Africa Travel Week’s ‘Reigniting Africa’ award submissions are in, and our judges are going to be blown away by some of the incredible campaigns that have run during the COVID-19 pandemic to boost travel to – and confidence in – the African continent.
These creative, innovative campaigns bring Africa and the fantastic experiences on the continent to life – and have kept us connected, engaged and inspired. So, it’s time to recognise their efforts.
Here’s a sneak preview of who’s in the running to win 2021’s ‘Reigniting Africa’ award:
The Art of Penguin Conservation by Afrioceans / Shark Warrior Adventures
This one-person business was hit hard by the lack of travellers took the opportunity to create a Director of Shark Warrior, Jon Monsoon, took the opportunity to create a unique plan. A campaign was designed in collaboration with the Airbnb virtual experiences called ‘The Art of Penguin Conservation’. Dressed as a penguin with a side-kick puppet called Sushi, Jon provided helpful information about Cape Town and its penguins through regular online videos. The campaign offered engaging online activities and art classes suitable for all ages at home during the lockdown.
andBeyond Connect By andBeyond
Bringing life in the bush into the homes of locked down travellers, andBeyond connected the world with magnificent wildlife. The team launched the next-best thing to experiencing a safari in person and brought game drives directly into the living rooms of aspiring guests. Twice daily, the rangers and guides were live-streamed on safari while viewers could sit back and enjoy the wildlife encounters the team was experiencing on the ground.
Asante Travel Destination Training by Asante
Maintaining international excitement amongst travel partners during lockdown was vital for Asante’s business. With a clear campaign vision, Asante put together the ‘Asante Travel Destination Training’. They created a free, in-depth, online destination training programme covering various African destinations. With the assistance of suppliers, the campaign offered prizes to the agents completing the courses. Asante kept the continent top of mind and managed to ensure a return to Africa through the lovely prizes on offer.
Saype, Beyond Walls – Media Campaign by Baz-Art pbo
With a goal to create the longest ‘human chain’ through art, Baz-Art and Saype connected with valued partners and created the ‘Beyond Walls’ campaign. While the world battled through the pandemic, this campaign lifted spirits and brought focus to the positive image of Africa as a tourism destination by using eco-friendly paint to create land art made up of two arms signifying solidarity and peace. The campaign used Africa as a location to showcase our unique landscape and society and create an attraction with all the new covid regulations in mind. These gigantic hands, found across the country, serve as a pillar of Nelson Mandela’s ethos and intertwine irrespective of inequalities. The message was spread across local communities through media/newspapers, international media, embassies and social media.
Bulungula Lodge Covid-19 Emergency Response by Bulungula Lodge
Bulungula Lodge and Bulungula Incubator, a non-profit organisation, collaborated in a campaign that saw the entire lodge converted to a safe space for local community members. Recognising the local elderly population (exacerbated by inaccessibility to hospitals), the Bulungula team made a plan to ensure their locals were safe. With the help of staff, volunteers and the community, the lodge infrastructure was adapted and Bulungula Lodge maintained staff jobs and saved lives. The project was in a local digital newspaper and on YouTube to promote the efforts of all involved.
#NatureStaycation by Cape Nature
In search of a safe, sustainable and environmentally-friendly holiday during National Alert Level 3, local travellers sought the next escape after being cooped up for so long. Cape Nature launched the #NatureStaycation campaign that presented their reserves as open, safe destinations for those needing to get away.
#WeAreWorthWaitingFor! by Cape Town Tourism
Aiming to share a message of hope and positivity with the world, Cape Town Tourism put together the #WeAreWorthWaitingFor! campaign. The campaign aimed to drive demand and keep the city top of mind once travel was allowed after the lockdown was lifted and travel returned to the country again – acting as an economic lifeline to the businesses of the city. Using the strongest tool possible, whilst many were homebound, the campaign was launched online for local and international audiences.
The Mount High Nature Campaign by Eco Africa
After a tough National Alert Level 4 lockdown, driving sales was critically important. The team at Eco Africa put their heads together to develop a campaign that could drive mid-week sales and increase foot traffic. The Mount High Nature Campaign was launched and focussed on highlighting the wonders of the remote location with paid ads, email marketing, social media marketing and voucher campaigns offering discounted mid-week stays to drive business on slower days.
