Romania is on par with Australia, New Zealand, and Maldives when it comes to ‘natural beauty’. Countries like this have an edge in tourism marketing because they are already strongly associated with impressive images that tourists admire. Despite this huge advantage, however, Romania’s brand has failed in 2012 both in terms of visual and political communication.
Political corruption and crisis
In 2012, Romania’s international reputation suffered due to President’s impeachment followed by the government’s abuse of power and attempts to subvert the country’s nascent democracy. Moreover, the Prime Minister’s sentence for corruption and his failed suicide attempt contributed to the political instability, which even left neighboring European nations concerned and question whether Romania is going to be the next Hungary.
Image courtesy of The Economist: Romania’s former prime minister underwent a surgery after a failed suicide attempt
Logo and tagline
Romania’s Ministry of Tourism had decided to go green since a few years ago, and they are still using the same logo until now. Unfortunately, the logo doesn’t give any hint that Romania is a country of high mountains, Dracula or beautiful castles, but of a jungle or lush landscape. The logo looks like it must have been a logo of Madagascar, Bahamas, or Fiji. Moreover, reading the tagline, “explore the Carpathian garden”, I wonder what other way there could have benn to make the Carpathian Mountains sound so far from wild, exotic, historical, and scenic. With these logo and tagline, tourists can never envision Romania’s rich culture and impressive vistas.
Image courtesy of the Romanian National Tourist Office website
To me, a new logo seems to be a necessity, but this is not what Romania needs to focus on at the moment. Instead, what it needs to do first is to show the world that it has the capability to generate a dialogue between the government and its people, making healthy policy changes that uphold meaningful values such as democracy. Through the rule of law, Romania must reflect the nation’s concern for the individual rights, principle of justice, tolerance for positive changes, and political stability, which is time-consuming and difficult. However, this symbolic and transparent gesture is the only shortcut that will help Romania succeed in communicating with the world audience what the nation and its people are all about and in successfully branding itself in the long-term.