In the face of a long chain of crises across Africa, specialists and suppliers have had to remain vigilant and get creative with their marketing and selling initiatives to prevent their businesses from becoming yet another casualty of the continent’s catastrophes.

“Specialist tour operators focusing on Africa have to be prepared for the peaks and the valleys,” said Dave Herbert, CEO of Great Safaris. “In the too-frequent valleys, you need to grab market share from the big, multi-destination operators and keep expenses in check.”

Herbert said that one strategy in times of crises is to work with suppliers to introduce attractive specials, such as two-for-one deals and 50% off savings, to kick-start bookings.

Another way, he said he has managed to keep his business going, is by working more closely with travel agents.

“How do we, as tour operators, survive and prosper in a world full of violence, wars, terrorism, disease and unbelievable wonder? The answer lies in targeting the travel counsellors, who are experienced in dealing with travellers seeking new experiences,” Herbert said. “The job of a travel counsellor is to gather the facts — not from sensational media — and present those facts to their clients, including the fact that Africa is generally more secure than 80% of American cities.”

That message, however, has been increasingly challenging to communicate, especially in the wake of news earlier this month that gunmen from the Islamist group al-Shabaab killed 148 people at a university in northern Kenya. Merely the latest in a series of devastating setbacks for Africa since the Ebola outbreak last fall, the Kenya killings came on the heels of last month’s deadly terror attack in the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

The damage to the African continent’s economy, and more specifically to its tourism economy, has been severe.

Bernard Gustin, CEO of Brussels Airlines, which serves 19 destinations in Africa and continued service to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone during the height of the Ebola crisis, told reporters this month that lingering, unjustified fears about the virus are costing the continent billions of dollars.