The Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) has launched the Global Expert Panel on tourism and travel for Africa, led by its member agency, the Newmark Group. Newmark is a strategic communications and advisory firm headquartered in Nairobi.

The initiative brings together top communications and marketing experts from across the world to arm tourism and destination management organizations with deep local insights and data from source countries. It underscores the importance of understanding cultural nuances to significantly enhance the market presence and re-imagine Africa’s tourism narrative globally.

Since the beginning of the millennium, Tourism and Travel in Africa has experienced impressive growth, as highlighted by a World Travel and Tourism Council report. In 2022, the sector contributed nearly 6% to Africa’s GDP, playing a vital role in economic stability and supporting 22 million jobs across the continent.

The establishment of PRGN’s Global Expert Panel in tandem with The Newmark Group is essential for leveraging Africa’s tourism potential for sustainable development and inclusive growth. By addressing key challenges and tapping into the expertise of global communication and marketing professionals, the panel aims to Africa’s visibility as a top travel destination.

Speaking at the panel reveal, PRGN President Natacha Clarac noted, “To elevate Africa’s tourism sector, destination marketers must harness global capabilities and adopt a holistic approach to branding and marketing. PRGN provides unparalleled global resources and local expertise, delivering a unique insight to meet new needs and thus capture market shares.”

The Global Expert Panel includes the following members.

  • Christina Rytter – Founder, Scandinavian Communications (Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • Gilbert Manirakiza – CEO, The Newmark Group (Nairobi, Kenya)
  • Bill Southard – CEO, Southard Communications (New York, USA)
  • Shawn Jiang Xiaofeng – Managing Director, China Advocate (Beijing, China)
  • Bradly Howland – CEO, Alkemi Collective (Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Sara Pearson – Founder and Chairman, Spider (London, United Kingdom)
  • Uwe Schmidt – Managing Partner at Industrie-Contact AG (Hamburg, Germany)
  • Stephane Billiet – Vice President, We Change (Paris, France)
  • Valentina Giacaman Hazboun – Founder, RumboCierto Comunicaciones (Santiago, Chile)
  • Dominique Biquard – Founder and Partner, Identia PR (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  • Loreley Maldonado – CEO and Founder, Eje Comunicación (Mexico City, Mexico)
  • Susan McNair – Partner, Currie (Melbourne, Australia)
  • Lovelyn Okafor – Newmark Country Lead (Nigeria )