The first Communications, Media and Tourism Training Workshop in Africa (Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, 13-15 November) recognized the heightened relevance of tourism and the current opportunity to gain greater visibility outside of the sector itself. Based on this premise, the three-day event focused on the opportunities for placing tourism in the mainstream conversation as well as the ongoing challenges facing communities, destinations and Africa as a region.
“Leaning by doing”
Reflecting UNWTO’s collaborative approach to communications, the workshop prioritised active learning among both participants and trainers. To gain a better understanding of why tourism matters and of how this needs to be communicated, the first day began with visits to three case studies in and around Victoria Falls:
Tourism for Wildlife Conservation: A visit to the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust provided an opportunity to see community-led conservation in action, offering a better understanding of where tourism is supporting wildlife protection and where it can do more.
Tourism for Development: Face-to-face meetings with the leaders and members of Umuzi Village made clear the challenges small destinations face in gaining access to the benefits tourism can offer, particularly with regards to outreach, communications and promotion.
Tourism for Nature: The rainforest inside Victoria Falls National Park served as an example of tourism’s ability to support the preservation of ecosystems, though again making clear how the sector’s full potential is not always realized.
The field trips provided the basis for the interactive learning sessions and workshops of the following two days. The 50 participants, drawn from 20 countries and from communications, destination management and tourism governance, were tasked with addressing three of the key challenges facing tourism communicators today: pitching to the media, building and curating media relations, and focusing the narrative on tourism for development.
The workshop was informed by presentations from experts from UNWTO as well as from across the media spectrum (Meta, Channels TV, TraveMedia Ireland) and from top content creators. The interactive presentations again focused on the most relevant issues, including ways to place tourism in the mainstream media, harnessing the power of social media for tourism for development, working with the media, and effective communications to showcase tourism’s importance for culture, heritage and communities.
Solutions and debates
With the focus of the Field Trips as the foundations, participants were tasked with presenting their solutions to the three main challenges outlined. With the focus again on interactive learning, the different backgrounds and viewpoints informed discussions around how best to pitch tourism to the wider media, how to work with media in an ever-changing landscape, and how to move beyond tourism as just a leisure activity. The discussions both highlighted the shared goals of diverse destinations while also making clear the gaps in knowledge that still need to be filled, with UNWTO standing ready to deliver further media training.
Alongside exploring the solutions to growing tourism as a media topic, the workshop also focused on crisis communications, again utilizing the diverse expertise of participants and the examples of the field trips to identify ways to be more proactive and build readiness.
Image Credit: © UNWTO
The most interesting news
Six Senses Debut Resort in the Caribbean: Six Senses La Sagesse, Opening May 2024
Enjoying a pride-of-place setting between the ocean and a protected cove on the southern part of Grenada, Six Senses La Sagesse invites guests to put their feet up and worries down and embark on a journey of discovery, rejuvenation, and celebration.
Cunard to Celebrate Queen Anne with British Isles Festival Voyage
Cunard has announced the first event voyage on Queen Anne with a special British Isles Festival to coincide with her maiden voyage around the British Isles.
David Schelp returns to TUI Group
After 34 years with TUI, Executive Board Member David Burling hands over the responsibility for Markets and Airlines at the turn of the year.
China Resets Tourism Button with New ‘Nihao China’ Branding
The China National Tourist Office in Los Angeles (CNTO) caps its multicity campaign to promote the organization's recent global "Nihao China" rebranding by hosting an all-member luncheon at the 2023 United States Tour Operators Association Annual Con
Lufthansa Group joins Airbus’ carbon-removal initiative
Innovative process that removes CO2 from the air and stores it permanently as a complementary instrument in the Lufthansa Group sustainability strategy.
Viking Announces 10 Additional River Ships In Europe
Construction Has Started on New Viking Longships to be Delivered in 2025 and 2026.
Turkish Airlines And Riyadh Air Sign Strategic Cooperation MoU
Turkish Airlines (TK) and Riyadh Air (RX) have agreed a Strategic Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding to offer a comprehensive range of benefits for guests traveling between the Kingdom, Türkiye and points beyond their Riyadh and Istanbul hubs,
Tourism at COP28 – Delivering on the Climate Action Commitments of the Glasgow Declaration
UNWTO has brought together sector leaders at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) to showcase the progress made in implementing the Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action on Tourism.
easyJet collaborates with RTX to enhance operations
Collins Aerospace, an RTX (NYSE: RTX) business, is working with easyJet to activate GlobalConnectSM connected aircraft services on more than 330 Airbus aircraft in its fleet.
UNWTO Leads Expert Seminar on International Tourism Law
UNWTO has laid the strong foundations needed for countries everywhere to provide greater legal certainty to all operators in the tourism sector.
Qatar Airways Introduces New Organic Food Choices for Passengers
The award winning airline partners with local farms and Evergreens Organics to curate EXPO 2023 Doha a la carte menu special.
UNWTO Holds Executive Training Programme for Asia and the Pacific
UNWTO welcomed high-level officials from the Tourism Administrations of 19 countries as it put the focus on navigating human resource development challenges in tourism in a post-pandemic world.
Prague to Host Prestigious World Chemical Congress
In 2029, it will be exactly 70 years since the first Nobel Prize was awarded to what was then Czechoslovakia. Professor Jaroslav Heyrovský received the award in 1959 for his discovery of polarography, a chemical method used to analyse solutions.
UNWTO Launches Tourism Investment Guidelines for Chile
The tourism sector in Chile experienced a 52.9% growth in income 2022, new UNWTO research into the country’s status as a top destination for investors reveals.
EDITION’S First Caribbean Property: 620-acre Nature Reserve in Mexico’s Riviera Maya
Nestled within the new luxury resort community of Kanai and its natural mangroves, lagoons and beaches, EDITION’s newest gem marries its signature brand of hospitality with the Yucatan Peninsula’s modern and ancient cultures.
Hotel Toranomon Hills Debuts as Tokyo's First Hotel Within The Unbound Collection by Hyatt Portfolio
Situated at the heart of the dynamic Toranomon Hills global business hub, the hotel serves as an urban launchpad offering bleisure travelers comfort, convenience and cosmopolitan cuisine.
Lufthansa Group and Lilium sign Memorandum of Understanding for strategic partnership
Planned cooperation to jointly shape the future of Advanced Air Mobility in Europe.
Sweet Four Major Lighting Areas: A Comprehensive Guide to Christmasland in New Taipei City
This year's "2023 Christmasland in New Taipei City" brings to life a joyful world with Santa Bear and his friends Robbie, Gingerbread Man, Snowman, Chocobi, and Macaron across four major lighting areas: New Taipei City Plaza, Banqiao Station Square,
Radisson Hotel Group and hivr.ai complete industry’s first successful direct connection for meetings
Radisson Hotel Group is the first international hotel group to fully implement hivr.ai’s ground-breaking technology.
Accor opens the second by Mercure hotel in Tbilisi expanding its portfolio in Georgia
Tbilisi Saburtalo Hotel by Mercure offers a high level of service and a comfortable stay in the vibrant Saburtalo district.
Grand Hyatt Kuwait Residences Officially Opens its Doors
The iconic Grand Hyatt brand expands presence into the luxury residential space in Kuwait.