WINDHOEK - One thing that cannot be ignored is the impact that social media has on an individual’s travel decisions. Many a time when one sees a friend or a family member having visited somewhere, they are drawn to wanting to undertake a similar trip. With the enormous effect social media has, the past few years have seen a growth in individuals who away from influencing their friends and families have become social media influencers who have established credibility and a huge social media following. It for this reason that over the past three months, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) worked with three social media influencers to take over their social media accounts with the aim of enticing domestic travellers to see why Namibia is rated as one of the best holiday destinations in the world.
When it comes to being a social media influencer, different people do it for various reasons, in the case of Ndapewoshali Nanghala better known as Woven, she does it because she would like to encourage people, to get out of their comfort zone, to ditch that routine and pack that bag, get on that trip, visit new places, try out new cuisine etc.
“To encourage others to travel I decided to document my experiences, focusing on lifestyle and travel, zooming into the Namibian experience. I also noticed that there was a gap in the tourism sector were not many people were documenting their experiences for others to see and explore what they would have undertaken,” says Nanghala.
With over 5700 twitter followers, Ndapanda Haininga commonly known Lahya was another social media influencer NWR worked with. When recalling her takeover, she said that “going in, my nerves threatened to take control, but it got easier each day. Through NWR, I have been able to see all the corners of my country sooner than I anticipated because of their massive discounts. I especially loved sharing that with their followers. I believe that people are eager to learn about and travel our country, it was, therefore, an honour to be an instrument in passing this message. Though I must say that, I got some difficult questions, advice, engagements and even criticism. It was an experience I will never forge.”
For the last social media take over, NWR took a different approach and looked inward. Within the company, Rejoice Soul is an avid traveller. It was after this insight that NWR decided to have her do a social media takeover due to her extensive travels within the country that she documents on her Instagram page.
“I am a traveller by nature and never enjoy being static or at one place for a long time. So, I made it a priority to visit new places whenever I find the time and an opportunity to do so. I sincerely believe that people travel for different purposes. Through travelling to new places, I have created new friendships and have learnt many new things which I would not have known if I had never travelled. Through travelling, I learnt to appreciate my beautiful country. I must say we have such attractive destinations and breathe taking sceneries that make Namibia stand out as a tourist destination,” says Soul.
Soul believes that “through my social media takeover during this week I will have a chance to interact with people from all walks of life, which will allow me to share my personal local travel experience as a proud Namibian. I look forward to inspiring those who wish to travel. I believe real education lies not in books alone but, in travelling. Education from travelling is first-hand knowledge, which is practical and unforgettable.”
“Through these efforts, we believe that we will be able to showcase what one can expect when they visit our resorts. Equally, since these expeditions are from individuals that we all interact with daily, it is easier for us to relate and learn as to what they go through during their trips. To keep abreast as to what we are doing and the plans we have, I encourage everyone to follow us on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. I must say it was so interesting how @OfficialP_Elago got so into this way documenting different travels that he tweeted that he will only travel to a place after reading it on Lahya’s blog,” says Mufaro Njabulo Nesongano, NWR corporate communications and online media manager.