Using the Power of Digital to Promote Destinations

Event Africa Contributor 06/10/2021 Industry Events

With MKTE going virtual this year, of course a hot topic at the expo was how the tourism industry has embraced digitization. A power panel of experts from across the continent gave insight into how their companies used digital innovation to market and serve travellers even as travel restrictions hit hard.

Monika Iuel, Chief Marketing Officer at Wesgro in South Africa, said they had to think quickly on their feet when they saw the impact on the region’s tourism within the short term and they needed to make sure that they still remain within the market for the long term.

Through a campaign called One Day, Wesgro created virtual tours and audio journeys for international travellers giving them different opportunities and content to interact with for the dream of one day coming back to the Western Cape region for travel and tourism.

“We had to understand that people were locked down and we wanted to bring the world of the Western Cape into people’s living rooms using the digital space, so that they may dream and consider travelling to the destination again when travel was allowed,” Monika said.

David Germain, the Seychelles Tourism Board Regional Director for Africa & the Americas, said they saw a major demand among the region’s local trade partners for digital services, noticing that there was an increase in demand on the destination’s website. STB then launched ParrApi, which is a digital and online tourism platform that increases the visibility of the Seychelles Islands through the internet.

“The platform serves to collect, store and distribute tourism information for different categories available within the region, assisting in marketing and easily accessing information to the Seychelles destination,” David explained.

Irene Katumo, Marketing Manager for the Emerging Markets for the Kenya Tourism Board, said they were attracting travellers to Kenya through partnerships with social media platforms such as TikTok, YouTube and Facebook.

“Since the pandemic, we have seen the numbers rise within the digital space, and to engage with these audiences we started to live stream events and destinations within the Kenya region on these different platforms,” said Irene.

The board also noticed that many travellers share their experiences of a destination online, whether it be where they are or how the destination looks, which is how we decided to market the region through these platforms, she added. Key takeaways from the power panel were that it is important now more than ever for destinations to use their digital spaces, understand what travellers are seeking and give them that access and experience. The digital world gives companies a chance to monitor what consumers are doing, what is trending and allows destinations to tap into those needs and become key travel and tourism destinations as we move to a time where people will start to travel again.

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