Recently, South Africa unveiled a campaign to have more Kenyans tour the country. The campaign; known as, “Allow us to indulge you”, aims at making more Kenyans aware of the activities and places to visit while in South Africa-by making the country more pleasing and easier to visit.
This campaign comes after a Visa impasse between Kenyan and South Africa that has threatened to weaken diplomatic ties between the two nations. Worse still, is the series of xenophobic attacks that has ravaged the country’s image -mostly among African nations.
This push, by Africa’s Economic giant is seen as a two edge plan. First, to have a 10% increase of Kenyan tourist visits. The most recent arrival numbers indicate that in 2014, some 35,605 tourist visited South Africa from Kenya. Secondly, albeit subtly, to repair its image among Kenyans.
Evelyn Mahlaba who is South Africa’s tourism regional director for Africa, has stated that her country would be open to a regional tourism office in Nairobi, whose sole purpose would be to promote South Africa as a tourist destination.
“There is a lot of economic growth in Kenya and a lot of people are making more money and can afford a trip out of the country now and we want their country of destination to be South Africa,” she said.
Other than opening a promotion office, Mahlaba says that they have partnered with popular Kenyan music band Sauti Sol, in an attempt to tap into their influence. Although she did not mention how much the boy group would be pocketing-from the deal, it sure does seem like a win-win situation.
So really, how much ‘sugar and spice’ will Sauti Sol add to this drive? In the spirit of the campaign, let’s indulge ourselves;
To fulfil their soulful end of bargain, the band will be visiting South Africa a number of times and documenting their experience as part of efforts to sell the country in Kenya. Obviously, this is where social media matters-as 90% of travel decisions are made online. Presently, the Nerea hit makers have 116,000 and 161,000 followers on Instagram and twitter respectively- a sizeable chunk to win over, as they make their Mzansi sojourns.
And the sharing has began in earnest, click here
In his book, the Science of Influence, Kevin Hogan highlights ten laws of influence that should be followed in gaining compliance and cooperation from others. We look at two laws that suit this promotion.
Law of Association. People tend to like the products, services, and ideas that are endorsed by individuals they like and respect. Being fairly likeable and admired, it will be easy for Sauti Sol to gain traction in influencing their huge following-on this basis.
Law of Consistency. When an individual publicizes in writing or otherwise that they are taking a position on an issue or point of view, they will strongly tend to defend that position, regardless of its accuracy, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Given that they will be making trips down south; for a lengthy period of time, and posting their experience regularly, the perception will be that this is the kind of travel that they would opt/advocate for.
Probably Kenya should employ the same strategy of Brand ambassadors to boost its tourism-don’t you think?