Two new apps offer South Africans retail travel news and braai swapping information. Sure Travel has launched a retail travel agency app for smartphones and tablets and a hungry South African, Kacper Saar, who has been living in the UK for over 10 years, developed 'Let's Braai' app for iPhone.
Travel news updates
In its first version, the Sure Travel app offers streaming travel news, the latest travel packages and an agency locator using iPhones and Android handsets' GPS capabilities. Abigail Pires, solutions optimisation manager for Sure Travel, says that next version of the app may also offer commercial and transactional services.
"We view it as a first step on our broader digital journey. Right now it's a way for our 100 plus agencies to engage in a new way with clients and to drive new traffic to these agencies."
Realm Digital, a Cape-based e-business developer on web, mobile and social platforms, created the app. CEO Wesley Lynch says while many mobile travel apps have seen the light (such as flight search, flight checking and online booking), none has been developed for the retail (franchise store) segment.
Agencies are relevant again
"The origin of this is in the industry's approach to online commerce. The travel industry embraced online commerce from the outset, but also accepted that it has put travel agencies under strain, as travellers went straight to the source.
"But with the arrival of app-based mobile computing, agencies are relevant again. Most people carry mobile phones, which creates new opportunities such as location-aware services. Mobile apps are also easier to use. Apps are the logical vehicle to bring retail stores into the digital mix."
He says future possibilities for the app could include cardless loyalty schemes.
The company is also developing a BlackBerry version, given the platform's continuing popularity in South Africa.
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