Somali journalists and social media influencers attending a three-day tourism and media training event in Mogadishu have been challenged to share positive images and messages about the country as it continues to make remarkable progress.
“We want journalists to be brand ambassadors and share positive images and messages about the progress we have made as a country and people. We want you to promote the country as a tourism and investment destination,” said Somalia’s Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Osman Abokor Dubbe.
The Minister was officiating a Media and Tourism training of over forty (40) journalists, which was supported by the Public Affairs Unit of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
“The leading tourism destinations globally are famous because the media share positive stories and images that attract tourists and investors. As a country, we have made great progress and continue to do so,” he explained.
The Minister said Somalia has untapped tourism potential that can attract investment and encourage both domestic and foreign tourism to spur development and create jobs.
Somalia’s Director of Tourism, Farhiya Samman Mohamed, said media practitioners are important in changing global perceptions about Somalia as the country regains peace and stability. She noted that media platforms could best showcase Somalia’s reemergence, the untapped rich culture and tourism potential.
“There is a mutually beneficial relationship between tourism and media. Tourism is about social integration, travel and cultural exchanges, all of which cannot be possible without the media,” said Ms Farhiya.
A representative of the Somalia Association of Travel and Tourism Agents (SATTA), Mursal Mohamed Abdi, said public-private partnerships are important to reviving tourism, and the media can raise awareness about the reemergence of a new Somalia after decades of unrest.
“The media can sensitize the business community to know the enormous opportunities in the tourism sector and potential to create employment. The media and players in the tourism sector need to collaborate,” Abdi added.
A participant and Journalist, Nafisa Abdullahi Qorane, said following the training, she had gained deeper insights on the role the media could play in the growth of Somalia’s tourism sector.
“This training has been beneficial in highlighting the linkages between the media and tourism. We can promote the country’s tourism to foreign visitors and investors,” Nafisa said.
Somalia is experiencing growth in various sectors, including aviation, infrastructure, hospitality, and financial services. Recently, the international financial card payment service, Visa, introduced its service in Somalia in partnership with the International Bank of Somalia.
Trainers for the event included the Somalia Association of Travel and Tourism Agents (SATTA) and other players in the hospitality business.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Mission in Somalia.