This year’s fifth e-Tourism East Africa Conference is expected to showcase the latest online travel trends.
East African Business Week reports that the two-day conference will take place on October 5 and 6 at the InterContinental Hotel in Nairobi.
The conference is expected to bring together some of the world’s leading experts on online tourism including executives from Trip Advisor, Twitter, Expedia and for the first time in Kenya, Facebook will be represented at one of these conferences. Visa Cards and the Intercontinental Hotel Nairobi are the lead sponsors for the conference.
The event will focus strongly on the use of social media to leverage online bookings.
Mr. Damian Cook, the CEO of e-Tourism Frontiers, emphasized the importance of online tourism when he said: ‘With over 69% of travellers now beginning their search online and seeing there has been a 50% increase in mobile use across business and leisure travellers, with 30% relying purely on their mobiles to make last minute bookings, it is critical that tourism players in the sector make better use of the internet and social media to market and manage their destinations and businesses.
According to a recent study by PhoCusWright, the online travel market worldwide grew at nearly three times the rate of the overall market and that trend should continue for some years.
With figures like these, it is clear that online is now the arena of choice for travel sales, but we need to look at how we can also use technology to build growth in challenging markets and make our industry more sustainable.
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are vital tools when researching travel. However only a small number of East African tourism companies are really accessing and using these tools to their full potential.The conference will include training sessions designed to show them how to do this’.
“Visa recognizes the synergy between technology and tourism. We are committed to growing tourism, especially in-bound travel to Africa and we are delighted to be sponsoring this year’s E-Tourism East Africa Conference which will give the East African tourism sector much needed information and insight from international online travel experts,” added Salome Makau, Senior Business Development Leader for Southern Africa, VISA.