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VISTA Destination Network Open Platform and Ecosystem

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WHY | Keep More Tourism Spend in Destinations. Democratize Technology. Economically Sustainable Tourism Development.


WHAT | The 5 Stages of Success holistic methodology and managed service to inclusively enable all hospitality and tourism businesses in a Destination. The seamless and deep integration of rich bookable and non-bookable content and all other relevant details of all hospitality and tourism businesses will be openly made available to all other stakeholders in the destination.


HOW | The Award-Winning VISTA Destination Network Open Platform and Ecosystem combined with the UNWTO Digital Transformation Strategy is a unique Supply-Site Platform and 4th Industrial Revolution Project to enable an entire destination and its hospitality and tourism businesses to take back control of their visibility, digital presence, reputation, communication, and distribution. 

Define three specific objectives that you would like to achieve with your proposal.

PROBLEM SOLVED | The 3 million emerging, small, medium, and independent hospitality and tourism businesses globally are overwhelmed by the increasing and ever faster-changing complexity of technology and value chains to deal with. In many cases they are not professionally trained hoteliers, marketers, digital, or IT geeks, they can't cope and as a result, remain on pen & paper, Excel, or Outlook to manage their business. Only 10% of them have a coherent digital presence and only 15% of them use technology to manage their business. They have become dependent on very few either traditional and no longer sustainable or market-dominant digital value chains and give away 60% to 80% of their profits plus customer ownership. This is not sustainable. 

What problems (particularly in value chain competitiveness and global disruption) are your community’s stakeholders facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic?

#StayHome, for now, is happening all over the world. For the hospitality and tourism industry, it is probably the largest hard-hit and challenge ever.

The Corona Covid-19 crisis, the travel ban, the closing of borders, and all the other measures governments globally put in place, will change everything in this industry forever. Nothing will be the same as it was before.

But this is actually a good thing for Destinations and the Hospitality and Tourism Industry. 

This crisis is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the industry, if Hoteliers, Activity Providers, In-Destination Tour Operators, and entire Destinations take the current crisis situation as a unique opportunity to come out of the crisis and restart their business much better off than they have entered into this crisis. 

This unique opportunity and time is NOW while the entire travel, hospitality and tourism industry has reached the level of almost ZERO occupancy and revenue. This quiet time provides the opportunity for all of us to rethink the way forward. Everybody will be starting at the very same level.

Since Online Travel Agents such as booking.com and others have become market-dominant in the last decade, Hotels have paid 60% to 80% of their profit to them, plus they have handed over the customer ownership. For quite some time it was not sustainable anymore for Hospitality and Tourism businesses. And with this crisis, it has become worse.

However, since the Hospitality and Tourism Industry has been very slow for the last 10+ years in the adoption of new technology and to obtain new market opportunities while the customer behavior changed, Online Travel Agents took over and Hotels around the world have become dependent on them and paying a premium. In fact, in many cases an OTA makes more money with a booking than the Hotel itself while hosting the guest, providing breakfast, etc.

Now in this Corona crisis, which has hit Hospitality and Tourism instantly and harder than many other sectors, Hotels around the world are furious with Online Travel Agents such as booking.com. Obviously all OTAs and many other platforms have been completely overwhelmed and could not at all cope with the number of requests and inquiries received from their customers. Guests in their desperation went directly to Hotels asking for assistance. 

Also, see this Article on Phocuswright - How Italian hoteliers are coping with coronavirus fallout.

Hoteliers tried to handle customer requests for cancelations and refunds as gently as possible in order to retain every possible guest one way or another, providing solutions such as vouchers, credit the amount for a year, free rebooking, etc. 

At the same time, booking.com just decided and published on their website to simply refund 100% on all cancelation requests regardless of the Hotels defined policy and regardless of what the guest might already have agreed with the Hotel. This behavior clearly confirms that those companies neither care for their so-called “partners” nor for the destinations as this unfair business practice has hurt them even more at a time where they really needed the support the most. It is clear to see that those companies run their business model on the back and the account of the suppliers. This can easily be avoided in the future.

