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  • Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko to step down
    Telkom has announced that its CEO and executive director Sipho Maseko will step down on 30 June 2022. The telecoms company said the process to appoint a successor is well underway and a designated group CEO will be announced in the not too distant future.
  • How cooking oil brought a moment of joy during a dreadful week
    It is possible that cooking oil prevented more looting in South Africa in the last week than the president, the ANC, the intelligence community, the army and the police combined. This, without question, says something about the versatility of the product. It says even more about the state of the state. When you are shown up by canola, you might want to revisit your strategy. By Howard Feldman
  • Park Advertising launches digital performance unit, Lucid Media
    Performance Media across Search, Social and Programmatic platforms is the single fastest growing area of digital media in South Africa. Combine that with the detailed analysis of campaign management, tagging and ad operations, and it becomes apparent that these highly specialist functions require a highly specialised unit.
  • Transnet hit by cyberattack - Operations disrupted nationwide
    The Transnet Port Terminals website has been hacked, implying that all companies under Transnet have been affected. All Transnet websites were down at the time when reporting was done for this SA Trucker article. The publication cited sources who requested to remain anonymous because they are not allowed to speak to the media.
  • #BehindtheBrandManager: Meet Tamsin Darroch of Kellogg's South Africa
    Few food brands have the historical connection with consumers around the world as Kellogg's does, having held meaning at the breakfast table for over a century. By Lauren Hartzenberg
  • Business unusual for small enterprises on the road to recovery
    The Covid-19 pandemic has hit South Africa's small business sector hard and there are grim statistics to bear this out. Those statistics will not be repeated here. After all, if you are a small business owner setting out on the road to recovery, the last thing you probably want is more details of the toll the pandemic has taken on small enterprises. Far more useful would be some good, solid tips on how to build back better after any business setbacks. By Ameen Hassen
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Disruptive tech driving transformation in tourism

Put yourself in the shoes of the 20th Century traveller; just a couple of years ago, the avid explorer would watch interesting programmes on TV or head to the library to research destinations. Then they'd head to a travel agent and browse brochures before making a booking.

That would involve a trip to the bank, too, and then still another trip to the mall to get travel supplies and suitable clothing. All that travelling before even leaving home. Now, it's possible to do all of that and more from your mobile phone or laptop. The world as we know it is changing, with technology disrupting how we explore the global village.
©Antonio Guillem via 123RF

The African experience emerges

Across Africa, countries are coming online at a faster rate than any other continent on the planet, largely because we have lagged in developing the necessary infrastructure, but this is enabling young entrepreneurs to develop innovative travel solutions suitable to our own context. It’s creating jobs that didn’t exist 25 years ago and is at the very heart of a transformative revolution that spans many nations. Travellers and tourism professionals are, quite literally, holding their future in their hands.

The more African countries come online, and visitors can share their travel experiences via social media channels while travelling, the more we’re opening up to the global travel market. It may have been tricky to find out about certain countries previously, with very little being available even in libraries, but now you can follow a hashtag like #ExploreZambia (for example) and get a vivid explorer’s eye view for the land, to whet your appetite for travel.

The theme for the UNWTO's World Tourism Day for 2018 is digital transformation in tourism, described by the organisation as "helping to put the opportunities provided to tourism, by technological advances including big data, artificial intelligence and digital platforms, on the map of sustainable development. The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) sees digital advances and innovation as part of the solution to the challenge of marrying continued growth with a more sustainable and responsible tourism sector."

Furthermore, UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili has stated that harnessing innovation and digital advances provides tourism with opportunities to improve inclusiveness, local community empowerment and efficient resource management, amongst other objectives within the wider sustainable development agenda, and those are critical elements to the development of which we are very much aware in South Africa.

Inclusivity – a call to action

Our innovative approach to addressing water shortages has proven that we’re capable when it comes to doing just that, with initiatives ranging from desalination projects to awareness campaigns that reinforce our activities. New technologies are breaking down barriers to access in business, such as on-the-go payment options like Yoco and Snapscan, widening opportunities for SMEs and making it easier for visitors to pay.

Another means by which we’re tackling transformation is within our neighbourhoods, driving inclusivity by showcasing micro-tourism businesses so that the whole world can see what life is like in neighbourhoods such as Langa, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha, for example. This enables us to work with communities to ensure that the benefits of tourism don’t just dwell with larger tourism enterprises, but that SMEs can share in the economic impact.

Our journey to sustainability in tourism cannot be steered by one organisation or government department, it must be a factor that’s central to every business strategy. With increased access to remarkable technological solutions, we have no excuse for ignoring this call to action – the more energy we put into expanding our technological transformation, the more we’ll see entire communities benefiting, from increased economic rewards to job and entrepreneurial opportunities.

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