Travel tech hub launches in Cape Town

SOUTH AFRICA  – The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) has announced a new tech hub focused on travel technology.

The innovation cluster is expected to drive investment into the local and national economy by boosting tourism.

“We believe that travel technology has enormous transformative potential and that the creation of a TravelTech cluster to stimulate development and investment will benefit not only Cape Town but the entire country,” said CiTi chief executive Ian Merrington.

According to Cape Town Tourism, 4.6 million visitors arrived at Cape Town International Airport in 2015, of which 770 834 were international visitors.

According to consulting firm Horwath HTL, the city also had a high hotel room occupancy rate of 63.7% for the year, representing marginal growth of 0.2%, though the average room rate climbed 8.8% to R1 360.

App development

“The tourism sector is a priority job creation area for the Western Cape and also a vehicle for sustainable economic growth.

A TravelTech innovation cluster gives us the opportunity to use our regional innovation leadership and competency to further accelerate the growth of business involved in travel and tourism,” said Beverley Schäfer, Western Cape Parliamentary Whip and chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Tourism and Agriculture.

The cluster is expected to stimulate the development of applications and platform critical to expanding the travel technology space.

“In the Western Cape alone, there is a lot happening in the travel tech space and yet there seems to be a sense of dispersement, rather than an integrated and networked community,” said Maija de Rijk Uys, managing director of go2africa.

Booking startup Travelstart recently received $40m in venture capital funding and the hub will support travel specialist firms including MacGuffin&Fogg, go2africa and Explore Sideways, among others.

April 1, 2016;