NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 18 – The digital space presents the best platform to keep tourism destinations top of mind during this period when there is restricted movement and travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To ensure that Kenya remains a destination of choice when travel resumes and keep their products alive, the Kenyan tourism stakeholders have resolved to leverage on the power of online platforms presence for marketing purposes.
This was resolved during a Tourism webinar hosted by the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) which brought together players in the sector to discuss the importance and gains that would be accrued by utilizing the digital space to market the destination and tourism products and experiences
The COVID 19 pandemic has created a threat to tourism economies around the world and in Kenya. This has majorly been due to the lockdown measures that have been placed by governments across the globe to curb the spread of the virus. Tourism depends on the movement of people from one location to another.
However, players in the industry agree that it is important to keep tourists engaged during this time to ensure the destination remains on top of their minds throughout this period and later on when travel resumes.
KTB CEO Dr. Betty Radier said: “Marketing is all about momentum and keeping people engaged. You want to stay on top of mind when people are ready to go back to travelling and you must therefore show your commitment because once the tidal wave has passed, you want people to remember that you were still there through it all.”
She added that organizations today are utilizing digital assets to market products and services and noted that the strategy was working positively “When restrictions are lifted, it doesn’t mean recovery will be immediate. That is why we focus on utilizing the digital space as an agency and we will continue to do so to ensure we are ahead of the cart. Through online marketing campaigns like the #StayAtHome #TravelTommorow, #MagicAwaits and #MagicalKenyaLive we seek to give hope to people and remind them that the destination still exists and has a lot more to offer.”
The Managing Director of Digital consultancy company, Nendo Mark Kaigwa in his remarks agreed that the time calls for enhanced marketing of the destination and the digital space present the best platform for the same.
“People decide on a destination to visit by first doing a Google search then look to familiarize themselves on the destination, still though the internet. Therefore, this is the time to appeal to those familiar with the destination by striking an authentic relationship with them and that can be done by utilizing these key online platforms.”
Recently the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala launched a virtual Safari live stream campaign to showcase game safaris in some of the parks and reserves across the country using Magical Kenya platforms. The two-month long livestreaming campaign will spread to Laikipia, Samburu, Mt Kenya/ Aberdares, Amboseli, Tsavo East and West and Chyulu Hills, Masai Mara and Watamu. This will allow the audience to interact with the diversities of Kenya’s safari experience and brink Kenya to the Kenyan’s and the world
With over one million viewers already reached, audiences have already joined walks in the wilderness, learned how to interact with communities and participated in safari’s led by skilled Kenyan guides.
KTB is also utilizing digital platforms to share authentic and captivating stories from parks, communities, and cultures around the country. These efforts have yielded fruits in keeping conversations about the destination alive during this time.
To interact with this content, one is expected to follow Magical Kenya’s Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channels to experience the journey: ask questions, send them on expeditions, this will be a chance for people to explore Kenya virtually from home.
The Webinar was Moderated by Kenya Tourism fund (KTF) Chairman Mohammed Hersi who encouraged the tourism trade partners to utilise this space with an aim of showcasing their offering to the world and also creating confidence that they are taking care of the destination.