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Travel and lifestyle industry role in tourism development highlighted

Oct 23, 2014, 10:37 AM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

Daphne Groeneveld, a social media consultant responsible for the roll out and management of Dutch Gambia Facebook and contact with the travel bloggers, has said the travel and lifestyle industry play an important role in tourism development.

Ms Groeneveld was speaking recently at a two-day in-country tourism forum held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.

She said they are Boutiquepr agency established in 2000 and working exclusively for the travel and lifestyle industry, adding that Baltus Communication is a full-service public relations company working exclusively for the travel and tourism industries.

“We are located in Den Haag, the governmental capital of Holland, 50 km south of Amsterdam in the Netherlands,” she said.

They offer a wide range of services to their clients, whether it’s public relations, consumer promotions, marketing activities, branded content, representation or events, she added.

With 15 years experience in travel, public relations and communications, they are well-positioned to promote and market holiday destinations and products.

According to her, Baltus Communications is a member of Travel Lifestyle Network, an international network of independent PR agencies specializing in travel and tourism.

“We investigated the Dutch travellers to The Gambia and learned that each year about 20,000 Dutch travel to The Gambia with the main reason being winter sun,” she stated.

In general, older travellers above 40 or older visit; not many young couples come to The Gambia, she added.

Sunshine, beach life and relaxed atmosphere for a good price level are the main interest for the success for their holiday, she noted.There are exceptionally high number of repeaters, many involved in voluntary work, community work, and they did not come across any other destination where there is so much commitment for supporting local people.

The Gambia participated at the Dutch ‘Vakantiebeurs’ Dutch WTM / ITB in January 2014, she said.

During one week, Dutch holidaymakers visited the fair to get inspiration and information for their upcoming holiday, she said, adding that this year the fair was visited by 117,000 people.

To create an extra buzz and lively stand, they arranged an African hairdresser to make braids and they communicated this via social media and the recently created Facebook for Gambia.

The Gambia Tourism Board was partner at The Hague African Festival 31 May and 1 June 2014.

The African Festival is a yearly event in the centre of The Hague with the aim to create more interest in African culture, music, dance and food. It is visited by around 10,000 people with interest in Africa.