Kamageo destinations sparkle despite lacklustre WTM

Whilst WTM London attracted a disappointingly low number of UK tour operators, Kamageo’s destinations proved the stars of the African and Indian Ocean sections.

Mauritius appeared to be by far the busiest Indian Ocean stand, which suggests the island’s supposed loss of fashionability has been entirely reversed. Operators highlighted that 2019 had proved a tough year for Mauritius but that 2020 bookings were looking hugely encouraging. Kamageo’s Partnerships Manager, Ella Blighty added “Our programme of joint marketing will kick in at exactly the right time to further boost sales”.

On the African mainland, Uganda, which now enjoys close to 100% coverage within UK africa specialists, saw WTM showcase their plans for more wildlife translocations, newly opened and planned properties and new activities. These combined to emphasise the positivity within the destination. Kamageo’s Head of Consumer, Rich Whiston emphasised “Our upcoming high-profile consumer marketing campaigns are bound to drive sales”.

For Sierra Leone, Senegal and The Gambia - who all took substantial space at the show - attracted high volumes of interested buyers, albeit that the majority were from mainland Europe and not the UK. Thankfully away from WTM, Kamageo has been able to generate significant interest from UK media and trade. PR Manager, Charlotte Cobley added that “West Africa is proving increasingly attractive, as it offers diverse experiences and attractions as the trade, media and public seek new and different destinations”.

Malawi and Eswatini reported encouraging trade interest. Malawi in particular witnessed how the increased level of wildlife within its enhanced national parks has seen a repositioning of the country. Tourism Director, Kelly White summed it up, “Previously seen as a lake focused add-on to Zambia, Malawi is increasingly being sold as a stand-alone destination, thanks to the work of African Parks and others”.

It is clear that participation in WTM London will again be on the agenda. Amongst Kamageo’s current portfolio, Zambia made a late decision not to exhibit. Kamageo’s Head of Trade, Nadia Alam state’s “Opportunities such as Experience Africa (by Atta) and Safari Roadshows (run by Kamageo) will become ever more important, but we are exploring numerous alternatives”.