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World's first travel and data management company launched

BY: Seth J. Bokpe
World's first travel and data management company launched
World's first travel and data management company launched

Jurni South Africa, the world’s first travel and data management company has been launched with a pledge to roll out an information hub that will collect real time data on South Africa tourism by December this year.

The initiative expected to provide small and medium enterprises the opportunity to showcase South Africa’s hidden tourist attractions and establishments was launched on the sidelines of Travel Indaba, a gathering of tourism stakeholders across world.

It leverages on technology with the goal of collecting and showcasing meaningful travel and tourism data.

What it will do

A visitor app and information portal provide travellers with a wealth of useful real-time travel information including GEO-location and mapping of South African experiences, access to a tourist safety tool, a helpline and social media sharing.

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A collaboration between South Africa’s National Department of Tourism and a computer reservation system, Amadeus, Jurni is expected to centralise information on South Africa tourism to enhance to enhance decision on the part of policy makers while at the same time enhancing tourists visiting South Africa.

Dr Nomvuselelo Songelwa, CEO of Jurni, said the digital platforms will help generate missing data that the industry needs to make better decisions, reach the traveller more effectively and connect SMEs to the global market.

“Jurni is a big step for the South African digital space as it will help to merge new and old data through our digital platforms like the Jurni App and Information Portal that will be developed soon.

“Jurni will, therefore, provide a centralised data hub that will help the travel industry better respond to the needs of the traveller visiting South Africa,” she said.

Analysis

South Africa’s Tourism Minister, Mr Derek Hanekom observed that the app would help South Africa better analyse the dynamics of its visitors and help explain factors including “Why do tourists come to South Africa? Why would tourists want to come to South Africa? When they come to South Africa, what do they do? What do they enjoy most of their time spent in South Africa?”

“What do they think could be better? In the end, our data will be an effective tool for decision making whether it is for small business, whether through the booking app, the information we need for marketing or improving experiences. Where do tourists who visit South Africa go? Which roads do they travel on and where do they sleep? “Unless we have this information, we won’t be able to design a better experience adequately. We won’t be able to market because we may be hitting the wrong chords. Because we are not guided by a reliable and useful information,” he said.

With Jurni expected to play a critical roll in training frontline staff for the tourism sector in South Africa, he said skills development and training was very important for[U1] the country to be able to provide the best of the best.

“This is about enhancing tourism experiences, good decision making and growing tourism in South Africa.

“One of things we take decisions on is good and reliable information. To have a good sense of what the critical training needs are, are we providing the right training needed by the industry? Is that training relevant? Are we providing the training so that when we provide resources, we direct them at the appropriate places to solve the critical need and ultimately measure the result?

Jurni

Jurni is the official rebranding of the National Tourism Visitor Information System (NTVIS) initiative, which was launched by Amadeus IT in conjunction with the South African Department of Tourism and the Thebe Tourism Group at Indaba last year.

Mr Andy Hedley, MD Amadeus Southern Africa, said the company was committed to transformational, sustainable and inclusive growth of the global travel and tourism sector using digitisation.

The Travel Indaba

It offers industry players and its stakeholders an opportunity to meet and engage on the challenges and opportunities that affect the advancement of tourism on the continent.

The event showcases the widest variety of the continent’s best tourism products and attracts international buyers and media from across the world.

Indaba not only provides a vital platform for buying and selling of tourism products but also provides a platform for collaboration and dialogue around issues and policies affecting tourism.

Indaba is Africa's biggest travel and trade show with over 7 000 delegates from 80 countries attending last year's event.