Hey friends :)
SO. I was lucky enough to get here just in time for World Travel Market Africa: a travel conference where the industry pro's and players convene to market their companies or destinations, exchange cards, discuss developments in the industry and get wasted after. It was lit.
Without further ado, my biggest takeaway from the 3-day experience:
1. Everyone in travel is trying to appeal to Africans
"The African market", especially the youth (that's us, you guys!) is on everyone's minds, lips and eyes. Of course it's natural that being a conference in Africa, most talk would be of travelling in Africa (or of Africans travelling), but it did seem like something most people were thinking of and planning for.
Which means more reasons/resources/support for us all to travel more!
2. "Africa" is still talked about like a country
That being said, I still did see a little too much of - in my opinion - some good ol' generalization of Africa as one big abstract concept. Why do you have to market one destination as "all of Africa in one" or "the best of Africa" in one place? (I saw a number of countries and destinations' marketing use these phrases). Why can't I see this part of Africa, and that different part of Africa and them both be the best? Am I catching too many feelings about this? Let me know what you think in the comments.
3. The blogging industry is a marathon for most big names
It was reinforced for me that so many bloggers have been in the game since before I could legally drink or drive. OK that's not that long, I have too. Since before that LOL. I (and I'm sure plenty of you other bloggers) can sometimes be hard on myself for not being at a level where I feel like I could or should be. It's nice to have a reminder that sometimes plain old experience and time can't be trumped. Lots of the people I met, spoke to and heard were at least 10 years older than me and many had as much travel/writing/general life experience on me too. Chill!
4. Everyone, established or not, should be going to conferences/events in their field
Whatever industry you're in (or interested in), and whatever the level of your career, I really think it's worth your while to go speak to, watch and hear people who may have been doing what you do/want to do for a long time. I've been lucky enough to find myself at these sorts of events for architecture, blogging and now travel and there's no replacing seeing how well people can do and how happy they can be doing what they (and you) do. Bomb.
5. I'm going to have so much fun in this city, y'all.
I'm excited and I can't wait to bring you all with me!