NEWS from JANUARY - JUNE 2017
Kamageo's partner travel journalists gained major recognition at this year's Atta Media Awards. With an unrivalled 8 nominations, journalists who were supported by Kamageo featured prominently at these inaugural awards - sponsored by Avis - which were announced Tuesday 27th June at a gala event in Central London.
Kamageo helped provide the inspiration as well as the coordination of travel arrangements for 8 of the 15 journalists who were shortlisted in the nine categories, which were designed to celebrate excellence in global media for creative and inspiring content, exclusive to Africa. Adele Cutler, Kamageo's PR Director stated that "We'd like to congratulate all the winners and nominees on their success, but especially Sue Watt, Emma Gregg, Sarah Gilbert, Mike Unwin, Malcolm Tattersall and Mark Eveleigh who all travelled with us. We've helped coordinate so many trips for top journalists in recent months, so it's really pleasing to see the well-written resultant editorial being recognised by the industry". Tim Henshall, Kamageo's MD added "I think this only adds to the view that we are the UK's No.1 PR Agency for Africa tourism. Well done to all winners and nominees".
Having successfully marketed the country since 2008, Kamageo has been tasked with continuing to increase European visitor numbers to their destination by the Swaziland Tourism Authority. With a mix of consumer and trade marketing activity, Kamageo has been able to achieve steady year-on-year increases in the number of operators offering Swaziland; the average length of stay; and visitor numbers, overall.
Kelly White, Kamageo's Tourism Director, who runs the account, explained "Swaziland is being increasingly recognised as a compact, varied and adventure-filled destination". Meanwhile, STA's Marketing Manager, Bongani Dlamini added that "We always get consistently great results from Kelly and his team. We had no hesitation in asking them to continue their good work".
Uganda commits to keeping the dream of encountering a mountain gorilla, a reality for most travellers. Following the news from neighbouring Rwanda that it is increasing its gorilla permits from $750 to a$1500, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) have today confirmed that their $600 permit fee will be maintained for a minimum of 12 months.
As Andrew Seguya, Executive Director of UWA stated, “Gorillas are one of the world’s most valuable natural resources and their conservation is at the forefront of all of UWA’s decisions. Allowing global travellers the opportunity to fulfill lifelong dreams to see these animals is key to their conservation”. Tim Henshall, who heads Uganda tourism in the UK, added that “We don’t want to become elitist and allow only a wealthy and highly select few the opportunity to relive that famous David Attenborough moment. Having international tourists staying at a variety of grade hotels and lodges means that locally-owned businesses will benefit”. Andrew Seguya believes that Ugandans understanding their own indigenous natural resources is key to protecting the gorillas and so they offer a highly discounted fee for Ugandan nationals, unlike Rwanda's new policy.
A major UK tourism initiative is being launched by the Zambia Marketing Group (ZMG) – a newly created entity whose membership includes many of the country’s leading tourism businesses. ZMG will run an extensive consumer PR campaign starting in summer 2017, to help educate and enthuse travellers regarding the country’s many attractions. More than 20 major players in Zambia’s tourism industry are involved - including Zambian Ground Handlers, Bushcamp Company, Sausage Tree, Chiawa, Kafunta, Wilderness Safaris, Waterberry, Remote Africa and Proflight. ZMG's creators - Kamageo - already run a similar programme in Malawi, as well as representing the tourism boards of both Uganda and Swaziland in the UK.
Kamageo’s MD, Tim Henshall explained “Zambia doesn’t grab enough of the headlines that its authentic safari credentials so richly deserve. We want to see more Zambia in the media”. Nick Aslin, MD of Zambian Ground Handlers added, “We want to increase visitors to our country, so we’ve set aside our individual interests for the benefit of Zambian tourism as a whole”. The country's official tourist organisation - the Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA), has welcomed the initiative and is currently considering ways in which it might support the project. Kamageo's campaign plans are currently being finalised and will be revealed later this month.
Kamageo moved fast to discover UK trade reaction to $1500 Rwanda permit. With two hours of Kamageo requesting feedback, over 30 leading UK tour operators had expressed their horror at the news - from a cost and timing point of view. See more>>>
Kamageo is delighted to announce that Kirstine Vercoe has been promoted to the newly created position of Marketing Director. Joining only 18 months ago as Account Director, Kirstine has consistently shown a vision for the future of the business and recognising the needs of the company's clients and their audiences. As a result, she will now head up the agency's entire trade marketing team. Tim Henshall, MD described the move as "a defining moment in our development, as this enhances our capabilities for continued expansion".
Web Travel Shop, a UK-based travel specialist has launched a 14-day "homecoming tour" for Ugandan Asians to revisit the country they were forced to flee in the late 1970's when former dictator, Idi Amin was in power.
