PRESS RELEASE: GEMS OF AFRICA
The Chief Executive Officer for Gems of Saint Lucia, Wilson Jn. Baptiste and the Director of Operations Magdalene Cooman, attended the 40th Annual World Congress of the Africa Travel Association. The theme of the conference, "Africa Rising: Enhancing New Tourism Opportunities' was very well structured to present new perspectives on the tourism industry in East Africa. The Congress was opened by Deputy President William Ruto who inspired confidence in the hundreds of tourism experts on the great possibilities which are ahead for Kenya. With a growth rate of 6%, a young adult population and rich cultural and heritage assets, East Africa is likely to increase its tourism dollars over the next few years.
The Gems of Saint Lucia Executives presented a paper, titled: ‘Marketing Cultural Heritage Sites and Authentic Travel Experiences’ at the Marketing Session, on Monday, November 9, 2015, at 02:20 p.m. The audience was very receptive as they presented: (a). an overview of the SWOTs analysis to the emergence of cultural and heritage tourism as a fashionable tourism activity (b).the importance of value-based partnerships when selecting /working with stakeholders (c). the value of a different marking perspective to the marketing of cultural and heritage assets (d). the value of formalized marketing plans with clearly stated goals and objectives for cultural and heritage attractions, and (e). the Gems brand to developing and marketing cultural and heritage sites.
Several offsite visits were integrated into the conference such as the visits to the Nairobi National Park, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the Karen Bixen Museum and Giraffe Centre, Lake Nakuru National Park, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Safaripark Hotel and the BOMAS of Kenya. Those offsite visits provided a great opportunity for conference participants to experience the beautiful tourism products and cultural heritage of Kenya.
This conference provided great exposure for Saint Lucia as a destination to over five hundred experts and participants in the tourism industry. The model of Gems of Saint Lucia, which uses nationals and friends of nationals in the diaspora to market Saint Lucia spiked a huge interest in the Kenyan tourism industry and it has given birth to Gems of Africa. Gems of Africa is the latest collaborative initiative between Wilson Jn. Baptiste and Jane Adams, Managing Director for Nature Expedition in Kenya. Other tourism officials and industry experts met with Wilson Jn, Baptiste to find ways for collaboration and partnership for Gems of Africa. The thrust of the marketing strategy is to work with indigenous products on Kenya and other East African countries and to market cultural and heritage sites through nationals in the dispora. Although the business is still at its initial stages, there is already an uptake by key stakeholders and entrepreneurs who have a matching desire to see an increase in tourist arrivals in Kenya.
The Gems executive visited several cultural and heritage sites which fits into the Gems model of working with indigenous people and products. Finally, they were delighted to experience the richness of Kenya's authentic culture - dance, music, food and most importantly, the delight of Kenyan hospitality.
Our hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Adam, Nature Expeditions
Meeting with Honourable Dr. Maria Mutagamba, MP. Minister of Tourism, WIldlife and Antiquities
The hospitality of Kenyans and the service from hospitality staff in Kenya is delightful!
Gregg Truman, VP Corporate Slaes, Air Promotion Group - USA
A long standing relationship with Mr. Edward Bergam, Executive Director, Africa Tourism Association. Mr. Bergam was one of Wilson's professors at NYU.
The Hon. Minister Phyllis Kandi, Cabinet Secretary, East Africa Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, Republic of Kenya
Amazing culutral show at Safari park Hotel
Meeting with John Chirchir, Regional Marketing Manager, Kenya Tourism Board
Kenyatta International Conference Centre
The Great Rift Valley
The wildlife of Kenya
Waching hippos in the lake