Twitter is an amazing communication tool that I am just in love with. It is being used to build global relationships, facilitate international conversations, stimulate ideas and create ripples of action.
The backgroundStarted by @SirNige, the Twitter hashtag #263Chat and associated Twitter account is, “A crowd sourcing platform for discussing Zimbabwean national issues by Zimbabweans”. As close neighbors, the worlds of Zimbabwe and Zambia often collide. That’s exactly what happened, with the #263Chat Live Event on 01/03/13, dubbed ‘a TweeT@able on Tourism — Zimbabwe and Zambia’. The focus was on the upcoming UNWTO Conference that Zimbabwe and Zambia will co-host in August 2013. Keynote speakers at the physical event in Harare, Zimbabwe were, Honourable Minister Walter Mzembi — Zimbabwean Minister of Tourism, Her Excellency Mrs. Ndiyoi Mutiti — Zambian Ambassador, and Her Excellency Ms. Barbara Joziasse — Netherlands Ambassador.
We @thebestofzambia were thrilled to be approached by the creative @C1rca1964 team to help lead the Zambian side of the discussion, alongside Miss Tourism Zambia, @Winniemtz12.
This blog focuses on the Zambian side of the #263Chat Twitter conversations. What I have tried to do is organise the conversations by grouping particular discussion topics on:
Though not always possible, I have attempted to keep the discussions in time order.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Well done is better than well said.” During the #263Chat many things about Zambia tourism were ‘well said’. So I am using this blog to capture what was ‘well said’, so we can work together, and take action. I hope that soon we will be able to say, ‘well done.’ So I ask you, what can we do to make some of these great ideas actually happen?
Key discussion points in this conversation included how the web and social media can be used more successfully in Zambia tourism; and thoughts on the current Zambia brand. Other points touch on employment opportunities in marketing, and how we need to be more active in marketing Zambia internationally. If you agree, disagree or have anything to add, please leave a comment at the end of the blog.
There is a strong feeling that Zambia could do more to attract tourists to places across the country, rather than just to Livingstone and well known game parks. If you agree, disagree or have anything else to add, please leave a comment at the end of the blog.
Some sited economic limitations as a reason why many Zambians don’t travel and appreciate their own country. Although some travel and activities are seen to be over priced, there is a feeling that one can learn to appreciate their country by visiting travel hotspots within their own cities. And then the conversation linked with limitations related to infrastructure and facilities. If you agree, disagree or have anything else to add, please leave a comment at the end of the blog.
Traditional ceremonies, the arts and music. We all agree there is so much more to be done here. If you agree, disagree or have anything else to add, please leave a comment at the end of the blog.
These conversations centred around infrastructure limitations related to roads and flights. If you agree, disagree or have anything else to add, please leave a comment at the end of the blog.
There is a lot of frustration felt on this topic. Everyone seems to agree — travel related paperwork and costs should be easier, cheaper, and more open. But it appears not a lot is being done. We can’t seem to get to the bottom of why something so obvious is being allowed to be such a limiting factor. If you agree, disagree or have anything else to add, please leave a comment at the end of the blog.
We commend Her Excellency Mrs. Ndiyoi Mutiti — Zambian Ambassador for being present in Harare, Zimbabwe, and Miss Tourism Zambia, for being present on Twitter. Miss Tourism Zambia bravely faced some sharp comments, but there was little support from other leaders. We want to see more leaders embrace social media. If you agree, disagree or have anything else to add, please leave a comment at the end of the blog.
So where do we go from here? Let us not do nothing and forget these ideas, as they drop lower and lower down our Twitter feeds.
So I ask you, what can we do to make some of these great ideas actually happen? What is the action? Please leave comments for tangible action points. What are you going to do to help raise Zambia’s profile and get ready for UNWTO 2013? This one of the things we can do, and continue to work on:
Further reading: A write up with some great pictures, by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Zimbabwe.