Andorra, a “boutique” country.

Posted by Lluís Serra
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The Principality of Andorra astonishes, both those who visit as those who decide to settle their lives in the country. Beyond problems, threats or crises, which occur as in any other territory, our country currently seduces, due to what it has accomplished, represents and offers, and will keep on seducing in the future, thanks to it’s enormous potential, if it knows how to choose the right path.

For those who travel the world emphasizing on the excellences of Andorra with the noble goal of attracting tourists, investors, developers, entrepreneurs or retired citizens, it is gratifying to notice that, after in-depth explanations at a theoretical level, the latter “buy” what Andorra offers them. Where remains the secret of such high degree of acceptance?

Now that our country is immersed in the process of defining the central idea of the new Andorra Brand, and is analysing the territories that serve as a model for Andorrans, the concept of “boutique” occurred to me a few days ago regarding a country: Switzerland. In fact, it is a French concept that initially covered exclusive retail stores and has been recurrently used in the hotel industry to define the small, “avant-garde” hotels, that benefit from a special location and differential and exclusive services (which Andorra also has) and finally ends up being used to define a territory, whether a “boutique” city or a “boutique” country. Does this make sense?

Well, I think that it does and that Andorra is now in a position to be defined as a “boutique” country, such as Switzerland for example.

The Swiss do not spare any effort to communicate on the marvels of Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich and Lucerne as splendid parts of a whole, of a “boutique” country, putting in value culture, health, gastronomy, business and everything that can be put forth to seduce the world.

There is no doubt that the Swiss are well ahead and that their model is a success. Such as other countries, Switzerland continues to develop new strategies to attract the “International nomads” of tourism and business. “Nation branding” substantially helps to give visibility to a territory and focuses on what a country wishes to emphasize on. Many countries have understood this and that is why they allocate resources and efforts in this realm. Andorra thankfully has decided to promote and implement a strategy to renew its country brand in order to gain presence in this competitive international environment.

If Switzerland sells itself as a “boutique” country experience, based on the beauty of its historical urban centers, filled with details that are a gift for the senses, and due to its commitment towards innovation, why wouldn’t Andorra present itself as a “boutique” country? Our small villages made of stone and iron and surrounded by idyllic landscapes where one can interact with nature at all levels; the cultural offer of museums, romanic art, music and shows; an evolutionary high-level gastronomy; a commercial boulevard which is more and more converted into a coexistence experience; an incomparable wellness environment to pamper body and soul; breathable and purest air, which are the guarantees of quality of life and hopeful longevity; the best destination to enjoy and to live; the perfect setting to develop one’s business and investment in the most optimal conditions and so many other delicate excellences that make us unique and different.

There is no doubt that we live in the best country of the world and most of us are not sufficiently aware of it because of the day-to-day routine, unlike those who visit us or who settle in our country, who highly value it. But if Andorrans have come to this point it is because they have been (and in fact they must remain) very demanding with their political leaders, because the quality of demands and the answers provided condition our quality of life and the excellence in the offer as a model of country that wants to attract tourism and investment.

For this reason, the future entity that will supervise and manage the new ANDORRA Brand will not only promote strategies to enhance the visibility of our country, but will also ensure the quality of the model that we are offering and its quality begins with the degree of satisfaction of local residents, who ultimately must be the hosts of our “international visitors”. That is why said entity will have to promote initiatives and reforms whenever necessary for the good functioning of the country at all levels in a fair balance between the quality of life of the local residents and excellence in the care provided to those from outside.

If it is clear that we are a “boutique” country, a small country made up of a group of delicate and exclusive parts of an excellent, unique and incomparable whole. A new ranking where we can compete to be the best, the ranking of the “boutique” countries, because Andorra has nothing to envy, especially due to the quality of the current offer, highly valued by those who already know us. There is no doubt that the future should still be even better and it will be thanks to the efforts of its citizenship which is very aware of the importance of providing the warmest welcome to those who are interested in our beloved little big country.

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