Communication Program Exploring City Branding: Case Of Harar City, Ethiopia

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One of the key prerequisites for the success of cities is their overall image so called “city branding”. The perception of the city affects its attractiveness to tourists, foreign investors or potential students. City Branding (CB) is a tool that assists to make a city widely recognized and this thesis will explore CB at Harar. Therefore, it is crucial to find out the following: What are the actual practices of CB at Harar? What activities are doing Harar Culture Heritage and Tourism Bureau (HCHTB) in relation to CB to attract tourists and investors? What are the opportunities and challenges of HCHTB in relation to CB? The goal of the thesis is to explore CB in Harar City to attract Tourists and Investors.The study used both qualitative and quantitative research approach. It is mainly dependent on primary source of data in which open-ended and close-ended questionnaire was developed to get data from respondents. The study result grabbed from 49 questionnaires distributed for the tour guide, hotel owners and museum employees, one FGDs made with CBPs at HCHTB and seven interviews data conducted with the target study area. To meet the research objective the researcher used all available data sources for quantitative method which are related to CB activities to attract tourist and investment. Since this study explores about the practice of CB at Harar. In relation to the vision, strategies and communication level which is help for practicing CB in the city’s the study finding shows large percent of each question respondents have not positive response in general. If this negative perception towards city’s future is influence practicing CB and attract tourists as well as investors. The actual practice lacks attention, lack of local community fairly participation, unavailability of cognitive environment to attract tourists and investors, most of the city bureaus doesn’t have active communication tool. The only positive result obtained from the study is the existence of giving opportunities for individuals, entrepreneurs to implement CB activities. At last, the student researcher believes the study would give a sight of facts about CB practice in Harar and help to point out the CB practice gap.



Branding, City Branding, Attracting, Tourism, Investment, Attracting Tourist and Attracting Investment.