Takulandirani Malawi Tourism Expo 2019

Last Thursday I made a presentation at the Takulandirani 2019 Malawi Tourism International Tourism Expo on Property Access to Digital Platforms.

Following on the theme of the 2018 World Tourism Day (Tourism and the Digital Transformation) that highlights the need for investment in disruptive digital technologies that can help foster an environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in tourism, my presentation considered at a number of issues.

Firstly, digital advances are transforming how travellers inform themselves and how properties attract visitors, gather data and develop products. There has been a shift in power – travellers now have the power in their hands! Cheaper devices have made travel research easier, if not outright easy. Lite apps like Facebook Lite and YouTube Go means mobile data takes people researching destinations and properties a bit longer. It is, therefore, necessary to harness technology’s power for good.

Austin Madinga at Takulandirani 2019

I talked about the rise of User Generated Content and how tourism properties (and indeed other tourism players) can work with online influencers and travel bloggers. Such arrangements are not always straightforward but when done right can benefit both parties immensely.

Perhaps the most important thing I wanted to get across was the importance of owned platforms – specifically websites and email marketing platforms. It is not uncommon for local properties to ignore the importance of such platforms. Yet at the very least, a website should be considered the anchor for all online marketing efforts. Reliance on social media platforms alone is a risky strategy. Algorithms change and platforms get shut down. Facebook, Instagram and Google+ are all very good examples.

One great thing I get from events like these is the knowledge and unique experiences your audience share with you in the feedback session. Lovely interactions!

Summer Jams Gardens Cocktail

A man needs a strong drink after making a presentation. I was in luck! The mixologists at Summer Jam Gardens Cocktails put together a lovely blue drink for me. Bliss!

Some online coverage of the expo

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Erster Messetag #malawi #thewarmheartofafrica #takulandirani #takulandirani2019

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Cover image: @TourismMalawi