When #TravelTomorrow takes place within the next few months, it is high time now to make sure that destinations and their hospitality and tourism businesses do not enter the same trap again and get out of their past dependency.

It is high time for hospitality and tourism businesses and destinations to take back control of their visibility, their digital presence and reputation, their marketing communication and advertising and most importantly and foremost their distribution. 

There is absolutely no need for them to again lose the direct contact to their source markets and guests, to get again dependent on foreign and market-dominating value chains where most of the tourism spend is not being contributed to the destination, its businesses, and people, where Tourism Spend leaks out of the destination and to global conglomerates having no interest in the destination and their suppliers, but only their own balance sheet and shareholder value.

The time is more than ripe for all suppliers such as Hotels, Lodges, Guesthouses, B&Bs, Activity Providers, In-Destination Tour Operators, etc. but also the Tourism Authorities and Associations in Destinations to make sure the sector is fully supported and enabled to keep more tourism spend in the destination and to take back control.

Digital Transformation is the ideal way to achieve just this. Now is the time to engage and to create and provide the local capacity, education and training, democratizing of the respective technology, etc. to enable all hospitality and tourism businesses in the destination and to take back control for sustainable tourism development, when all are starting at zero again.

The UNWTO Digital Transformation Strategy provides a great framework and platform for their member states, destinations, and the hospitality and tourism industry globally. 

rainmaker digital as a social enterprise and an affiliate member of the UNWTO is focusing on a positive impact through tourism and technology, has invented and deployed the VISTA Destination Network. An Open Platform and Ecosystem democratizing technology to seamlessly integrate all hospitality and tourism businesses in destinations. It was always our vision to keep more tourism spend in destinations for sustainable tourism development and to contribute to the sustainability goals.

As the largest industry in the world, tourism is everything and everything is tourism.

Only with sustainable and healthy hospitality and tourism sector, communities, regions, and its people, as well as many other industries, are positively impacted as tourism directly contributes 1 out of 10 jobs and about 10% to the GDP globally.

We believe that the time for #TourismGetsEnabled is now.

We herewith invite all destinations to enquire for our unique Public-Private-Partnership model and our freemium business model, democratizing technology. Affordable and feasible for all emerging, small, medium independent hospitality and tourism businesses to become enabled. The destination is enabled to launch a digital transformation initiative to take back control, to keep more tourism spend in the destination for sustainable tourism development.

What minimum viable solution(s) are you proposing to address the challenge(s) in your community?

SOLUTION PROVIDED | While the 5 Stages of Success is a holistic and fully managed service for the hospitality and tourism businesses, the VISTA Destination Network is our Public-Private Partnership and Freemium Application business model for Tourism Authorities to drive Digital Transformation (4IR) for the entire Destination (Accommodation, Activities, Car-Rental, Tour Operator, Associations) to keep more tourism spend in the destination and gain back control of visibility, digital presence, reputation, communication, and distribution for sustainable tourism development. Aligned with the UNWTO Digital Transformation Strategy, contributing to the Tourism Sustainability Goals.

ACHIEVEMENTS | For the Destination Namibia we achieved 13 million Google searches, 6.5 million business views, 33 million 360° tours, and image views, 1.1 million conversions, 135% more direct bookings through local tour operators and 212% more direct bookings with suppliers as well as 5.900 direct inquiries with local tour operators and suppliers. We have been awarded from the HSMAI in New York, the World Tourism Forum Lucerne, the Africa Tourism Leadership Forum, and the World Travel Market for our innovation and impact. 

Share your story (your narrative)

Future of Tourism in Africa - Keeping More Dollars in Destinations.

The global travel, tourism and hospitality industry is changing at an ever-fast pace. The internet has completely transformed the way people book travel experiences. Newmarket players, business models and value chains have surfaced, thanks to thousands of new digital systems apps and platforms. Yet many disruptor startups retain most of the profits, costing the little guy 60-to-80 percent of their profit. The future of tourism - especially tourism in Africa - depends on yet another shift: one that keeps more dollars in destinations. 

