Global Experts Set To Boost Africa’s Tourism Industry

Africa’s tourism sector has contributed nearly six per cent to the continent’s GDP, playing a vital role in economic stability and supporting 22 million jobs across the region.

This is even as the Global Expert Panel, made up of top communications, marketing experts and leaders from across the world, have affirmed their commitment to push Africa’s tourism industry to new heights and boost its visibility as a top travel destination.

Recall that the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) announced the launch of the Global Expert Panel on tourism and travel for Africa, led by its member agency, the Newmark Group, a strategic communications and advisory firm headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.

This innovative initiative unites leading global experts and practitioners in marketing and communications to provide destination management and tourism organizations with comprehensive local insights and data from source nations. It emphasises how crucial it is to comprehend cultural quirks in order to dramatically improve market presence and rewrite the history of African tourism globally.

Tourism and Travel in Africa has experienced impressive growth since the start of the millennium, as highlighted by a World Travel & Tourism Council report. In 2022, the sector contributed nearly six percent to Africa’s GDP, playing a vital role in economic stability and supporting 22 million jobs across the continent.

Amid this backdrop, the establishment of PRGN’s Global Expert Panel in tandem with The Newmark Group is essential for leveraging Africa’s tourism potential for sustainable development and inclusive growth. By addressing key challenges and tapping into the expertise of global communication and marketing professionals, the panel aims to push Africa’s tourism industry to new heights and boost its visibility as a top travel destination.

The PRGN president, Natacha Clarac, at the formation of the Global Expert Panel for tourism, said, “To elevate Africa’s tourism sector, destination marketers must harness global capabilities and adopt a holistic approach to branding and marketing. PRGN provides unparalleled global resources and local expertise, delivering a unique insight to meet new needs and thus capture market shares.”

The CEO of the Newmark Group and co-chair of PRGN’s Global Expert Panel, Gilbert Manirakiza averred that, “Data and analyses that our team has carried out indicate that many African destinations significantly suffer from negative perceptions among target audiences abroad, mainly due to historically negative headlines in global media. We must equip destination marketers with the insights, tools, content, and campaigns that not only capture the attention of potential travellers but also credibly tell the vibrant and diverse stories of our attractions.”

Founder and managing director of Scandinavian Communications in Denmark, co-chair of the Global Expert Panel and PRGN’s vice president for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region, Christina Rytter, posited that Africa’s tourism and travel sector is lively, but consumer trends, media consumption behaviour and travellers’ demographics are constantly shifting in source markets.

“This is the reason why we set out to bring together top experts who can design and help implement strategies that will position Africa’s destinations as preferred, relatable, and trusted attractions. This will help promote sustainable growth and enhance the cultural and economic fabric of local communities,” Rytter added.

The Global Expert Panel for Tourism and Travel in Africa is committed to a long-term partnership aimed at driving positive change and improving this sector. The members of the Global Expert Panel include:
Founder, Scandinavian Communications (Copenhagen, Denmark, Christina Rytter; CEO, The Newmark Group, Nairobi, Kenya, Gilbert Manirakiza; CEO, Southard Communications, New York, USA, Bill Southard; managing director, China Advocate, Beijing, China, Shawn Jiang Xiaofeng; CEO, Alkemi Collective, Cape Town, South Africa, Bradly Howland.

Others are founder and chairman, Spider, London, United Kingdom, Sara Pearson; managing partner at Industrie-Contact AG, Hamburg, Germany, Uwe Schmidt; vice president, We Change, Paris, France, Stephane Billiet; founder, RumboCierto Comunicaciones, Santiago, Chile, Valentina Giacaman Hazboun; founder & partner, Identia PR, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dominique Biquard; CEO & founder, Eje Comunicación, Mexico City, Mexico, Loreley Maldonado; partner, Currie, Melbourne, Australia Susan McNair and Newmark country lead, Nigeria, Lovelyn Okafor.

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