By Alois Vinga
ZIMBABWE has launched a mobile application which captures information on the country’s premier leisure sports and accommodation facilities in a development that aims to make it easier for tourists to plan their visits to the country.
Briefing the media at a Harare hotel on Monday, Tourism Minister Prisca Mupfumira described the development as a milestone in the Tourism Digital Space.
“This will translate into increased tourist arrivals, which in turn will generate the much needed foreign currency and create employment for our people,” she said.
To achieve this, said the Minister, it was necessary to invest in digital marketing in the tourism sector which has the potential to significantly increase the sector’s contribution to the economy.
“Online statistics have shown that globally, tourists are now using smartphones to explore destinations and products.
“Mobile apps account for 37 percent of travellers’ shopping for flights and 43 percent for accommodation.
“It has also been noted that 90 percent of all travel is searched online and travel decisions are based on reviews of other travellers,” Mupfumira said.
The mobile application was developed by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and its technology partner, Accoleisure (Pvt) Ltd.
The app is named Accoleisure, which is short for Accommodation and Leisure and it provides full contact details of tourism operators or service providers to both local and foreign tourists.
It also lists events, sports fixtures, restaurants and accommodation facilities across the country including details of prices.
The app has an activities section with a variety of sub-menus to do such as game drives, hideouts, adventures, adrenaline and conservation.
Under these menus, there are contacts to the companies that provide these services and brief descriptions of what they offer.
It also has an emergency services section which contains the ambulance, road side assistance, and fire brigade and police services.