The History of Tourism in Africa

The day-to-day business of hospitality and tourism companies and authorities has become insanely and overwhelmingly complex. 

But at the same time, certain areas of the hospitality and tourism industry have gotten stuck in the past, refusing to adapt to new technology. Before the disruption of startups, the travel industry wasn’t an innovative one and instead, focused most of its resources on customer experience.

Hospitality and activity providers (particularly emerging, small, medium and independent ones) as well as small independent tour operators in destinations, are overwhelmed and unable to cope with these technological changes.

In Africa, only 10 percent of the current 200,000-plus hospitality and tourism providers have a digital presence, while only 15 percent of them are using technology to operate and manage their business. This puts them at a huge disadvantage while they operate on pen-and-paper, Excel or Outlook.

If these providers can’t embrace the future of tourism in Africa to partake in the digital paradigm shift, it will continue to prevent them from creating sustainable occupancy, revenue, and profit.

Tourism Today

As a result, local businesses have become totally dependent on the traditional and no longer sustainable value chain (such as Thomas Cook who just filed for insolvency) or global market digital value chains (such as booking.com) that now dominate the market. 

Meanwhile, traveler behavior has changed entirely; their demands, wants and desires are very different today from what they were even five years ago.

The move from organized group tours to individual (FIT) travel has had a huge impact on the future of tourism for the value chain. The availability of information on the internet has had an even bigger impact, catering to the traveller’s mental model - dreaming, planning, booking, paying, experiencing and sharing. 

Furthermore, the majority of travellers no longer travel for one three-to-four-week period for their annual holiday. Instead, they’re travelling three-to-five times per year on theme trips (such as wellness, golf, or city vacations).

Tourism in Africa

Many African destinations still promote what they have provided for the last 10+ years. They have not changed their offering, presentation, visibility, reputation management, and distribution to adapt to market and consumer changes. For them, the future of tourism is stuck in the past.

Today’s travellers scour the internet for months, visiting hundreds of websites, social media platforms, review platforms, online travel agents and so forth. In this dreaming and planning phase, they are in no rush. Yet when they have made their decisions and have planned their trip, their mindset shifts. 

Travelers demand instant gratification when booking and paying for the trip.

This is where 85 percent of the providers in African destinations fail. The customer is ready to make their booking, but the in-destination providers are not ready. They do not enable the customer to do business with them conveniently. When the customer shifts to “instant gratification” mode, they do not want to email, send enquiry forms or even call the provider. 

They want to book the trip immediately. And if they can’t book with the provider, they’ll do so with a third-party platform or worst case, stuff the trip altogether.

The growing popularity of third-party platforms has also shifted the mindset of the traveller. Third-party platforms offer brand recognition, reviews and an (albeit sometimes a false) sense of security. Should something fall through with the trip, they know exactly how to get their money refunded (as opposed to wiring money to an African tourism provider with no online presence). Many consumers also falsely believe that these platforms offer cheaper prices than booking directly with the local provider. 

The Future of Tourism in Africa and Third-Party Vendors

This results in three types of losses for the destination and its hospitality and tourism businesses.

  1. The customer decides to give up on the Destination altogether as it is too complicated to book and opts for another destination entirely. 
  2. The customer takes the planned itinerary and details and asks a high street travel agent to make the booking. As a result, the supplier in the destination pays 60-to-80 percent of their profit for those bookings - usually for no good reason as the customer is not genuine to this value chain and only used the travel agent out of frustration and desperation.
  3. The customer makes use of online travel agents. Again, the destination supplier unnecessarily pays 60-to-80 percent of their profit for those bookings.

The market power of large online travel agents with strong vision and offerings places the traditional suppliers under heavy pressure. 

The Monopolisation of Consumer-Focused Products

Consumer-focused products are also entering the market, hunting for travellers. Large wholesale operators (such as TUI) in major source markets are utilizing a strategy of vertical integration. 