World Female Ranger Day by How Many Elephants
How Many Elephants launched ‘World Female Ranger Day’ to raise awareness about and celebrate the female rangers across who put their lives at risk daily for the sake and safety of our wildlife. This year the focus was placed on the wonderful women across Africa. The campaign connected rangers across the continent, sharing their stories on a mutual online platform. The platform encouraged the travel industry and conservation organisations to work together, build a better, globally responsible and sustainable industry, and raise funds that subsidised income loss of these female rangers during the pandemic.
Focus on Campaign by Inspirations Travel and Tours
Keeping up with protocols was a daunting task when things were constantly changing in the travel sector post-lockdown. Recognising this, Inspirations Travel and Tours put together the ‘Focus on’ campaign to instill ‘confidence’ in both local and international consumers that South Africa was ‘Travel Ready’. The campaign highlighted health and safety protocols and readiness of the transport and accommodation businesses to travellers, all via social media platforms & newsletters.
Educate, Engage and Encourage Travel by Marine Dynamics
Marine Dynamics sought to find a way to keep up their conservation fundraising efforts after regular funds were depleted due to the lack of travellers. Via social media, the business promoted its ongoing work and began to raise funds once again. Local schools and the domestic market began to visit after the initial lockdown, and Marine Dynamics created a Travel Ready video to encourage visitors to enjoy this outdoor adventure.
Tourism Reboot Campaign by Paarl Wellington Wine & Tourism
Paarl Wellington Wine & Tourism created the ‘Tourism Reboot’ campaign to assist the recovery of the tourism value chain throughout the pandemic. They promoted the destination via social media channels, press releases, blogs, a YouTube channel, radio campaigns, videos, websites and mailers as a safe place to travel to and also encouraged hospitality establishments to get certified by having all the necessary protocols in place.
Sofa Safaris by Tanda Tula
Tanda Tula approached the pandemic with a campaign called ‘Sofa Safaris’. On-site staff connected online daily through film and photography, bringing the safari experience to the living rooms of many in lockdown across the globe. Their love for wildlife and the sheer joy they shared during a tough time was what made this campaign so successful. The campaign kept people connected with magnificent wild spaces and aimed to teach viewers about wildlife and the importance of conservation.
The Africa Hub by The Africa Hub
Ensuring their host of industry partners remain confident and enthusiastic about Africa as a destination and increase knowledge to sell in the future, The Africa Hub was born – an authoritative, comprehensive first-port-of-call resource centre for continent-wide destination information. The Africa Hub was promoted via direct marketing, press releases, and social media. The platform aims to continuously keep the continent top of mind and inspire industry partners to sell confidently.
Recovery Campaign by Tourism KwaZulu-Natal
“We are in it together” was the main message from Tourism KwaZulu-Natal’s ‘Recovery’ campaign. This multi-pronged and multi-phased campaign, designed to encourage travellers and industry players to stay hopeful of the future of travel, presented various phases under the different levels of lockdown. The recovery campaign consisted of 3 phases: reassurance phase, regaining phase and building phase and worked according to the levels of lockdown. Each stage was marketed independently and across multiple media platforms, from traditional above the line channels (including TV and radio) to digital online platforms, (social media and partner platforms).
Uthando means LOVE by Uthando
Uthando set up a campaign called ‘Uthando means LOVE’ to help the many communities left in dire need when Lockdown Level 4 hit. Within days of the announcement, a team of two hit the road and worked as a mobile donation unit. By requesting donations through media releases, various magazine articles, and Uthando’s loyal donor base, this campaign managed to help many community development projects. It contributed to extremely impoverished and vulnerable communities.
Visit54 by Visit54
The vision for the Visit54 campaign was to offer the world access to a variety of packages from reliable, professional tourism partners as soon as travel was allowed again. This campaign aimed to comfort travellers unsure of all the protocols and new changes in place across Africa, offering a sense of security in the booking process. The Visit54 campaign turned into a business of its own – and now promotes itineraries and destination information via its website.
And there you have it. All the entries vying for the top spot in the Reignite Africa award which recognises those travel and tourism stakeholders who continue to show their African spirit, irrespective of what’s happening in the world around them.
These candidates have used their resources, and we very much look forward to seeing who the judges will choose to award for their initiatives.