: Sustainable Development through Tourism

Macedonia – Marketing for Tourism Cluster

Marketing and Public Relations for the Macedonia Competitiveness Activity (MCA)  

What: MCA was a USAID-funded program aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of Macedonian enterprises.  In support of the Tourism Cluster, we planned and implemented a journalist familiarization trip – promoting Macedonia as an attractive tourist destination in target markets.  This assignment also focused on capacity building increasing knowledge and skills in marketing and promotion at trade fairs.

The tourism cluster had identified Great Britain and Germany as their principal target markets, followed by other markets that have direct flight connection with Macedonia (Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, etc).  Contracts with tour operators from these markets had been signed and Macedonia was being marketed in tour operator catalogues.  However, the challenge and obstacle of  a lack of knowledge about Macedonia remained.

To address these challenges, SW Associates conducted the following activities:

  1. Introduced Macedonia as a tourist destination for outdoor and cultural tourism to key journalists in selected target markets (Germany,UK,Holland) at the ITB trade fair in Berlin.
  2. Introduced Macedonia’s tourist offerings in a special familiarization tour for selected journalists.
  3. Trained local staff and cluster members in how to effectively work with the media in promoting Macedonia, especially using familiarization tours.
  4. Trained local staff and cluster members in ways to get more benefits from trade fair participation.
Following the familiarization tour with nine journalists, all nine published articles and photos from their tour.
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