Travel and tourism development in several countries have continued to resonate with content creation. From the comfort of people’s homes, they get to ‘travel’ to other destinations just through people’s stories, videos and captivating content.
Recently, Nigeria hosted the first Travel Content Creators Conference and the organiser, the Taste of Africa Vibes painted a giant picture of the power of content and storytelling through the five personalities from Nigeria and around the world who give detail perspective of their experiences and how it has help to shape their travel business and the world around them.
Content creating is diverse and generic, depending on the subject matters and what you actually focus on or what your audiences want and how you intend to engage and carry them along through your structure and dedicated format of passing your messages across to them.
Mass communication has diverse channels, talking of the traditional media which has completely fused up with the speed of the new media (social media) things get pronounce and reach more heterogeneous audience globally with the same speed of feedbacks which gives credence to the effectiveness of two ways communication.
For content creation and creators, the new media space had made information dissemination not only cheap and fast, but given all and sundry a voice and dramatically made the platform a space that allows the good, the bad and the ugly to strive independently with minimal restriction all in the name of content creation.
However, the maiden edition of Travel Content Creators Conference organized by the Taste of Africa Vibes has brought a broad spectrum of understanding to content creators, especially the travel storytellers who create images that shape how people see things, which has made them people and destination perception changers.
Pelu Awofeso, a travel writer and journalist who shared his travel experiences at the conference spoke extensively on his journey within Nigeria and around Africa, and the many adorning beauty of African destinations.
Awofeso travel experiences speak volume on the importance of travelling. According to him many things I thought was bad or did not like was not because there was any reason but a mere perception but when I visited and tried other people’s food and also immersed myself in their culture, I now have a different perception.
“Travelling is educative, entertaining, unite and makes you to appreciate other people and destination better and that will also help you to tell the story better.”
Awofeso implore content creators to passionately use the social media platform to their advantage.
In his grand presentation, Ikechi Uko, the organizer of Akwaaba African Travel Market and Publisher of Africa Travel Quarterly Magazine, Ambassador took the audiences on an educative tour of outstanding storytelling as a tool in marketing African destinations
Uko spoke on the power of content creation and how it can make or mare a destination, people or products and services.
He concluded by highlighting the three dos/and don’ts to succeed as a storyteller. According to him; “Stop doing stupid things- spin the wheels. Start doing smart things- be intentional and Plan for the future- a lot will change.”
For Michael Runkel, the world’s 2nd most travelled person and Award-winning travel photographer captivated the participants with fascinating pictures; showcasing natural landscape, waterfall, people among other exclusive shot of the beauty of Africa and how he has travelled all the countries in Africa.
In her live presentation streamed from Belgium, Valerie Masumbuko, a Human rights activist, who see colonialism as one of the problems of tourism growth said the absence of a central language in Africa is a big challenge to travellers.
Masumbuko blamed colonisation for taking away Africa’s identity and pride in on local language. She encouraged every African to learn a second language as a way of bridging the communication gap that made inter-Africa travel more difficult.
“One of the strategies of resistance to oppression is to use what was given by the oppressor and take advantage of it. So it will be interesting to learn one or more African languages, which will help in promoting unity and progress in Africa.”
She advocated for a second language as a means of communication and appealed to the founder of taste of Africa to promote and encourage the use of another language like French so as to allow more countries to join the promotion bid of Africa to foster unity.
Clara Chinwe Okoro, chairman of the Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN), who spoke on Tourism and Tech: The Impact of Technology on The Growth of Tourism in Africa said there is need for content creators to be tech savvy because it is the trend.
She stressed on the need to leverage new media as a strategic way to network, connect and partner with others to boost tourism promotion.
In his welcome address at the first Africa Travel Content Creator Conference, Jibola Oluseye Abati, the convener and founder of Taste of Africa Vibes, described the event as a gathering of opportunities with the aim of connecting, collaborating, learning and celebrating Africa’s rich potentialities.
According to Abati “Nearly three years ago, I founded my group, ‘Taste of Africa Vibes’ because I wanted to change the negative narrative about Africa, to challenge stereotypes, and to showcase Africa’s natural beauty.
“We were only 20 members back then and I never thought that small beginning would grow into a vibrant community of over 50,000 members!
“I am humbled and grateful to stand before you today to share an incredible journey we have taken. Through our online platform, we have been countering the portrayals of Africa as a poor and dark continent, only full of conflict and despair. Those misconceptions have overshadowed the beauty of Africa for far too long.”