Gambian delegation takes destination marketing to another level in Italy
from 16th - 23rd February, 2011.
In line with the new marketing strategy, which seeks to increase awareness of destination Gambia through direct marketing, a high level delegation comprising senior officials of the tourism &travel trade, hoteliers as well as investment executives undertook a highly effective sales Blitz in Milan, Italy from the 17th - 23rd February, 2011.
The delegation was led by the Minister of Tourism & Culture Honorable Fatou Mas Jobe-Njie (supported by following top level officials - Mr Oreme E Joiner, Chair GTA Board, Mr Alieu Secka - Chair, GHA, Mr Charbel Hobeika - Chair, TTAG, Ms Fatou Mbenga Jallow - CEO of GIEPA, Ms Ida Jeng Njie - Director of Tourism International (GTA) Mr Lamin Saho - Director of Marketing, GTA , Mr Baboucarr Cham- Director of Commerce- GCAA, Mr Lamin Cham - Director of Commerce GIA, Mr Juergen Odenwald - Gen. Manager, Ocean Bay Hotel as well as Ms Oumie Sise - Assistant Manager - Discovery Tours ). The campaign which lasted for one week was designed to showcase Gambia in terms of tourism attractions, investment opportunities, culture and culinary delights. The other objective seeks to increase tourist traffic between destination Gambia and Italy and at the same time boost investment and air links between the two countries.
The sales blitz was a follow up to previous engagements in Italy, initiated by the Hon. Minister to drum up awareness and network with Italian Tour Operators and Investment executives. To take this engagement to another level, the delegation participated in the International Tourism Exchange (BIT MILAN) which was held from the 17th - 20th February, 2011. This trade fair serves as a magnet to attract participants from all over the world.
The Gambian stand was the scene of a very effective and interactive promotional campaign for four days, to give out promotional materials and conduct series of high level meetings. To further engage potential tourists on the unique selling points of the Smiling Coast in terms of tourist attractions and investment opportunities a Gambia Showcase and B2 B Meetings were arranged under the aegis of the Gambian Consul General in Milan to showcase the Smiling Coast as an ideal investment and tourist haven.
Given the fact the Milan Campaign coincided with the 46th Independence Anniversary Celebrations, a very interactive programme was organized under the aegis of the Consul General and in attendance were a cross section of the Gambian community in Italy. The Honorable Minister was the Chief Guest of Honor and she used the opportunity to deliver the President's Independence Anniverssary Message to the assembled dignitaries. The evening wrapped up with a cultural performance by a locally based Bouccarabou Group, to the delight of the guests.
To Crown the campaign, a fashion show was organized in the Museum of Natural Arts in the heart of Milan dedicated to showcasing the rich fashion and culinary delights of the Smiling Coast.
In attendance were high profile contacts in Milan, including senior officials of the Milan City council and business executives from the Lombardia region as well as a cross section of the Gambian community in Milan.
This Italian campaign, which has been dedicated to showcasing the unique selling point of destination Gambia in terms of tourist attractions, investment opportunities, culture and culinary delights was rated very successful, and as pointed out by the Honorable Minister ‘this people to people contact has cemented the already excellent Bilateral relations between the Gambia and Italy as well as boost tourist flow'. As such similar campaigns will be organized in other source markets and the overall objective is to reposition the smiling coast as the most sought after destination in Africa.