The African Tourism Promotion Initiative (ATPI) is planning to market Africa as a destination through the production of a tourism publication that will showcase at least six tourism products of each of the countries on the continent.
This was disclosed by the Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, (NTDC) and President of the ATPI, Chief Olusegun Runsewe, during the meeting of the body at the Zimbabwe’s stand at the FITUR travel fair currently on in Madrid, Spain.
Runsewe used the opportunity to laud Zimbabwe’s efforts in promoting the country as a destination and also urged other African countries to emulate the efforts.
In his response, the Zimbabwean Minister of Tourism, Mr Walter Mzembi, thanked Runsewe and members of the ATPI for the visit. He said part of his promises he made when he assumed office as the tourism minister in 2009 was that Zimbabwe would not be a liability to African tourism.
He said he had kept to this promise, as the country had seen an appreciable rise in the number of tourist visitors. He also said most of the negative travel reports on Zimbabwe which were issued in the past had been removed.
Mzembi introduced a new audio-visual package to promote Zimbabwe’s tourism. The audio-visual package showed the ´Seven Wonders of Zimbabwe´ under the catch-phrase: Zimbabwe, a land of Wonder.
Chief Runsewe was unanimously elected to head the ATPI, which was formed February last year by some African countries during the FITUR 2010 in Madrid.
The NTDC, at the FITUR, signed an agreement with a top British travel firm, Hills Balfour, to help in attracting European travellers to Nigeria.
The agreement was signed by the NTDC boss, Chief Runsewe and the representative of Hill Balfour, Simon Beck, at the ongoing FITUR International Travel Fair in Madrid, Spain.
Runsewe said the corporation wanted the firm to bring its personal touch to the NTDC´s campaign based on their expertise and experience, “specially crafted to respond to current markets, latest technological and travel trends.”He explained that the corporation decided to sign on the firm because of its skills and strategic understanding of what made a destination successful in the highly competitive UK market.
The Business Development Director of Hills Balfour, Simon Beck, said the firm had expertise in the sales, marketing and public relations of destinations around the world, while promising to bring in core values to ensure that Nigeria gets the maximum exposure.
“We have extensive experience in the development and implementation of travel and tourism marketing plans and offer a comprehensive, creative and cost effective range of services that allow us to be a one-stop- shop for our clients.
”He said the firm was currently handling the Malaysia tourism board; Portugal; Mauritius; some states like New York; North Carolina; South Carolina and Las Vegas, among others, in the United States.
Meanwhile, Nigeria had a good outing at the just concluded travel market with the NTDC stand attracting participants at the fair.The Nigerian stand was a beauty to behold in its elegant green and white colour at the African and America section of the fair. Nigeria’s culture, dresses and destinations was showcased.
Consolidating on the progress made so far at the INVESTOUR forum for Africa at the 2010 FITUR Trade Fair, this year’s objective of the encounter was to promote relations between Spain and Africa in the tourism sector and to boost Africa’s profile by creating an annual forum within the FITUR trade fair.
At the same time, the intention was to promote the African message that tourism could be an integral, sustainable sector of socio-economic development with the potential to create employment, in line with the Euro-African Lisbon Summit commitments of 2007.
The business forum at FITUR also offered the African participants the opportunity to make direct contact with tour operators and other exhibitors at the fair. Apart from the significant institutional involvement and participation on the part of the African authorities in the morning session, a workshop of business-to-business (B2B) meetings was held between private operators, mainly from the ECOWAS countries and Spanish operators.
The economic advisers of the three Spanish Trade and Economic Offices in ECOWAS countries (Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal) were available to advise the business executives present.
The objective of the encounter was to promote relations between Spain and Africa in the tourism sector and to boost Africa’s profile by creating an annual forum within the following the institutional key speeches.
During the morning session, Casa Africa presented the successful cases of two businessmen in Africa (a Spanish-led company in Senegal and a Malian working in his own country) and the UNWTO presented two studies (one on Spanish outbound tourism market to Africa and the Middle East and the other on the potential of national parks in the West African Region) and one project for the World Cup 2010 in South Africa.
The B2B session proved satisfactory, as businessmen invited by Casa Africa and selected by their respective countries complied perfectly with the profile that had previously been set out: small- and medium-sized businesses (travel agents, accommodation sector and national operators), and this was a decisive factor in the success of the encounter.
A total of 29 countries participated: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Capo Verde,Cameron, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau,Kenya, Liberia, Morocco, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leona, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.
Writte By: Wale Olapade