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    Wednesday, July 3, 2024

    Newmark Group, PRGN Establish Global Expert Panel to Expedite Growth in Africa’s Tourism, Travel Industries

    L-R: PRGN president, Natacha Clarac, and the CEO, Newmark Group and co-chair of PRGN’s Global Expert Panel, Gilbert Manirakiza.

    The tourism industry in Africa has been a significant contributor to the continent’s economic stability, accounting for approximately 6% of its GDP and supporting 22 million jobs across the region.

    The Global Expert Panel, comprised of prominent communications and marketing experts and leaders from around the world, has reaffirmed its dedication to propelling Africa’s tourism industry to unprecedented heights and enhancing its prominence as a premier travel destination.

    Recently, the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN)  announced the launch of the Global Expert Panel on tourism and travel for Africa. The panel is led by the Newmark Group, a strategic communications and advisory firm headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.

    This groundbreaking initiative brings together top global experts and practitioners in marketing and communications to offer destination management and tourism organizations with extensive local insights and data from source nations. It underscores the critical importance of understanding cultural nuances to significantly enhance market presence and reshape the narrative of African tourism on a global scale.

    The tourism and travel Industry in Africa has demonstrated remarkable growth since the beginning of the 21st century, as evidenced by a report from the World Travel & Tourism Council. In the year 2022, this sector contributed approximately 6% to Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), playing a pivotal role in ensuring economic stability and supporting employment opportunities for 22 million individuals across the continent.

    In light of the current circumstances, the formation of PRGN’s Global Expert Panel in collaboration with The Newmark Group is crucial for harnessing Africa’s tourism potential for sustainable development and inclusive growth. By addressing critical challenges and drawing upon the expertise of global communication and marketing professionals, the panel seeks to elevate Africa’s tourism industry to new heights and enhance its prominence as a premier travel destination.

    The President of the PRGN, Natacha Clarac, stated during the formation of the Global Expert Panel for tourism that, “To elevate Africa’s tourism sector, destination marketers must harness global capabilities and adopt a holistic approach to branding and marketing. PRGN provides unparalleled global resources and local expertise, delivering a unique insight to meet new needs and thus capture market shares.”

    Mr. Gilbert Manirakiza, the Chief Executive Officer of the Newmark Group and co-chair of PRGN’s Global Expert Panel, asserted that, “Data and analyses that our team has carried out indicate that many African destinations significantly suffer from negative perceptions among target audiences abroad, mainly due to historically negative headlines in global media. We must equip destination marketers with the insights, tools, content, and campaigns that not only capture the attention of potential travellers but also credibly tell the vibrant and diverse stories of our attractions.”

    As the Founder and Managing Director of Scandinavian Communications in Denmark, as well as the Co-Chair of the Global Expert Panel and Vice President for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) region at PRGN, Christina Rytter shared her insights, “Africa’s tourism and travel sector is lively, but consumer trends, media consumption behaviour and travellers’ demographics are constantly shifting in source markets”

    “This is the reason why we set out to bring together top experts who can design and help implement strategies that will position Africa’s destinations as preferred, relatable, and trusted attractions. This will help promote sustainable growth and enhance the cultural and economic fabric of local communities,” Rytter added.

    The Global Expert Panel for Tourism and Travel in Africa is dedicated to a long-term collaboration with the objective of fostering positive transformation and enhancing this industry. The esteemed members of the Global Expert Panel comprise:

    Founder, Scandinavian Communications (Copenhagen, Denmark, Christina Rytter; CEO, The Newmark Group, Nairobi, Kenya, Gilbert Manirakiza; CEO, Southard Communications, New York, USA, Bill Southard; managing director, China Advocate, Beijing, China, Shawn Jiang Xiaofeng; CEO, Alkemi Collective, Cape Town, South Africa, Bradly Howland.

    Others are founder and chairman, Spider, London, United Kingdom, Sara Pearson; managing partner at Industrie-Contact AG, Hamburg, Germany, Uwe Schmidt; vice president, We Change, Paris, France, Stephane Billiet; founder, RumboCierto Comunicaciones, Santiago, Chile, Valentina Giacaman Hazboun; founder & partner, Identia PR, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dominique Biquard; CEO & founder, Eje Comunicación, Mexico City, Mexico, Loreley Maldonado; partner, Currie, Melbourne, Australia Susan McNair and Newmark country lead, Nigeria, Lovelyn Okafor.

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