The tourism industry should harness the power of social media to attract more tourists to the Western Cape, says Finance, Economic Development and Tourism MEC Alan Winde.

Winde was speaking during an annual tourism, arts and entertainment plenary in the provincial legislature.

“It’s not always about money, it’s about technology,” Winde said, describing the tourism industry as cut-throat.

This year’s emerging tourism entrepreneur of the year, Shaheed Ebrahim, said the innovations he had offered to tour groups included the use of iPads and free wi-fi.

Communications consultant Martin Hatchuel said the Mossel Bay museum was a prime example of how the tourism industry could use social media in exhibits and on tours.

He said it was the first museum in Africa to use Quick Response (QR) codes, which can be scanned on to a smartphone or tablet equipped with QR code reader, to get information on exhibits.

Social media was tourism’s “new frontier”.

“We can no longer afford to market tourism the old fashioned way,” said Hatchuel. - Cape Argus