The tourism sector is fickle and highly competitive. Generally, for a destination to survive and enjoy a significant share of the market, there is need to keep up with the current travel and tourism industry trends. This is especially in areas pertaining to advancements in communication strategies which are vehicles for destination awareness and promotion. Notably, advancements such as translation apps have hit the sector by storm.
Zimbabwe is participating at the 2019 CITM in Kunming, China and has expeditiously embraced, Youdao, an amazing translation app which enables users to practically translate languages within seconds. This application has come in handy as the Zimbabwean Delegation interfaces with the Chinese market which is generally a non-English speaking nation.
Having actively used the application himself, Mr Douglas Mavhembu, Deputy Director in the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, had this to say, “Youbao is an amazing and cost effective application which has made it easy for us to commune with the Chinese Market. Without which communication would have been futile and our being here would not have yielded as much results.”
“We anticipate an increase in patronage by the Chinese Market after this show. It is, therefore, critical that in our preparations to host, our tourism industry needs must seriously consider adopting communication applications.”
The Chinese Market is technologically advanced and this calls for adoption of social media platforms which aid in effective communication and ease transactionary processes.
Popular communication and transactional platforms in China include *WeChat* which has 1 billion users (2019), *Weibo* which has 290 million registered users (2017) and *QQ* with 807.1 million users (2019). These platforms are the means through which Zimbabwe can break communication barriers and penetrate this lucrative market.
“This show has been an eye opener and a pointer to the need for our industry to up our game in terms of assimilation of globally trending applications. We are excited about Youbao and Wechat and these will go a long way in breaking communication barriers and facilitating payments between my company and our Chinese clients. I urge all operators interested in the same market to adopt the same, ” remarked Mr Gordon Mukanganwi of Batoka Safaris who is part of the Zimbabwe Delegation.
At USD115 billion outbound expenditure, China is the largest outbound source market and is anticipated by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation to double its current outbound trips to USD200 million by 2020.