Some have done this already for the traveller; the next step is the supplier. This will forever change the business of the traditional value chain, DMCs or inbound tour operators.

Suppliers in African destinations receive more pressure from DMCs and traditional value chains to offer lower rates and higher commissions. They are often asked for extra payments for brochure contributions, exhibitions and FAM-trips for travel companies, increasing the cost of distribution even more. 

In many cases, DMCs make block bookings at large to keep out other market players by quasi-monopolizing the inventory. 

Rooms not sold will often be released 30 days prior to arrival with no compensation. This is inventory that is hard to sell, as African destinations are not known as last-minute destinations. 

It gets even worse when DMCs now flood the highly discounted unsold inventory to bed banks who sell them to OTAs and other distribution platforms. Without any influence from the supplier, they suddenly might appear cheaper on those platforms than the Hotel offers directly, creating a rate imparity issue out of the supplier's control.

Future of Tourism in Africa and Sustainable Hospitality

In order to create and develop a sustainable hospitality and tourism industry in Africa, it is of utmost importance to enable hospitality and tourism providers. 

The future of tourism in Africa needs to provide them with digital transformation strategy initiatives, enabling them to make use of technology to conveniently and seamlessly reach potential customers. 

Education, training, awareness, and growth in African destinations is crucial for the future of sustainable tourism. This capacity-building not only affects the market and technology side; it also transforms the economic, social and ecological sustainability of hospitality and tourism in the destination.

rainmaker digital’s Mission

rainmaker’s passion is democratizing technology that previously only large organizations could afford. To us, the future of tourism is empowering African destinations and their hospitality and tourism businesses, enabling them to partake in the digital paradigm shift. 

rainmaker’s VISTA Destination Network Open Platform and Ecosystem technology does exactly this.

Our Public-Private Partnership Model for Destinations and Tourism Authorities and our Freemium business model builds the basis of an inclusive Digital Transformation Initiative for the destination, aligned to the UNWTO Digital Transformation Strategy.

We develop local capacity building programs, consisting of masterclasses and training programs for visibility, reputation, communication and distribution management. 

This inclusive enablement of technical and capacity-building is of utmost importance for a destination, its businesses, and people. 

The future of tourism is all about keeping more dollars in the destination. It also allows for its businesses to move towards an economically, socially and ecologically sustainable tourism development as well as local prosperity, according to the UNWTO Tourism Sustainability Goals.

Please provide any additional relevant information that you would like to share.

DISRUPTION IN HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM IS NOT THE PROBLEM, THE RELUCTANCE TO CHANGE IS.

Airbnb has disrupted the local Namibian hospitality market, much like it did in other countries. It created a new market and proposition that did not previously exist. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with what they did.

Instead of fearing them, the Namibian hospitality industry should embrace them. Consider how these new developments can assist other businesses in achieving their goals. The digital revolution brings opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses, opportunities they would never have had even 10 years ago. The digital revolution is not the problem, the reluctance to change is the problem as it has been throughout the ages.

Let’s start by creating an overly simplified scenario. Jack and Jill have guesthouses next door to each other. Both do very well in the current market. Peter, one of their other neighbors, opens a guesthouse too. His guesthouse offers lower rates and is more modern. Both Jack and Jill lose 50% of their occupancy to Peter’s new venture.

Jack decides to do renovations to improve his sales. It works, and Jack’s sales are back up. Jill believes she needn’t spend money if her model has worked well so far. Rick, another neighbor, realizes their location has potential and joins Airbnb. Jack, Jill, and Peter lose some business to Rick. Jack hires a marketing agency to improve his strategy and online presence. It works, and Jack soon exceeds his previous sales. Rick gets a website and does a bit of intelligent marketing and his occupancy goes back to what it was previously. Jill still thinks she will be fine and business will come back eventually.

