from NDABENI MLOTSHWA in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS, (CAJ News) – THE just-concluded, first Communications, Media and Tourism Training Workshop in Africa recognised the heightened relevance of tourism and the current opportunity to gain greater visibility outside of the sector.
Based on this premise, the three-day event in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, focused on the opportunities for placing tourism in the mainstream conversation as well as the ongoing challenges facing communities, destinations and Africa as a region.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) brought together top tourism and travel practitioners of 20 countries from across Africa to explore ways to deliver more effective tourism communications and showcase the sector’s role as a pillar of development.
Reflecting UNWTO’s collaborative approach to communications, the workshop prioritised active learning among both participants and trainers.
The workshop featured some case studies in and around Victoria Falls, comprising Tourism for Wildlife Conservation, Tourism for Development and Tourism for Nature.
Tourism for Wildlife Conservation featured a visit to the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, which provided an opportunity to community-led conservation in action, offering a better understanding of where tourism is supporting wildlife protection and where it can do more.
Tourism for Development consisted of face-to-face meetings with the leaders and members of Umuzi Village, who made clear the challenges small destinations face in gaining access to the benefits tourism can offer, particularly with regards to outreach, communications and promotion.
For Tourism for Nature, the rainforests inside Victoria Falls Nations Park served as an example of tourism’s ability to support the preservation of ecosystems, though again making clear how the sector’s full potential is not always realised.
Alongside exploring the solutions to growing tourism as a media topic, the workshop also focused on crisis communication, again utilizing the diverse expertise of participants and the examples of the field trips to identify ways to be more proactive and build readiness.
– CAJ News