IN line with this year’s United Nations’ Tourism Month theme of Tourism & The Digital Transformation across the tourism value chain, Ugu South Coast Tourism CEO, Phelisa Mangcu revealed a new initiative. “Ugu South Coast Tourism is running a digital transformation initiative that will harness digital technology in tourism to develop and stimulate the sector by empowering developing tourism businesses to use digital platforms in order to sustain themselves.” The initiative provides up to five shortlisted products with their own digital channels in need of improvement, whether websites or Facebook pages, with a digital makeover, optimising their existing channels and training them to run these platforms sustainably. At the same time, the organisation will be providing exposure for the local small businesses in the digital space, who will offer their expertise, free of charge, to develop these channels for the emerging tourism products. Tourism students from the local TVET College will also be given the chance to experience these and other travel products and attractions, as well as showing the power of youth-driven social media, with a prize on offer for the student who creates the biggest hype. Development products include Divine Destiny Guesthouse, Mfihlo Guest House, Executive Guest House and The Forest House B&B and Tuscany by the Sea. As part of the digital transformation, Ugu South Coast Tourism will also seek a digital agency with the purpose of upgrading its own channels and launching a new website and mobile app in 2019, as well as paving the way for digital campaigns, communications and related services. The organisation will also create a strategic and educational Digital Think Tank in the KZN South Coast region to assist in digitising the region, with the help of the local businesses and digital agencies.