Globally, 60 percent of travel for both leisure and business are being booked over the internet. But this is not the same with local tourism companies in East Africa . Very few of the many companies in East Africa effectively use the internet as a tool to get new visitors locally or globally. They mostly rely on mostly email bookings which is not enough.

‘Online’ to local companies basically means email and they don’t effectively use social media and web as a tool to market themselves. Presence online for such local companies has only meant a static web page which was updated 6 months ago and offers no real picture of what is on offer currently.

CEO of E-Tourism Frontiers Mr. Damian Cook, said it was vital that all tourism players continue to increase both their understanding and investment into the online sector. Now this is where E-Tourism Frontiers comes in. E-Tourism Frontiers is an initiative that started in Kenya and has grown globally to help emerging destinations make better use of the internet and social media to market and manage their destinations and businesses.

“With continuing growth in online sales despite the global recession and more than 60% of travel for both business and leisure now being booked via the internet and raising well over US $150 billion, the internet cannot be considered a small part of the tourism sector” said Cook.

Since 2008 E Tourism Frontiers has organized six major international conferences in Kenya, South Africa and Jordan on Online Tourism and the company has trained over 3000 people across 14 training seminars in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa and Jordan.  This year the company is also holding events in Doha- Qatar and across Greece.

Mr Cook announced that a new series of one-day training seminars on online tourism will take place in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania from the 25th of May to the 22nd of June.

The E-Tourism East Africa Road Show, which is being sponsored by Kenya Commercial Bank, (KCB) and Visa will help the sector to grow and leverage the latest online opportunities available for travel. The E-Tourism event last year at Crowne Plaza impressed.