By Vanessa Gonye

THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority is participating at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London, the United Kingdom, which this year is focusing on digital marketing.

Across the three days of WTM, social media gurus, bloggers, digital influencers, content creators, marketers and entrepreneurs would hold 17 workshops while speakers will share their expertise to help delegates energise their posts, overhaul their hashtags and create compelling content.

In a statement, ZTA spokesperson Godfrey Koti said the destination must proactively create content, own and tell its own stories in order to control the narrative.

“There are more than 500 million tweets posted each day and Facebook has a gigantic 2,4 billion regular users, the statistics surrounding social media are just incredible for us travel marketers,” Koti said.

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“There are more than one billion Instagram users, and millions using YouTube, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn and new channels such as TikTok. The reach of these sites prove that this is unquestionably the direction in which travel marketing is heading.”

Added Koti: “We have attended very educative sessions on the power of social media and its capabilities in marketing a destination. We need to be in a position to collectively create good compelling content in order to manage our general perception as a destination. It is important to own our narrative and this can be effectively done by telling our story on our own.

“We are here to study lessons learnt over the years and look into a crystal ball to predict future trends on how to use social media to effectively market destination Zimbabwe. We are optimistic that we will also be in a position to roll out massive digital media campaigns with high-level partners out here in Europe.”

WTM London’s senior director Simon Press said: “We here at WTM London, are incredibly proud to be leading the way when it comes to embracing the role that content creators have in the development of the travel industry.

“Indeed, this is one of the reasons why we launched Borderless Live in September of this year. This unique new event allowed content creators to meet the brands and destinations, exchange ideas and form the business partnerships that will shape the travel industry into the future.”

The tourism extravaganza, which started yesterday, ends tomorrow.