Following discussions exploring ways on how social media can be effectively used to drive tourism growth across Africa, Facebook and Instagram are set to put the sector on the social media map.
This was revealed by representatives from the two platforms during the 41st Annual World Tourism Conference in Kigali, Rwanda that set the tone for how tourism can be utilized as an engine for economic growth and job creation through innovative business models, new technologies, and strategic partnerships.
They showcased how both platforms can be used to creatively help change the narrative of Africa as a tourist destination and participated in a live panel discussion on ‘Evolution of Online Travel and Lifestyle Tourism: Leveraging Africa’s Diversity’.
“Social platforms offer tourism agencies and companies in Rwanda and across the Continent, wonderful opportunities to put their countries firmly on the map. We’re excited to share ideas about how Instagram and Facebook can help Africa share its rich culture and beautiful landscapes with the world, and connect with the tourists of today and the future- an effort we’re proud to support,” Akua Gyekye, Facebook’s Public Policy Manager for Africa said.
The Facebook and Instagram team also demonstrated how tourism operators and agencies can leverage Instagram, Facebook Live, Facebook 360 and other new technologies can be employed to create a seamless experience for both tourists and operators.
From immersive experiences to attract potential customers to using Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger to allow tourism companies to build customer service channels and communicated with customers before bookings, during and after trips.
Before the conference, Facebook trained 100 tourism-focused SMEs on how to use Facebook platforms to promote, engage with communities, and grow their businesses.
The World Tourism Conference, co-organized by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), Africa Travel Association (ATA) and Rwanda Development Board, also saw the launch of ‘The COMESA Tourism and Wildlife Heritage Handbook’ which showcases the different tourism and wildlife products in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) bloc and markets the region as a single tourist and wildlife destination.