President, South South Travel Writers’ Corps, Comrade Piriye Kiyaramo, has reiterated that travel writers have key roles to play in promoting natural resources, culture, heritage, with a view to making tourists to get familiar with a place even before visiting it in person.
The Writers’ Corps comprises travel journalists, photographers, videographers, ICT experts and tourism destination managers.
The President who disclosed this while giving his goodwill message at the maiden meeting of the Edo State Travel Writers’ Corps held at the premises of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Benin City during the week, stressed the need to focus attention on tourism advertising being one of the most important factors that help the tourism industry to generate tourists from both the local and international marketplace.
Kiyaramo said, “We live in a media-driven world. Every organisation today uses media to promote their business. For customers, in this case, tourists go to places and plan their vacations that are more talked about. The travel writers must be involved in writing about the destination to attract the attention of the tourists.
“Undoubtedly, advertising is important for any business. Similarly, in the travel business, it plays a key role to entice the customer (tourist). Technically, tourism may not be seen as any other product because it is intangible. So unlike products, industries can not sell it to their customers. So the industries sell the destination on the basis of the customer’s imagination skills through the descriptive reports of the travel writers.”
Kiyaramo who is the publisher of the Blue Economy Newsmagazine online added that customer (tourist) plans a holiday on the basis of expectations developed via the reports generated from travel journalists about the particular destination, pointing out that an improper report can lead to loss in the tourist business while effective report could not guarantee success but will surely increase the chances for it.
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“The travel journalist informs tourists to visit a destination, including providing information on everything tourists need to know about the place, in addition to persuading tourists to visit a destination and to remind tourists about the destination and where to do all the bookings for the trip.
“A travel writer explores new destinations and shares observations with others using the written word and photos. One of the most important requirements for this type of work is a desire to travel and experience new environments and cultures. Physical stamina, an observant mind and a talent for descriptive language are just a few of the qualities necessary for becoming a travel writer.
“Travel writers come to the profession from a variety of education paths. Earning a degree in English or journalism is one path. Improving your writing skills by studying with veteran writers in independent workshops is another approach. A third option is to work on your writing skills on your own through a trial and error process,” he added.
In his remarks, Interim Chairman of Edo State Travel Writers’ Corps, who also is the Publisher of Popular News online, Mr. Isaac Olamikan, enjoined members of the writers’ corps to be dedicated to duty knowing the ernormity and sensitive nature of travel writing.
He said Edo State has very rich cultural heritage with great historical monument and tourists icons that could attract tourists to the state, if such rich cultural tourism potentials are properly harnessed by the state government and the private sector operators.
The publisher expressed the Corps willingness to partner with all relevant government agencies and stakeholders to promote the cultural richness of the Edo people.