In May, around 40 will travel together back to Uganda - many for the first time since then, joined by a handful of their UK-born off-spring who have never seen their parent's homeland. At an event in Leicester to celebrate the tour, Kamageo's Tim Henshall explained "This is a heart-warming story and I'm sure the trip will be fabulous but also something of an emotional rollercoaster. I'm sure they'll find a much improved and hugely welcoming Uganda
Kamageo has announced the date of the first Safari Media Show, in London on Tuesday 9th May. Leading journalists will have the opportunity to participate in a half-day event featuring a press briefing with extended Q&A sessions with our panel of tourism experts representing Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Swaziland as destinations, along with major operators in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and elsewhere. Individual meetings with these representatives are also available, to glean further information as well as arrange partly- or fully-funded press trips in return for contracted editorial coverage. For further details, contact Bex Knight, PR Assistant on 01664 823750 0r via firstname.lastname@example.org
The 4-day Zambia Roadshow, held in venues across the UK proved to be a huge success with exhibitors and buyers alike. Over 40 of the UK's leading Africa specialist tour operators met with more than 25 quality camps and lodges, along with the leading DMC and the country's outstanding domestic airline - ProFlight.
Donald Pelekamoyo, First Secretary at the Zambia High Commission in the UK stated "We succeeded in assembling the most impressive array of Zambian tourism products in one place in many, many years. We're delighted with the hugely positive response we have received from so many leading UK tour operators. Trade interest in Zambia has been hugely boosted as a result." For more information on the events see www.zambiatourism.co.uk
Magazine / Edition 31 of Safari Magazine - the UK's only publication dedicated to Africa-specialist tour operators - has been published this week. This latest 72-page edition even has a textured Lemur on the front cover and contains features on painted wolves; a new luxury lodge in Livingstone; a stunning photo & text blog on Uganda; our 2017 fam trip schedule; Atta member benefits explained; the new treetop walkway in Tanzania; elephant conservation; gorillas in Congo and the planned Bumi Hills makeover. The publication is available online or in print (to order your copy simply email email@example.com). See it online here
Uganda Tourism received a major boost in its effort to increase numbers from the UK, via ££1,125,000 worth of media exposure in the first few days of February. With an animatronic (and very lifelike) gorilla wandering around Trafalgar Square, making 4 live TV appearances and entertaining the crowds at Destinations Travel Show, Uganda lit up social media.
On screen, Uganda’s gorilla captivated audiences watching first SkyNews and Good Morning Britain. SkyNews online had over 140,000 views whilst half a dozen other Facebook and Twitter feeds registered over 400,000 views each. Uganda also benefitted from features either in print or online with Evening Standard, Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Times, i (Independent), Daily Express, MSN, AOL, BT and OK! Exhibitors at the show reported significant increases in Uganda, with Titan Travel reported their entire Uganda programme for 2018 was now sold out. Online videos featuring Bakwate (our animatronic gorilla) have been viewed more than 2 million times. Kamageo's MD, Tim Henshall added, “This is just the latest element in a campaign that’s really building in momentum. Almost every major travel-related publication has visited and written about Uganda in the last 9 months, so consumer interest is at an all time high”.
Uganda / Bex Knight has only worked on Uganda Tourism Board for a little over 4 months, but on Tuesday 17th January she not only led a team of journalists on their trek to see Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, but she was unbelievably fortunate enough to be there to see the birth of a baby Gorilla! Capturing the moment on camera, this and more from Bex's trip will feature in the upcoming edition of 'Safari Magazine'.
Zambia Tourism Agency has partnered with Kamageo to coordinate a trade roadshow across the UK in March 2017. Selected Zambian properties and other tourism related businesses will combine to host a series of trade events for key targeted buyers in various venues across the UK. Mwabashike Nkulukusa, ZTA's marketing director stated that "Kamageo illustrated a clear understanding and knowledge of the UK travel trade and media, as well as a real appreciation of the challenges and opportunities for Zambia tourism". Kamageo's MD, Tim Henshall added, "Zambia was where our business burst into life, so it's only fitting that we return the favour, as the UK trade's enthusiasm for Zambia needs re-igniting". Contact Tim Henshall (firstname.lastname@example.org) A new website - www.zambiatourism.co.uk has been created to provide information on the event.
Following a trip coordinated by Kamageo's PR team, Uganda has been declared Africa's top destination in the Rough Guide 'Top 10 Countries to visit in 2017'. Placed fourth in the world overall, Rough Guides predict Uganda will “vie with Kenya and Tanzania for international visitors, drawing more and more travellers with its astonishing wildlife.”