DHAKA: Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister GM Quader is opting for re-branding Bangladesh with a smarter catchphrase by changing the current logo and slogan introduced by the caretaker regime.
“The tourism ministry is going to take initiative soon to re-brand the country and woo more tourists, which will enhance country`s tourism earnings,” a top official of the Tourism Ministry told banglanews24.com.bd.
“The logo and slogan we are using do not represent the way we want to project it,” Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister GM Quader told a seminar last week, indicating the change being mulled in the country’s looks in the outer world.
For the first time in country’s history, the reformist caretaker government, led by Dr Fakruddin Ahmed, of the 2007-2009 period, introduced the slogan `Beautiful Bangladesh` and its logo to brand Bangladesh abroad and attract tourists.
However, the incumbent Tourism Minister did not like it.
"I would not say that our country is not beautiful. Many countries are beautiful. The word beauty is not exclusively ours. Slogan should be specific and it must represent the country`s characteristics,” said the minister.
State-run tourism body Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) has been projecting the slogan since the official launch by the then Chief Adviser of the Caretaker government, Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed, on August 6, 2008.
BPC Chairman Hemayet Uddin Talukder, however, said the slogan and the logo were approved by government. “Until a further decision taken, we are with it,” he told banglanews24.com.bd.
"As the minister opts for a change, a committee will be formed," he added.
During the Caretaker regime, a committee led by eminent educationist Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed was formed and tasked to come up with a slogan to be propagated abroad.
Artist Hashem Khan, Prof Syed Manjurul Islam and the then Chairman of the BPC and incumbent Tourism Secretary, Shafiq Alam Mehedy, were members of the committee.
They worked on it for three months and came up with a logo and slogan that reads ‘Beautiful Bangladesh’ or ‘Rupomay Bangladesh’ in Bengali.
Although the Ministry of Foreign Affairs projects the country abroad, it was not consulted during the formulation of the theme. “So far my knowledge goes and the papers I have seen, we were not consulted,” Saida Muna Tasneem, Director-General of Foreign Ministry’s External Publicity Wing, told banglanews24.com.bd.
She said a national consensus on this issue was very important.
The MOFA has been projecting the country through 59 missions abroad through economic and diplomatic brandings.
When contacted for his view about the change being envisaged, Prof. Syed Manjurul Islam did not like the Minister’s idea.
He said the minister has the right to change the slogan or logo. But, he said, “the minister should focus on creating a better one”.
President of country`s one of the top trade bodies, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Abul Kashem Khan told banglanews24.com.bd that branding Bangladesh is very important with proper logo and slogan.
“Malaysia has ‘Truly Malaysia’ for their tourism branding while India projects ‘Incredible India’. We need to have such a catchy slogan to promote and project ourselves abroad to attract tourists,” he said.
BDST: 1010 HRS: JULY 21, 2010