The third East African e-Tourism Conference, sponsored by the InterContinental Hotel Nairobi, The Kenya Commercial Bank, VISA and the Kenya Tourist Board has gone underway today in Kenyas capital Nairobi, with over 200 attendees filling the conference room to the brim. Keynote speaker on opening was IHGs Karl Hala, Director of Operations for Africa, as the Minister for Tourism in view of the recent cabinet changes was unable to attend what would have been Danson Mwazos first opportunity to meet the who is who in the tourism industry and make an introductory impact on them. Others speaking during the opening session were KTBs CEO Muriithi, Damian Cook of e-Tourism Frontiers, then followed by Richard Trillo of Rough Guides whose publications have become a must read handbook for visitors to Kenya.
Other key presentations during the morning sesson were made by Victoria Delaney of TripAdvisor, Sally Broom of tripbod and Louise Dreisig of Expedia, bringing key international e-commerce leaders into the room and sharing their expertise and insights of how best to tap into the fast growing social media segment of marketing services and products and catapult the tourism industry in East Africa truly into the 21st century.
2 tightly packed days, inclusive of networking sessions over tea breaks and lunches, are now unfolding and an attentive audience is already glued to the multimedia presentations with questions and answer sessions showing just how keen the interest is amongst leading Kenyan stakeholders to adopt and embrace the new technologies and make an impact via the social networks.
The afternoon session was started with a 90 minute presentation and Q&A session by Justin Reid of betapond. Justin, the former head of digital services at Visit Britain was sharing his own work experience at one of the most visible tourism promotion bodies in the world while then giving hand on advice on how to create, build and manage a Facebook campaign for tourism businesses.
After the coffee break came two more captivating presentations from Rob McLean of SATPACK and by Michelle Vickers of RAS MBISI, a unique bare foot lodge on Mafia Island, located in the Indian Ocean off the Tanzanian mainland. Michelle has embraced e-marketing via social media her main focus of promoting travel to Mafia island and by the look of it that strategy worked for her as Ras Mbisi has topped the TripAdvisor rankings persistently, earning her global recognition and attention.
A number of Kenyan and international speakers will make the programme for Friday when in particular case studies in a hands on fashion will be presented and discussed with participants to give them the understanding and skills to refocus their own companies marketing and presence on the social media.
Visit www.e-tourismfrontiers.com for more details or follow Damien on Twitter via @daminacook or on Facebook via www.facebook.com/etourismfrontiers