Destination Management Companies (DMCs) need to collaborate with travel media to spur interest in travel post-COVID.
The importance of DMCs creating messaging in media for inbound African tourism and how it impacts market engagement was discussed by industry experts during a webinar hosted by WTM on Wednesday (October 28).
Panellists said as most of the world was still working from home, thus consuming more media than ever, now was the opportune moment to market destinations.
“This is the best opportunity to inform us, show is, teach us... To create content, interview locals, go to the lesser known destinations in Africa and share with us,” said award-winning American Travel Journalist, Jeannette Ceja.
She added that there needed to be careful consideration of the target audience, as it would determine how successful the messaging was.
“I’ve been observing how African countries are doing it, and I see a few destinations like Kenya and Zanzibar – they are communicating all the time. They are focusing on the right messaging and attracting the right countries,” said Founder and Director of Travel Africa network, Maggie Muntangiri, adding that these destinations were partnering with media companies to push their campaigns within their target markets.
Septi Bukula, Founder of Tourism SME network, SEEZA, wanted to understand where smaller businesses fitted into this grand marketing scheme. “We need these big campaigns funded by government organisations and DMCs – that’s their role. But how do we factor in, in that big picture, the small operators that are desperate to attract customers right now?”
“I think in the increasingly saturated digital world and the abundance of travel content competing for attention, mean DMCs and SMMEs struggle to get their message noticed,” said Muntangiri.
“Start with the right audience in mind. Now, more than ever, DMCs need to identify the less-explored destinations and need to collaborate with media to promote these destinations,” she concluded, adding that DMCs collaborating with media should command audience attention by creating unique and informative content.