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Media key in shaping Africa’s tourism narrative

Media key in shaping Africa’s tourism narrative

Story by Tichaona Kurewa

CONNECTIVITY and effective messaging techniques have been cited as key in marketing Africa as a Tourism hub.

Over 19 countries have converged in Zimbabwe’s tourism capital Victoria Falls for the first United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Media and Tourism Training in Africa workshop.

African journalists will, for the next three days debate and also share ideas on the latest reporting trends set to position Africa as a destination of choice.

“I am excited to be here in Victoria Falls a beautiful place with such beautiful scenic views and as I attend this workshop this is going to be one of my main highlights and I’m going to write about and why it is important for people to visit it,” said one of the journalists.

Another added, “We had an opportunity to visit the Musa village this morning, such a rich and beautiful cultural heritage there. I guess the onus is on us as media personnel to write stories about the various tourism destinations we have to the world, but to do that we have to experience them also.”

“Africa has always been underreported because of connectivity issues that affect most countries. You find that travelling from one country to the other it’s an archilles task coupled with stringent visa requirements so if governments can work on that and our media make noise then everyone will have beautiful travelling experiences and memories,” said another journalist.

Regional Director of Africa United Nations World Tourism Organisation, Ms Elcia Grandcourt highlighted the significance of the media in shaping Africa’s narrative and its tourism products.

“It is very important to have engagements such as these with the media. We are in full support of marketing Africa as a tourist destination and the media is key in ensuring people know the various tourism destinations and products here in Africa. Investment is key hence as the focal point for Africa we will ensure that it gets all the support needed for it to realise the benefits of tourism economically,” she said.

The Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable Barbara Rwodzi underscored the need for the media to have an art for telling the story of destination Africa.

“We welcome you to Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls and hope that this training will yield the desired results. You journalists must report on Africa and its endowments. You are critical in marketing the various destinations and tourism products Africa has to offer. Africans are well known for their warmth and welcoming nature and this workshop will see strategies being formulated, effective messaging techniques for social,” she said.

Despite Africa being endowed with various breath-taking tourism destinations, Africa constitutes only five percent of tourism arrivals compared to other continents.

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