Early that Wednesday morning, I found myself back at the Muson Centre and because it was the Nigeria Travel Week (NTW), there was an incredible mix of tourism big wigs and influencers across the auditorium.
I looked up for a second and there she was on the podium.
Joined by an impeccable travel team, Fisayo contributed her quota to “Setting The Agenda For A New African Tourism Narrative.” And it was absolutely fantastic!
Fisayo Olayinka-Bello is an award winning travel blogger, tourism development advocate, podcast host, big dreamer, teacher, and an innovator who thrives at the intersection of tourism, technology and advocacy.
Her vision is to change “The African Narrative,” and this passion was birthed when she got tired of the image of Africa painted by mainstream international media.
So, if you’re ready and I am, I think it’s time for you to meet today’s creative.
Want to watch a quick video summary instead? Click below.
► If you need help promoting your content using videos, send a text to my WhatsApp.
Grab a pen and notepad, let’s begin.
1. What inspired you to become a blogger?
The story’s a lengthy one but I’ve written about it here.
In summary, I first started from the desire to inspire others and share knowledge of what I learnt from books I read, so others could grow and transform their minds the way that I did.
But being a problem solver, when I recognised a gap in the industry, I decided to niche down to tourism with a particular focus on promotion and advocacy for development of tourist destinations in Africa.
Blogging became the perfect way to begin my journey, the barriers to entry are low, and all I needed were the tools, knowledge to design my site and a strong message to deliver.
2. For how long have you been blogging?
I have been on this journey for three years, four months and seventeen days (haha, I started December 26, 2016).
3. Why be a travel blogger?
Really, my reason is to provide solutions and promote destinations in Africa, same as the reason in the first question.
Related Article: PROSPER ADEJI – THE BACKPACKER WHO VISITED 45 CITIES IN AFRICA
4. How would you describe your style of travel and your travel blogging content?
Most of my travels are sponsored, so I do not have the freedom to decide the style on most trips.
However, I started writing content by focusing on destinations closest to me, like beach resorts in Lagos and useful tips for local travellers.
After, I transitioned to ecotourism destinations in other states like Ado Awaye.
One thing many of my articles have in common is that they provide solutions to given topics or problems found in some destinations, because this is my sole point of doing this.
5. Briefly describe what you use your different social channels for and what is your dominant channel for you personally.
- On my YouTube I share fun videos of destinations that I visit. I just recently started breaking them down into episodes, and I am loving the feeling that it gives my audience. Click here to see.
- Instagram is where you can find me everyday, I get personal with my audience there, I share my struggles, wins, and fun content on destinations I visit also. You should follow me.
- I’m on Twitter when I want to catch up on some trendy topics, or promote articles that I believe could be of value to people. Take a look @TheFisayo
- Lastly, I have a podcast, and the episodes are curated to empower big dreamers.
6. How do you balance your day job and blogging?
I am a blogger by day and night. 🙂
So here’s the thing, I have a travel business and my whole focus right now is to grow tourism and travel businesses in Africa.
My company, TravCP, is built to help tourists discover and book tour operators and destinations in the continent easily.
Right now, I feel overwhelmed, so I am really looking for help and who to hire.
7. Where do you get your travel inspiration from, who gives you the advice?
I have great tourism mentors like Prof. Wolfgang, the Publisher of ATC news.
I occasionally seek advice from the UNWTO Senior Expert on Communications in Africa, Kojo Bentum-Williams, and other tourism professionals I come across at networking events.
I have also created a small tribe of female travel bloggers I speak to when I am sad, happy or want to rant about something, they are great.
Related Article: TRAVEL BLOGGER INTERVIEW WITH ‘LOLA DANIYAN OF UNRAVELLING NIGERIA
8. Name the location that was 1. Most fun, 2. Most Inspiring, 3. Most Challenging.
9. What is still on your bucket list?
Every other part of Africa I have not visited, as well as Mexico, Hong Kong, Copenhagen, Greece, maybe all of Asia and Europe.
10. Have you had any celebrity encounters while travelling?
Yes, it seems to be a norm in tourism industry and I guess it’s because the industry is quite small in Nigeria. I have met a lot of people that seemed so far fetched when growing up.
11. What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt about yourself since you started travel blogging?
I do not know everything and God is Great!
12. What was your very first travel blogger destination that you produced some content for?
Hmm, that has to be my United Arab Emirates trip.
I have been to UAE three times, and it was the first country I visited outside Nigeria, so I wrote about it.
Looking at that article now, I see many things I could have improved on.
13. If they were to ever make a movie about one or all of your adventures, what would the title and plot summary be?
Ah, this one is hard oh. I guess it would be “The Sleeping Beauty with the Perfect Timing to Capture Content,” or something of that sort. LOL.
14. What is your most embarrassing moment while travelling?
Holding my fart in the plane and eventually letting it out. Haha.
15. What is a naughty little secret you have not openly told before!?
I can’t think of one now.
16. Do you have any funny stories to tell?
I have a lot! You can visit my blog to read a few.
17. What key lessons do you have for everyone based on what you have learnt from the gift of travel blogging?
Focus on why you started your journey, do not get distracted by other people’s vision and continue to persevere.
Oh, and get good mentors who will either tell you the truth or cheer you on. You’ll always need people to give you a push whenever you’re down.
Related Article: HOW A DOCTOR IN JAMAICA SUPERCHARGED HER TRAVEL BLOG
Do not wait for something to happen, make it happen.
The Wrap Up
So, there’s a chunk of key takeaways from this interview, but before I ask for yours, let me go first.
- Sponsored trips are definitely a thing.
- You should use social media as a powerful tool to promote your content.
- Finding the right mentors is a big deal.
Special thanks to Fisayo for joining us today.
By the way, she’s won two awards as the best travel blogger in Nigeria, gotten numerous TV and media features, and has been involved in tourism promotion projects on several tourism boards including Lagos State Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Terrific right?
So, over to you…
What’s your key takeaway from this interview? I’ll like you to engage with me in the comments below.