This year highlights the importance of digital technology in the tourism sector. In line with this, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism is focusing on developing a digital readiness toolkit aimed at small businesses. Tourism SMMEs in the province are encouraged to make use of it once it is fully rolled out.
Research conducted by the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism has found that small businesses in the province lack an awareness and understanding of the impact that digital adoption could have on their operations.
The toolkit is an online, made-for-mobile website which will show all the available, on-the-ground resources a small business could need, such as mentorship, funding and business development support and useful apps and down-loadable tools.
Apart from mapping small business support services, this entrepreneur platform will include a range of features and content to cater for the various business needs of start-ups and growth businesses.
These will include a business self-assessment to identify what aspects of the business need attention, a range of downloadable tools, and access to business content from a range of partners.
Minister Winde said: “The toolkit may not have been specifically developed for the tourism industry, however, we know that many of the province’s SMMEs are in the tourism space, and once fully functional, the toolkit will go a long way towards helping these businesses embrace digital technology.”
Tourism is one of the key drivers of the economy in the Western Cape, responsible for creating a combined total of 300 000 jobs in the province. In South Africa, one in 23 people is employed in this sector.
In recent years, we’ve seen the important role that digital technology can play in this sector ranging from the use of social media for marketing purposes, through to online booking platforms, and mobile phone applications.
Minister Winde said: “The fourth industrial revolution is a chance for us to embrace technology, and harness innovation. Once we do, there is tremendous room for growth and further job creation, especially in the tourism sector.”
“Cape Town has recently been named as the technology hub of Africa, and we are home to some fantastic fin-tech businesses and developers. By working together, the tech and tourism sectors in this province have the potential to really create some great products that could make travel simpler for tourists and business easier for tourism operators and businesses.”
Minister Winde has also wished the Western Cape participants in the Lilizela Awards well ahead of the provincial ceremony which will be held tomorrow (Friday).
The awards, hosted by South African Tourism and the national Department of Tourism, seek to reward service excellence in the tourism sector. In the Western Cape, 97 finalists will be competing in various categories. The provincial winners will go on to compete at the national awards which will be hosted in Sandton next month.