The International Trade Center (ITC) and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) conducted a two-day Digital Marketing Training Programme for tourism sector stakeholders in partnership with the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT).
The training programme, which was held at Royal Grand Hotel in Monrovia on 9th and 10th February, focused on digital marketing fundamentals, website best practices, search engine optimization, and social media marketing activities and was attended by government and private sector stakeholders, including business owners, managers, marketers, IT professionals and other tourism industry workers from Liberia’s attractions, hospitality, media, schools, travel and tour agencies, and transportation.
The Digital Marketing Training was the first training of its kind in Liberia within the ITC and UNWTO tourism development support for Liberia.
Speaking about the Programme, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said “digital marketing is one of the most powerful tools destinations have for promoting themselves to a diverse global audience. This Digital Marketing Training Course aims to help tourism leaders actively promote Liberia as a tourism destination. It builds on UNWTO’s leadership of global tourism and the talent of private and public sector tourism professionals in Liberia, focusing on the key elements of successful digital marketing campaigns, including SEO, engagement and storytelling.”
Recently, Liberia received a new logo, slogan and marketing strategy. The proposed slogan “amazing discoveries” once finalized will underpin the country’s tourism brand and drive the messaging for promotional and marketing materials for the country. The training workshop builds on this success to introduce new ideas and knowledge to improve digital marketing skills for tourism stakeholders.
Participants expressed joy over the opportunity. Juanita Yiah, Director of Tourism at MICAT, said “the workshop was important to acquaint the public and private sector tourism practitioners in Liberia with the salient features of digital marketing. It provided us useful insights as to how to develop our own content when it comes to digital marketing. We appreciate the ITC and UNWTO for their support and collaboration towards the development of the Liberia tourism sector. This initiative will go a long way. We cherish it and we are going to be agents of positive change. The theories learned will be practicalized and applied to our daily lives in terms of marketing the tourism industry of Liberia.”
Thomas Davies from the Tourism Association of Liberia asserted that “the training was very unique. We learned a lot and were exposed to a lot about digital marketing. This will take the tourism sector to another level.”
Judith Zoeta, CEO Global Express Voyage, said “I am very grateful to the organizers of the Digital Marketing training. It really gave us an overview of the digital market and how to be creative to boost and promote our market. We at Global Express Voyage we say thank you to the Ministry of Tourism and the organizers. We pray and wish that this won’t be the last, but there will be other occasions to enhance the Liberia market digitally.
Speaking about ITC’s support to seeing the Country’s tourism industry take flight, Aklile Habtemariam said “we are committed to ensuring that we continue to build capacity in the industry, and will continue to work with MICAT and the Liberia National Tourism Association to successfully support the development of the sector.”
About the Tourism Development Project
The Liberia Tourism Development project emanates from the National Export Strategy on Tourism 2016-2020 and responds to the implementation of the Strategy. It has an objective of developing the tourism sector offerings by: a) improving the policy environment and institutional capacity; b) developing new tourism destinations around surfing and other historical and natural attractions; and c) undertaking targeted promotion and advocacy campaigns to promote tourism to international, regional and domestic markets. Specifically, the project aims at: a) establishing a tourism information booth at the Monrovia Roberts International Airport, b) developing tourist reception facilities at the Robertsport beach-front, the Providence Island and the Marshall Island; and c) developing a tourism marketing strategy and a tourism brand identity for Liberia, focusing on Robertsport as a surf tourism destination.
The project is implemented by the International Trade Centre in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry; the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism; and the United Nations World Tourism Organization. It is funded by the Enhanced Integrated Framework Programme.