Destinations Show delivered for our partners
Zambia reported a sharp increase in the number of UK travellers keen to visit this most authentic of safari destinations.
This follows their prominent participation in Destinations – which was held at Olympia in London. Early figures provided by the event organisers, suggest that over 40,000 would-be travellers visited the show, and whilst a worrying number expressed concern regarding the inaccurate reporting of waterlevels over the iconic Victoria Falls, it was the general interest level in visiting this most authentic of African wildlife destinations that excited Zambia Tourism the most.
It’s clear that recent media reporting has provided a totally misleading image of the Falls, which hold UNESCO World Heritage Site status, but after reassuring them with the reality of the situation, travellers were hugely enthusiastic about taking in this and other Zambian tourism delights.
Rich Whiston, Head of Consumer Marketing explained, “Three years ago, people were asking us why they should visit Zambia at all. Now they are asking ask us when it is best to visit Kafue or The Lower Zambezi”. After the team handed out a hefty 650 Zambia mini-guides, Donald Pelekamoyo from the High Commission in London added “We were able to pass countless bookings to the specialist tour operators at the show”.
Destinations emphasised the need for Zambia to raise its profile in the eyes of UK travellers. “When reminded of it’s delights, UK travellers are really keen to visit Zambia, but other African countries that invest more into consumer marketing are grabbing the visitor numbers”, added Pelekamoyo.
Largely attributable to the positive conservation success and re-stocking of the country's major national parks, Malawi has earned a significantly enhanced reputation amongst tourists. The resultant headlines and media coverage have helped to cause a shift in perception for Malawi. This has moved away from being solely about the Lake and the nation's famously friendly people, with recognition for Malawi as a serious wildlife viewing destination too. Tourism Director, Kelly White went on to highlight that, "Its taken a while to fully get there, but now Malawi is well and truly on the 'top African destinations' list for wildlife reasons too".
With a fiercely competitive Indian Ocean market at present, Mauritius Tourism was expected to be challenged by questions relating to differentiation between the islands. But instead, Mauritius is defining its own audience, who seem to be more aware of the wealth of activities on offer beyond the island's shoreline. Country Manager, Izzie Ludbrook expanded by saying "So many people asked us to explain what else they could do other that just the beach...as they had heard there was plenty".
Expectations were high for Uganda at Destinations, as the country was making a 4th visit and interest levels had increased as each year has gone by. 2020 did not disappoint and stock of literature were running short as early as late afternoon on day 2 of 4. Thankfully, 'reinforcements' arrived in time, but with over 700 brochures handed out to interested travellers, the growing popularity of Uganda is clear to see. Country Manager, Nadia Alam explained, "The UK trade has helped us to raise the profile of Uganda so well in the last few years. This has definitely encouraged us to commit to a major consumer advertising push in the Spring".
Our own much-loved Lion superstar made a surprise appearance at Destinations this year. The cuddly African 'mascot' appeared in literally hundreds of selfies and other photographs as he entertained visitors to the show. Kamaleo doesn’t take life too seriously and whilst some may think it's a bit of a dated way of promoting destinations, at Kamageo, we love seeing the smiles that he creates. Watch out for Kamaleo at an event near you soon!