The Namibia Tourism Board announces that Airbnb users have to register their properties as an accommodation establishment. Jill is overjoyed and gets her staff members to protest outside Rick’s house for two days until the NTB approaches him about registration. Rick’s Airbnb account is closed for two months while he sorts out his logistical issues. Jill waits for business to go up, but nothing happens. All Rick’s would-be customers go to Jack and Peter’s establishments due to their strong brand identities. Rick eventually gets back into the business and, shortly afterward, Jill goes out of business.

Some business operators simply can’t afford to drastically change their way of doing business, especially if they don’t have the knowledge or expertise. This is understandable, but go back to basics – what sets you apart from your competitors initially? Would you objectively choose your own company above your competitors? If so, why? You need to leverage this and then, through very simple and effective steps forward, get back to your competitive advantage. Plus, you need to know and understand your customers and their needs, desires and wants.

Keep in mind, “if you do what you always did, you get what you always got”. This is certainly the case when people aren’t open to changing their business model. While the world and business around them are undergoing a paradigm change, they stick to their status quo or even try to manifest it against the fact that the world around is changing rapidly.

The Hospitality and Tourism Industry is in flux, there’s huge growth as globally more tourists are discovering the magic that is ‘The Land of the Brave.’ However, to fully benefit, a business needs to be fast, agile and able to adapt accordingly and change its go-to-market business model, as well as tweaking the way it engages and acquires new and returning business.

This does not mean that there shouldn’t be regulations in place to establish fair and level competition. Airbnb has created a completely new market, encouraging homeowners to rent out their rooms in competition with established hospitality businesses. It is obvious that those private operators have to be compliant with the regulations, adhering to fire & safety guidelines, getting registered, accredited, and pay tax and levies like any other market player in the hospitality industry.

Just as the taxi sector was up in arms when Uber started, Airbnb and its hosts need to comply with the country’s existing laws and regulations. Uber drivers should have a valid driver’s license, a roadworthy vehicle and comply with any laws regarding transporting people for money.

Considering the rapid rate at which the industry is changing, growing and new technology is arriving constantly, it is important to remain relevant. Do this by keeping up with trends and embracing new ideas. If a disruptive entity enters the market, don’t be afraid to follow their lead, perhaps even improve on it.

See what makes them successful and learn from that. Find your Unique Value Proposition, build on it and find ways to combine it with current trends. Most importantly, if anything happens to slow down the disruptive entity’s success, don’t get your pitchforks and chase them out of town. Look at how you can prevent similar issues or solve their problems for yourself. Obstacles present opportunities, not dead ends.

Videos
edited on 13th July 2020, 11:07 by Thomas Mueller
Thomas Mueller

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Alex Carle 2 months ago

I dont fully understand the solution and how it can be sustainable. The problem is well articulated though

Reply 1

Thomas Mueller 1 month ago

Thank you Alex. We are focusing on economical sustainability. That begins with the booking. If bookings are done direct in the destination with the supplier, a local tour operator or the destination portal, 100% of the tourism spend remains in the destination.

The Ecosystem seamlessly connects/integrates and normalizes all supplier and their non-bookable content and real-time transactions. Local Tour Operators due to their integration make use of all this content and transaction and the same goes for the destination portal.

We enable the supplier in terms of their visibility on Google, their WebSite, their reputation, communication and their distribution.

Due to this, the local tour operator and destination portal provides additional exposure. Due to the interlinking of supplier, local tour operator and destination portal which is actively marketed, all participate from the organic traffic and holistic SEO.

Now, the traveler has three options to get instant gratification and convenience directly in the destination. No need to use OTA etc.

Reply 0

Moe Ba 2 months ago

Do you have a link to the minimum viable solution so we can see what it is?

Reply 1

Thomas Mueller 1 month ago

Thank you Moe, this is not a consumer facing booking website or such. It is a rather complex ecosytem platform that does not have that one user interface to work on. But if you want to see how it works, we can setup a demo call.

Reply 0

Patrick Obumselu 1 month ago

There is too much information to chew. Can you make your proposal consider and understandable. I feel you have a great thing.

