The marketing of any product, demand of consumer or distribution and sales takes place through branding now a days. Therefore, it is very necessary to come up with branding of any product you bring. For instance, if I want to develop my own village Tukuche, as an environmental friendly agro tourism organic village; the main branding project is the lifestyle of Tukuche village. What are the things necessary for its branding ? And, how to win the trust of the visitors that their 1-5 days stay would be very joyful. I would like to mention those things below.
First thing is why people want to visit the Tukuche model village? Why they want to promote that village? Or why they talk about the village? There is a need to add some basic things to the village for its branding. It’s a Thakali village, where poet Bhupi Sherchan was born and they serve you with Thakali food prepared from the crops and vegetables grown in their own village. It has the typical Thakali taste which is very tasty. They serve healthy food to the guests with hospitality. Secondly there is no environmental problem in this village. The village, market place, roads are all clean and tidy. One cannot find paper, piece of plastic or cattle waste littered around. We should also pay attention towards other value added things required for branding. There is a beautiful mountain view. One can also go for a small trekking. There are also apple orchards in the village. One can go and collect some fruits and enjoy the physical labor by assisting in growing the vegetables. Likewise, as per the season one can get involved in planting, harvesting, packing etc. The environment here is pollution free. The village is also free from any kind of foreign influence. All the houses, hotel and lodges are built from the local materials. The houses display local culture and tradition. Likewise, the rooms in the houses are also decorated with traditional things. Also no one gets cheated upon reaching this place. They get to eat quality local food. Clean toilets and bathrooms are available. All these things come under branding. Other values can be also added in these things. Also, if anyone wants to go for Muktinath temple or any other neighboring village, there is facility of transportation. All the facilities for traveling to and fro should be also confirmed. This way after branding Tukuche village, every individual visiting the place should be fully satisfied. We can feel the branding of Tukuche village as a product or production. If we have done branding, we should also take care about the guarantee of the quality. Tukuche village has its own unique features. It also has its own culture and traditional goods. We can collect all these things and make a live museum out of them. Because of visiting the museum people can enjoy their stay. After satisfied with the branded village, they revisit the place and also refer it to others. The most biggest challenge of the branded good is its marketing. If the branded good need to be made public, many people should be informed about it and increase its attraction. Out of our own study, research and conclusion we could take initiation in marketing by making strategy ourselves. There are many sides in developing my own village Tukuche into a branded good and marketing it throughout Nepal and world, through aggressive marketing.
First of all we could make an informative website for the same. All the information could be updated there. Moreover tools, apps, facebook, twitter, email, google along other social networks should be used. And more effective then this would be that in the first stage small, attractive and effective pamphlets can be displayed at different travel agencies, in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Baglung, Beni Bazar along others and also at travel agencies, hotel, restaurants and transport vehicles. These pamphlets should clearly include things like, why should we visit Tukuche village? What we do attain after going there? How much satisfaction we can get? One of the main sub-brand of Tukuche village could be the Thakali food prepared by them. We could put down big sign boards 15 kilometers ahead before reaching Tukuche. Many youngsters and other people can be seen on their motorbikes rushing for Muktinath. Likewise, many people travel by bus to Muktinath. After looking at the sign board, they are psychologically prepared to make Tukuche their destination for food. Different types of Thakali special delicacies are available here. The locals sell their products like buckwheat, vegetables, milk along other products at their own homes and have become self-employed in their village itself. Taking Tukuche village as a model, youths can also establish such branded village having special features with eco agro tourism model and organic farming. You can study your own village taking Tukuche village as an example and classify the different special features the village has and make plans and build structures as per it. Many of the villages in Nepal have such opportunities to attract domestic and foreign tourists. Therefore it’s time that our brothers and sisters make serious plans through research, analysis and discussion to give such plans a concrete form and improve the economic condition of the villages and become self-employed. I have spoken to tourism entrepreneurs of big hotels and their staffs. They say it is not enough now to make big hotels in Kathmandu alone. This is because the tourists don’t come with Kathmandu alone as their destination. The trend to study the social, cultural and natural specialties of the villages by the tourists has been increasing now a days. Therefore the number of tourists can increase and their stay elongated if we make such model villages in different villages and districts of Nepal. This way we Nepalese can increase our income generation and become self-employed in our own country. This also supports in the prosperity of the Nation. Nepal has been listed in the countries with beautiful scenic beauty. Nepal has matchless environment and seasons. Despite of all the difficulties the people live happily in the villages of Nepal. I have given the example of my village for the youths as to help them know, how to cash the specialties of our village. How to elongate the stay of tourists in your village after making it a model village? We need to make a program for that. So that the tourists enjoy their stay to the fullest and return home satisfied with a fruitful stay. Also what I think is your model village should be an inspiration for other youths also. My own Tukuche village of Mustang is the very example, how to make your own village a model for others to follow. I have made a task plan like this to make my village an eco friendly agro tourism village, to make the stay of the visitors fruitful and most enjoyable. The first day after a trekking of half an hour we reach a big plain called Jhong. There are big apple orchards here. Buckwheat and other vegetables are also grown in the apple orchards. There is another huge stone mountain after 30/40 minutes walk from the apple orchard plains. Rock climbing could be done as per the interest of the guests. There are deers also found in the jungles around. You could watch them as hunting is not allowed. Another thing during apple season, the visitors could get involved in apple picking, grading, packing and supply process. How can organic farming be done while growing buckwheat, vegetables and potatoes?
Other agricultural processes like how to harvest the crop and supply them ? In such activities the visitors could be made a part of. They learn new things with the cool breeze of Nilgiri mountains.
Second day-as per the time of the guest other activities could be also done. Close by there is a Khimdong forest region. During monsoon, the forest is full of wild fruits, mushroom and shoots. They could pick these things in the jungle. Above the forest Thapa khola hydro power project(12 megawatt) has been located, with a dam. The region has snow-capped mountain chains right above them. They can enjoy that scenic beauty. It is the best place for bird watching also.
Third day-Also if the guests wish high mountains are located around Naurikot situated in the south of Tukuche village. One can enjoy the warm sun rays on the laps of these mountains. There are yak farms in the high mountains further above. One can enjoy see them grazing. During monsoon, there is a yak blood drinking festival; where one could also taste the festivities. One could spend as many days as per their leisure. They could also return back spending a day back to Tukuche.
Fourth day-Around the village there are different types of gumbas. Marfa village is located near the Chhaito gumba. It is a very beautiful village. There is also a meditation centre in the village. One could also visit the organic villages around. One could return back in the evening for dinner in Tukuche village. Fifth day-The guests could also visit Jomsom and Muktinath and have ample time to return back to Tukuche for dinner the next day. If we design an effective schedule like this, Tukuche village would be a real role model for others too if we succeed in marketing the it to our domestic tourists. Along with this we could also create employment opportunities. The more longer the stay of the guests, the better it is for the economic development and employment opportunity for model Tukuche village. (The writer is a Ph. D. holder from Cornell University in the US)