Welcome to the first post in the new official blog from E-tourism Africa. We are a major continental initiative to develop online tourism across Africa.
Great- but what does that mean and why is it so important? Why does Africa need help developing online tourism. The answer is simple enough- because without it the continent will be unable to sustain it’s tourist industry and all the businesses, jobs, communities and natural and cultural resources that depend on it.
We all know how much the Internet has impacted on the way people live, work and do business around the world. But one of the greatest impacts has been on the tourism sector- Travel is now the number one selling commodity online- with ease of e-commerce and the ability of the internet to offer unlimited choices and options making the web and travel natural partners. So the internet is now the first port of call of over 70% of people considering where to travel and almost half of all travel in the world is now sold online- and these figures that are growing fast.
Meanwhile in Africa however, an estimated less than 2% of travel is sold and distributed online- a staggering difference from the global situation. Finding African websites offering direct online sales is almost impossible- and there is almost no African inventory on the websites of the world’s major Online Travel Agencies.
Why? Because many African countries have suffered from lack of access and awareness to technology- and in most of them there is no structure for legal e-commerce. Added to this is general lack of awareness of how the internet can be used to market and manage tourism resources effectively. As a result – both public and private sector remain firmly rooted in traditional means of marketing and selling their products- brochures, trade exhibitions and contracts with tour operators- that are fast disappearing elsewhere.
What we see here is a prime example of what a leading Clinton advisor dubbed the “Digital Divide”- where technology should have helped the developing world it has in fact harmed it- as nations without access to technology and connectivity are left further and further behind in the global marketplace.
This is where we come in- we have worked with African destinations for many years- and developed E-Tourism Africa as a solution to reverse this problem and ensure sustainability of the trade for the future.
- We undertake professional training for both public and private sector groups- introducing them to the world of online distribution, sales and marketing.
- We hold business driven conferences to introduce African product owners and managers to the global online travel trade
- We lobby both public an private sector to change outdated laws and increase access to legal and viable e-commerce
Our events are accessible, affordable and fun- we demonstrate the boundless possibilities technology can offer to the African trade. This includes online bookings and reservations, destination management, travel distribution, database marketing, social media, video and multimedia and much much more.
We have held successful conferences in Southern and East Africa, discussed Africa at the London Travel Distribution Summit and the ENTER conference in Amsterdam, staged a day of E-business workshops at the 2009 Indaba Travel fair with South African Tourism– and recently wrapped up a major roadshow of seminars in East Africa- visiting Kampala, Kigali, Nairobi, Arusha, Zanzibar and Mombasa.
We have partnered with major companies including Microsoft, VISA International, Coca Cola, Safaricom, FNB, Quirk eMarketing, Nightsbridge, Expedia, New Mind, TEAM Tourism and many many more.
Our events are always well attended, entertaining and enriching. We will be holding a Pan-African Summit and South African roadshow in October 2009- and are planning events in West and North Africa.
If you’d like to attend, participate or help with one of our events- please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org