Reply 1

Thomas Mueller 1 month ago

Thank you Patrick. I fully understand. Tourism, Travel and Hospitality is a very complex sector given the many value chains. Yes, I can make that very easy to digest. Just let me know and we can arrange for a call.

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Sunday Bawa 1 month ago

I have some questions regarding to your proposal: Who exactly is your target customer? Is your customer the same as your user or they are separate entities? What specific industry? Who are your key stakeholders? Can you please give more details about them? How do you plan to bring your project to life?

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Thomas Mueller 1 month ago

Thank you Sunday, the platform is already in operation and we have some 28.000 properties in 25 African countries integrated. Depending on the destination we either target all the emerging, small, medium and independent hospitality and tourism businesses or we target the respective tourism authority or association to create a digital transformation initiative in the destination enabling all hospitality and tourism businesses.

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(Account removed) 1 month ago

Nice and Intersting Tool!

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(Account removed) 1 month ago

Chapeau! In a world obsessed and powered by technology and artificial intelligence, real, meaningful change in global tourism Industry is only made possible by Hybrid human/technology collaborating eco-systems like Vista in alignment with the UNWTO. Smart, ambitious, and brought to life by principled people.

Reply 1

Thomas Mueller 3 weeks ago

Thank you very much Tobias for your encouraging feedback.

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(Account removed) 3 weeks ago

Very well thought of solution - good analysis of the current situation of single bookable accommodation - and as such a good 'answer' to implement it. Keeping the tourism spend in the area where one spends its holiday is a very good cause.

Reply 2

Thomas Mueller 3 weeks ago

Thank you very much Michael. Responsible Travel, Fair Travel and Economical Sustainability of Destinations and its hospitality and tourism businesses is indeed more important than ever. Especially with Corona, destinations are looking for better and less dependable ways to do business and take back control.

Reply 0

Nivashini Rave Rattey 3 weeks ago

The idea has been progressed to the next milestone.

Reply 0

Nivashini Rave Rattey 3 weeks ago

Status labels added: Community feedback received, Expert feedback received

Reply 1

Nivashini Rave Rattey 3 weeks ago

Status label removed: Expert feedback received

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EUNICE KAJALA 2 weeks ago

Hi Thomas,
It is good project. Does your network Open Platform provide information to travellers, about health; vaccinations, prophylaxis and overall security issues?

Reply 1

Thomas Mueller 2 weeks ago

Dear Eunice, since we are not consumer focusing at all and just enable hospitality and tourism businesses and entire destinations with their visibility, digital presence, reputation, communication and distribution we don't have that. The focus is more on the content and the booking and payment transactions.

There are plenty of websites aggregating all sort of informations with regards to Corona.

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Karin Rehar 2 weeks ago

I really like your idea, because I agree that the fees collected by Booking and so on are just too high... It's a shame a solution like this didn't exist before the Covid 19, but better late then never. Maybe now is time to develop this solution and get many new users so when the tourism will take off again this is ready to be used.

Reply 1

Thomas Mueller 2 weeks ago

Thank you very much Karin for your message. This is very much appreciated. We actually have started in 2016 with this platform and our 5 Stages of Success in Namibia. But now with Corona it becomes ever more important.

Please also see an article on this here: https://lnkd.in/gqrPxHT

With Corona we just have speed up and assisted more destinations and more hospitality and tourism businesses to pivot and change for the better.

We also provided our technology to www.ubuntubeds.org as a central reservation system to 1.200 accommodation providers who take bookings from 400 hospitals in their vicinity to avoid health care workers commuting and putting their communities, friends and families at risk.

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Thomas Mueller 1 week ago

Just as an update how our platform and technology already actively solves an urgently needed problem in this Corona Situation.

We provided our VISTA Destination Network Open Platform and Ecosystem as well as the VISTA.frontdesk central reservation system and the VISTA.pay payment services to www.ubuntubeds.org.

