Tourism takes to technology

2008-05-12 00:00

Although the 2010 Fifa World Cup appears to be the centre of focus for most delegates attending the 2008 Tourism Indaba in Durban, several key tourism authorities and organisations have also embraced technological advancements as an important theme during the conference and exhibition.

The organisations that have used the event as a platform to focus on the use of technology in the tourism business include Tourism KZN (TKZN), the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) and South African Tourism.

In some cases, the 2010 theme merges with the use of technology to produce interventions to raise the profile of South Africa as a destination of choice.

Many businesses have complained about the lack of information around the 2010 Fifa World Cup and SA Tourism yesterday launched the 2010 stakeholder web portal — http: events.southafrica.net.

The portal, which is aimed at tourism businesses interested in the event, consists of a number of themes including accommodation, information management, marketing and communication, safety and security, services and skills, and transport.

Each section boasts a notice board, document library, activity calendar and a list of links.

TKZN also launched its Destination Management System — a platform shared by Gauteng and the Western Cape — which has the backing of private sector giants such as Google South Africa and Thompsons Africa.

TKZN GM for information services, James Seymour, told The Witness that the system will serve as both a highly powerful information storage facility, and a system that helps clients to interact more effectively and perform transactions more efficiently.

Clientele will be able to access the world-class system via computers, cellphones and touch screens located at tourism information centres.

The TGCSA is another organisation that has launched innovative systems.

SMS technology is now being used to gather consumer feedback, forming part of the organisation’s revamped feedback mechanism.

kavith@witness.co.za

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