Nairobi. With faster online speeds, the dominance of e-commerce and the rise of social media networking- the tourism business has been revolutionized. Add to this the global interest in Africa generated from the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, and it is critical that tourism companies in East Africa take advantage of online marketing opportunities.
E Tourism Frontiers will be holding a two-day conference, with a Travel Technology Exhibition in Nairobi on the 2nd and 3rd of September this year. The E Tourism East Africa Conference will help the sector understand and leverage the online opportunities and the new technologies available in the region.
Mr. Damian Cook, the CEO of E Tourism Frontiers explains, “Online sales have been have experienced major growth in the past year. Travel is now the number one selling commodity online and is generating over US $110 billion annually in sales. We must get more African tourism products available to the online travel shopper, especially following the massive interest in Africa after the World Cup”, said Cook.
Following the success of conferences held last year in South Africa and East Africa, the E Tourism East Africa Conference, which is being sponsored by Safaricom, KCB and Crowne Plaza Hotel Nairobi, will include presentations from some of the world’s leading experts on online tourism, including Trip Advisor, Expedia, WAYN.com and Google. Sessions will include website development, e-commerce, online reservations and booking, e-marketing, multimedia, Web 2.0 marketing, user generated content, social networks and mobile marketing.
The E Tourism Frontiers CEO said many companies attending the previous events had already experienced major results and a revolutionized approach to marketing.
“We have seen many companies switch to online marketing and invest heavily in their digital presence after attending our events. We have received great feedback especially from SMEs who have made the move online and then recorded a dramatic boost to their business. Uganda Wildlife Authority placed their Mountain Gorillas on Facebook last year, through the Friend a Gorilla programme. We also saw Expedia expand into East Africa as a result of our first conference in Nairobi in 2008”, said Damian Cook.
The E Tourism East Africa Conference will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Upper Hill, Nairobi on the 2nd and 3rd September 2010.
Registration for the E Tourism East Africa Conference is open now
Register at www.e-tourismfrontiers.com
Online Travel Information
With recent polls from eyefortravel, a leading research company on internet focused travel, suggesting that 7 out of 10 travellers use the internet as their primary source of travel information – and with almost half of the planet’s travel being distributed and booked online – it is crucial that the tourism sector across Africa invests in online marketing and management.
There are an estimated 1,2 billion internet users globally. There has been substantial growth in all world regions, particularly in Asia and the Pacific, which, over seven years, has moved from third position (with about 100 million users), to top position with over 400 million. Current forecasts suggest 1,5 billion people with Internet access in 2011.
In general, travellers are increasingly computer literate and tech aware, with two thirds of the over 100 million travelers who are online using the Internet to make travel plans.. Among online frequent travellers, over 70 percent use the Internet for travel planning. A recent poll of young UK travellers showed an 89% preference for online booking.
New media on the web has major ramifications for travel. This is reflective of the new Web 2.0 environment, fuelled by content and driven by Social Networking. About 44% of US consumers used social networking at least once a month in 2008. Some 70% of Internet content is forecast to be created by individuals as opposed to publishers and brands within three years.
The nearly tenfold increase in social network advertising spending in the US reflects optimism in the ability of companies like YouTube, MySpace and Facebook. By 2011, research estimates there will be 95 million Web users creating content online, up from 64 million in 2006. (ETC New Media Review, Emarketer, Eye for Travel) www.eyefortravel.com