African tourism authorities are betting that a global youth audience on TikTok and high net worth individuals seeking luxury safaris have something in common – enough interest in African wildlife to reinvigorate tourism.
This article was contributed to TechCabal by Conrad Onyango / Vogel
Kenya is reaching out to a global young audience to showcase the eighth natural wonder of the world – the great wildebeest migration – while Africa is doing everything it can to increase the number of international tourism. The East African country’s tourism association announced on Tuesday (August 24th) a partnership with the short video platform TikTok, as the Kenyan government leads Africa in converting traditional marketing strategies to increase its tourist appeal.
“Together with TikTok we can address the world with content and experiences from all parts of the country and raise awareness of our country and the wildlife, especially during this time when travel is restricted in order to contain the spread of the virus.” Betty Radier, Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Tourism Board.
The latest tourism recovery tracker from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) shows that international arrivals to Africa have declined 81 percent since January due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and low consumer confidence.
A number of African countries are trying to overcome these fears by running extensive education and investment campaigns to build the confidence of global travelers and again secure billions of dollars in tourism revenues.
The Kenya Tourism Board said it was keen to see MagicalKenya put consumers first by showcasing the country’s rich and diverse wildlife offering. Through a collaboration with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Conservation International, the four-day campaign,
Kenya as a “luxury destination”
The East African country also embarked on a marketing strategy to position Kenya as a luxury destination in several key markets when it welcomed 15 guests from the United States on a 12-day luxury tour of $ 125,000 per person to four iconic African destinations.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Najib Balala, who welcomed tourists to the inaugural Roar Africa and Emirates Executive Private Jet Safari this week, said a focus on luxury tourism is critical to a sustainable recovery from COVID-19-related setbacks in the country Travel industry.
“This high-level delegation’s visit is proof that Kenya is a consideration for the niche luxury traveler drawn to specific experiences and offerings. Our goal is to build on that as we expand into various segments of the market in the short and long term, ”Balala said in a statement.
The trip, which is known as the “Greatest Safari on Earth” and is organized by the travel company Roar Africa and the airline Emirates, will show the top-class tourists how they experience the migration of the Great Gnu in Kenya, watch gorillas in Rwanda, the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe visit and experience the pristine wilderness of the Okavango Delta in Botswana.
In its Africa Wealth Report 2021, New World Wealth counts the Masai Mara in Kenya, the Okavango swamps in Botswana and gorilla safaris in the Virunga Mountains (Rwanda) among the top luxury travel destinations in Africa.
Revival of tourism in Africa
The latest Allied Market Research predicted the global luxury tourism market will reach $ 1.2 trillion by 2027. However, it is not clear to what extent COVID-19 could undo this. According to New World Wealth, the luxury hotel sector is “one of the most important sectors in Africa as it brings a large part of the continent’s foreign exchange spending”.
South Africa, the premier luxury travel destination in Africa, is preparing to host African and foreign exhibitors during Africa Travel Week 2022, which is slated for April next year. The conference is part of a wider effort to bring about a resurgence of travel on the continent after COVID.
Cape Town, a major luxury travel destination in South Africa, will host the conference. The event will showcase current tourism investments across the continent, including in health and safety protocols designed to welcome international visitors and renewed partnerships with local and international organizations to revitalize tourism to the continent.
“The Africa Travel Week is the perfect platform for us to show the international market how our tourism sector has adapted to the times and improved our already first-class offer,” said the executive mayor of Cape Town, Dan Plato, in a statement.
In North Africa, Moroccan tourism officials forecast in June that the country will occupy 3.5 million seats by the end of September, after reopening air traffic by cutting transportation costs to facilitate the return of Moroccans living abroad. The move has sparked a mini-tourism boom. Popular hotels targeting high net worth individuals in Marrakech are reportedly seeing occupancy rates of up to 100 percent.
The UNWTO’s panel of experts predicts a recovery in international tourism in 2021, mainly in the third quarter of 2021, driven by confidence-building initiatives, the easing of travel restrictions and the prioritization of vaccinating key workers in the tourism markets.