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Cape Town Tourism continues to innovate with more mobile projects

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After the successful launch of the first visitor information vehicle in Africa earlier this year, five more mobile units will be launched today, 5 December.

Responding to the global tourism trends of visitor’s increased mobile connectivity and the need for customer centricity, Cape Town Tourism is rolling out exciting new initiatives to meet visitors where they are.

After the successful launch of the first visitor information vehicle in Africa earlier this year, five more mobile units will be launched today, 5 December. The new fleet includes another branded panel van, two electric bicycles and two scooters. Cape Town Tourism has also recently launched a Communicator widget to engage more effectively with their members and designed their Annual Report in a responsive way, so it’s completely compatible with mobile screens. They are currently working on the first locally crowd-sourced destination marketing app for Cape Town, to be launched in early 2015.

Velma Corcoran, Marketing Executive for Cape Town Tourism, was one of the speakers at the recent Digital Tourism Innovation Campus conference held in Barcelona, speaking about mobile strategies. “Research has shown that soon more time will be spent on mobile than in bed, and that 90% of users in South Africa and Nigeria are accessing Facebook through their mobile devices. A mobile strategy should not be seen as a channel or technology but as a way of thinking and approaching all new initiatives going forward.”

More Mobile Visitor Information Units across Cape Town
Cape Town Tourism’s original mobile visitor information unit, endearingly called Thando (meaning ‘love’ in the local language isiXhosa) is expanding its family with a smaller panel van, two new branded scooters and two electric bicycles being added to the fleet.

Similar to the first mobile unit, the van will once again follow responsible tourism principles, with solar panels and fuel efficient features. The bicycles will be run on chargeable batteries and the scooters will also be offering free Wi-Fi. The informed staff manning the units will each be equipped with an iPad to provide information and make real-time bookings for a range of tourism and lifestyle experiences, including bookings for Computicket and South African National Parks.

All the units will pop-up into mobile info booths that will be stationed where foot traffic is highest and at points of interest. Says Cape Town Tourism, CEO, Enver Duminy: “We are placing the visitor at the centre of everything we do. Part of that approach is to ensure we are meeting them where they are. So we not only optimised ourselves for mobile technology across all our platforms, but we also innovated our thinking to take mobility beyond the device, into the physical - hence the launch of our extended Thando fleet.”

Key to Cape Town Tourism’s strategy is the goal of retaining a human face to visitor services. “A new visitor may have a lot of questions at once and depending on their behavioural preferences, may not want to spend a lot of time online trying to figure it all out. We aim to build trust in our visitors so that they come to us for solutions,” adds Duminy.

The Thando fleet will be criss-crossing the Peninsula, visiting sites like Blaauwberg, St George’s Mall, Camps Bay Beach and Surfer’s Corner in Muizenberg. They will also be stationed at attractions such as Cape Point and Kirstenbosch, and will be at events like the MCQP and Obs Festival; Concert in the Park, the Gugulethu Festival and Midnight Mass.

Locally Crowdsourced App in Development
Cape Town Tourism is currently working on a mobile app - the first one of its kind created by a Destination Marketing Agency - that will be populated with experiences and travel ideas recommended by locals only. Comments Duminy; “A global trend in travel is for visitors to want direct, authentic experiences; immersing themselves in local culture. There is no better guide than a local; who can share all the best ideas about what to do and where to go. We are going out to locals and asking them for their suggestions so we can curate that into a central resource for our visitors.”

Meeting Members Where They Are
Cape Town Tourism launched a new Membership Communicator widget at end October at their 10th AGM. The downloadable app gives all Cape Town Tourism members up to the minute news on tourism-related matters, including news updates, invitations to events, safety alerts and research reports.

They also created their first mobile-friendly interactive Annual Report this year with videos, infographics and succinct information and insights.

Says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Councillor Garreth Bloor; “Cape Town is famous for doing things differently in an inclusive and forward-thinking approach. With these new mobile initiatives developed by Cape Town Tourism, the city positions itself as not only being world-class but also able to deliver excellent and convenient customer service to both locals and visitors.”

Cape Town Infographic
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