RTG ups digital stakes

HARARE - Rainbow Tourism Group, Zimbabwe’s second largest hospitality entity, launched the tourism industry’s first integrated mobile and website App in Harare yesterday.

The innovative mobile application called RTG Gateway App was launched at the Rainbow Towers Hotel and Conference Centre by Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Prisca Mupfumira.

Mupfumira commended RTG for pioneering the adoption of technology, which is set to revolutionise the way customers transact and access tourism and other products.

“Global trends have shown that business in the more developed countries is now being conducted predominantly on internet based platforms.

“This is quite visible in the tourism industry where individuals go to the Internet to choose a holiday destination, review other people’s experiences, make a decision, book and pay online for all their travel requirements using platforms such as TripAdvisor, Expedia and other booking engines,” she said, adding that the initiative by RTG was a giant step towards access to tourism products and information.

The Tourism minister praised RTG for cooperating with competitors to create a win-win relationship that will enable users of the App to see the rich domestic tourism product offering in far flung places, not previously visible to the ordinary Zimbabwean.

“This model has seen RTG spread its geographical presence into areas it does not have any hotels through partnerships with small-to-medium hospitality players.

“The RTG Gateway App initially carries 40 non-RTG restaurants in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls, and it has at least 80 RTG virtual partner hotels and lodges, spread across the country.

“This is in addition to the 30 privately-owned houses already signed up onto the RTG Gateway App. I am thrilled at the choice the App will offer Zimbabweans, whether one chooses to stay in a hotel, lodge, bed and breakfast, house or even a house boat, all these can be found, booked and paid for via the App,” said Mupfumira.

Speaking at the launch RTG chief executive officer Tendai Madziwanyika said the vision behind the App was to give users access to tourism products and services at the touch of a button.

“The RTG Gateway App enables a user to book and pay for hotel accommodation, book a table for a meal, order prepared food for delivery and buy gifts for loved ones, both from RTG and its partners on the RTG Gateway App,” said Madziwanyika.

He added the App had provided the unique opportunity for RTG to cooperate with partners, who under normal circumstance would be deemed competition.

Madziwanyika said they adopted a co-opetition approach to business as can be demonstrated by their RTG Virtual platform which was launched in 2014.

RTG Virtual is a partnership platform between RTG and selected hotels, lodges and tourism activity companies in Zimbabwe, in areas where RTG has no hotels.

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