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Millennials will Define the Future of Travel and Tourism. Is Zimbabwe Ready?

By Bold Hungwe

The rapid developments in Information and Communication Technologies-ICT-have revolutionised the travel and tourism industry. Any service provider in this industry not diligently partaking in the growing trend risks joining the dinosaurs.

Zimbabwe is one of the destinations of choice for tourists-albeit the negative publicity the country has attracted over the years. However, the country recorded 2, 6 million international tourist arrivals in 2018, a 6% jump from the 2, 4 million received in 2017.

The digital space is very important to promote travel and tourism products. It creates an opportunity for, for example, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and innovators alike to listen to customers and compete for relevance.

Probably, there is need to define a digital strategy that applies to the topic under discussion-a task I am willing to explore with a glass of Maheu (traditional brew) one of these sunny days.

Zimbabwe has the potential to increase tourist arrivals or domestic tourism due to broadband availability and high mobile penetration despite the challenges in the economy. This opportunity can be used to create innovative products to lure one of the low hanging fruits-the millennials-local or foreign.

In fact, this is a group that will define the future of travel and tourism- if not now-tomorrow. It’s not about attending conferences and issuing press statements anymore. Success in the digital age is what differentiates between a statue and a robot.

As I write this article, I am reminded of a video that marketed a book on this subject titled: ‘The End of Business as Usual’ by marketing guru-Brian Solis. Organizations should CHANGE OR DIE.

The big question is: do you have a digital strategy in place as a service provider? Do you apply any data analytic tools to monitor progress in the digital age? What informs your decision-making process as a service provider?

I get so agitated when I see my fellow Zimbos consumed in speeches and conferences.

The answer lies in one-not hidden, but plain truth-EXECUTION. You do not win a war by announcing the date of the struggle. Get dirty. Get in the digital field and engage with millennials.

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