A Digital Tourism Upskilling Program to transform Zimbabwean destinations

What is ‘Let’s Get Digital’?

A Digital Tourism Upskilling Program to transform destinations and tourism businesses, brought to you by the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, and supported by IFC (a member of the World Bank group), and the Government of Japan.  

The 18- month program aims to provide the tourism sector with global best practice on the use of technology for both management and marketing. This program will enhance the digital skills of tourism enterprises so that consumers can discover, engage with and book Zimbabwean tourism products and businesses. This will help the tourism industry to operate more efficiently, to recover from the impact of COVID-19, and to grow sustainably.

Why the focus on digital upskilling?

The tourism industry in Zimbabwe has expressed an interest in digital marketing and media training. These skills are imperative to grow competitiveness, support destination recovery and build resilient communities.

A snapshot of small businesses in Victoria Falls reveals that overall market engagement decreased during the pandemic. Businesses reduced the number of channels they were using and engaged less with the channels they did keep. Given that digital activity has increased during the pandemic, this now makes it harder for visitors to discover products and services, and to evaluate, plan and book them.

Digital is the most important marketplace, management and marketing tool for the travel sector. 69% of the global population uses mobile data, and 49% of the population are on social media. As a result, 69% of all travel sales are now online.  

What will the program deliver?

Over the next 18 months, it will provide practical, technical and in-kind support to enable tourism businesses to:

  1. Understand the changing marketing landscapes and why digital is a priority
  2. Review and assess their own online presence, profiles and platforms
  3. Update and improve their websites, social media accounts and online content
  4. Create, aggregate and manage content
  5. Identify, create and manage target audiences along path to purchase
  6. Create a digital marketing plan
  7. Merge management and marketing to deliver and maximize conversions to business
  8. Distribute products via third party channels such as online travel agents (OTAs), aggregators and tour operators 

Who is running the program?

Let’s Get Digital is a bespoke upskilling program designed for the tourism industry in Zimbabwe. It is being delivered by leading African digital marketing and media experts; Damian Cook of E-Frontiers and Alroy Ndhlovu. The program is led by the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry (MECTHI), with support from IFC and the Government of Japan, under the Zimbabwe Destination Development Program.  Let’s Get Digital is coordinated by We Are Victoria Falls.

Who is eligible?

Any registered individual, business, NGO or public sector group that;

  • provides a tourism product/service and
  • is based in Zimbabwe (virtual),
  • or is based in Victoria Falls (physical classroom)

How will it be delivered?

Let’s Get Digital program will be delivered in different formats.

Physical Class

  • Eligible entities inside Victoria Falls: delivered in-person as a series of workshops, plus access to the online material. The capacity of the training venue is 50 pax. Places will be allocated on a first come basis. If places are full you will be put on a waiting list. An additional training day may be added if the waitlist is significant, otherwise resources will be made available online.

Virtual Class (recordings and resources)

  • Eligible entities in Zimbabwe outside Victoria Falls: delivered as a series of pre-recorded sessions, with digital handbook, community of practice, and multiple examples and case studies.

How will it be structured?

Program participants will identify where to join the the ‘staircase’ (depicted below) based on their ability. All participants are encouraged to climb to the top of the stairs below to ensure a rounded skillset. All graduates of the Program will therefore emerge at the ‘top of the staircase’, demonstrating a significant upskilling across the destination.

Course Content

Introduction to Digital Marketing and Management

Intermediate Digital Marketing and Management

Advanced Digital Skills