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Tourism sector gets a tech boost with #LetsInnovate initiative

The training aims to empower and transform over 1300 businesses by teaching them how to use internet platforms. Photo by fauxels from Pexels.

The training aims to empower and transform over 1300 businesses by teaching them how to use internet platforms. Photo by fauxels from Pexels.

Published Mar 8, 2022

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The #LetsInnovate Tourism initiative driven by Zulu Nomad and in partnership with Digify Africa has launched a free digital skills training programme for small businesses within the tourism sector.

The training aims to empower and transform over 1300 businesses by teaching them how to use internet platforms to revive, grow, and sustain their businesses following the devastating effects of Covid-19.

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“Being a social entrepreneur in Africa means that we are never short of problems to solve. Through the #LetsInnovateTourism initiative, we are committed to driving digital transformation in the sector, starting with facilitating digital marketing training for micro-and-small business owners in the tourism sector.

“We are not only about providing information, but we are passionate about seeing it used effectively and ensuring that businesses are able to reap the rewards of investing in digital solutions,” says Phaka Hlazo, Founder of Zulu Nomad and InTravel Africa.

“Although tourism contributed close to 9% to South Africa’s GDP before the Covid-19 pandemic, and South Africa being a leader in international tourism arrivals on the continent, the sector is made up predominantly of small businesses, many of whom do not have the requisite tools to thrive in the digital economy.”

Hlazo adds: “An interesting study on women-owned Tourism Enterprises in Sierra Leone published by the UNWTO in November 2019 found that surprisingly only 16% of these enterprises were using email when communicating with their clients.

“At Zulu Nomad, having operational experience in eight African countries, we believe that this statistic carries across several African countries, including South Africa. The failure of thousands of small businesses in tourism to meet the requirements of Covid-19 relief funding speaks to the gaps in compliance, processes, and systems that businesses require to be sustainable.”

The #LetsInnovate Tourism project consists of programs that can assist businesses in capitalising on digitisation's benefits and raising awareness of the digital tools available to them. Through a series of free training sessions, Digify Africa's Boost with Facebook training program will delve into the social media tools available to tourist business owners. The #LetsGo campaign of the South African Tourism Association (SATSA), the World Travel Market (WTM), Africa Travel Week, and Digify Africa are all part of the project.

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In conclusion, Hlazo says: “The tourism industry is a key driver for economic growth and job creation in South Africa with an extensive value chain across various sectors. It has the potential to create prosperity for individuals, businesses, and communities across the country, but it is also one of the sectors worst hit by the consequences of the covid-19 pandemic. We hope this digital skills training will help revive the entire industry and the economies within the continent.”

Visit www.innovatetourism.co.za/events for more information on events and dates.

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