To date, some 9.500 nights have been booked, 642 healthcare workers signed up, 3511 doctors and nurses have been placed and 1026 accommodation providers with approximately 16.000 plus rooms situated across the country, close to hospitals and clinics, have been onboarded to the platform in only three weeks.

Please see the details in the attached file.

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Achia Khaleda 1 week ago

Good noe for traveler, How do you ensure their security. Do you have any plan for solo women traveler.

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Thomas Mueller 1 week ago

Dear Achia, Thank you very much for your Question. We are not a Tour Operator or an Online Travel Agent. We are not Consumer Facing. We are a true supply side platform, building an ecosystem in a destination to enable all products and local tour operators to partake in the digital transformation of their destination.

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Achia Khaleda 1 week ago

thank you dear for making me understand

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Htet Zan Linn 1 week ago

@Thomas Excellent take on helping small local businesses. Small tour hospitality business operators often suffer massive customer acquisition cost and money that could have gone into providing better service goes in trying to find more customers often ending up with big operators like Booking or Agoda. I am wondering if you have shown the before and after CAC for small business operators in your project and what is the % difference looking like? (Sorry if you have already shown this in your pitch deck, I have not had a chance to go through this)

Reply 1

Thomas Mueller 3 days ago

Thanks Htet,

I totally agree with you. The core is that a hospitality and tourism business is actually providing what the traveler wants and desires and expects. This is followed by the travelers mental model of dreaming, planning, booking, experiencing and sharing. A closed loop which creates trusted user content for others to start dreaming.

Currently this is not the case and the customer goes to such platforms. As soon as a destination and its hospitality and tourism businesses are enabled and take back control of their visibility, digital presence, reputation, communication and distribution we generate a huge amount of direct bookings. In one destination we created 135% more direct tour operator bookings in the destination and 212% more direct bookings at the products. This is a huge difference, since those bookings are without the huge CAC paid to Online Travel Agents and, more even more importantly, all the tourism spend is being kept in the destination.

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Carolyn Keenan 4 days ago

Hi Thomas
Thank you for your application. I certainly think it is important that the destinations in Africa benefit more from tourism money rather than it lining the pockets of established corporates. As you point out security is I would suggest one of the main determinants for tourists pushing them towards using the likes of booking.com so reassuring them that your alternative is secure would be key.
I am a bit confused about who your target audience is. Will it be the individual hotels, B&B, lodges etc or if you want the whole destination to benefit are you targeting the Tourism Authorities and associations? It is important that you clearly define who your main target market is as this will affect your route to market and your marketing strategy.
I am interested to know your motivation for developing this business as the story telling aspect of your submission isn’t overly clear.
Overall I wish you the best with the business during this particularly torrid time for the industry.
Best wishes
Carolyn

Reply 1

Thomas Mueller 3 days ago

Dear Carolyn, Thank you very much for your comment.

The actual reason why travelers make use of OTAs and such is not security. It is in fact the simple reason that currently 85% of the hospitality and tourism businesses in Africa don't give the customer what they want, aligned to the travelers mental model - Dreaming - Large Visuals, Planning - All facts and Figures in one place, Booking - seamless book and pay service. So, in fact, due to this the sector is driving travelers away from their own digital presence to those platforms and pay a huge toll.

Our 5 Stages of Success holistic managed service is targeted to the individual hospitality and tourism business while the Destination Network Open Platform is targeted to the Tourism Authority/Tourism Association. In some destinations with begin with the 5 Stages and than are able to convince the Tourism Authority and in others we start with a Digital Transformation from a destination perspective. In any case, both go hand in hand like a push pull model.

The story is quite clear. We are a social enterprise focused on the impact we create in terms of economical sustainability. We believe economical sustainability is the key and foundation for either social or ecological sustainability. We democratize technology, make it inclusively and pervasively available to all emerging, micro, small, medium and independent hospitality and tourism businesses and the destination in order to keep more tourism spend in such destinations. On a destination level this is a 4th industrial revolution or digital transformation project.

Reply 0

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