Version 1of SA’s first retail travel agency app offers location-aware informational services.
Sure Travel, South Africa’s largest owner-managed travel agency group, has launched the country’s first retail travel agency app for smartphones and tablets.
In its first version, the app offers streaming travel news, the latest travel packages and an agency locator using the smartphone’s GPS capabilities.
Abigail Pires, Solutions Optimisation Manager for Sure Travel, says that next versions 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.”
First for retail travel
The app was created by Realmdigital, the leading Cape-based e-business developer on Web, mobile and social platforms.
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.
“The origin of this is in the industry’s approach to online commerce,” he explains. “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 like 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 card-less loyalty schemes.
The Sure Travel app is available for iPhones and Android handsets, with most requests for downloads coming from iPhone users. Realmdigital is also developing a BlackBerry version, given the platform’s continuing popularity in South Africa.
Since launch, reports Pires, the company has had multiple downloads, making it the 10th most popular SA travel app in the Apple Store at the time of its launch. “We’re really pleased, as this has given us the advantage of being the first retail travel group in South Africa to engage with the travelling mobile generation.”
Realmdigital is a top South African e-business strategy and technology partner, specialising in Internet and mobile platforms. The company has proven local and international success in building leading online businesses including Avusa (incorporating Exclusive Books), Naspers, Die Burger, Media 24, Ford and Mix Telematics (Matrix Vehicle Tracking). Founded in 1999 by CEO Wesley Lynch, the company lists industry-leading clients across all industries, with a strong install base in retail and travel. Realmdigital’s e-business engagements are grounded in a strong solution portfolio that integrates with best-in-class technologies, including payment and booking/reservation engines, SEO techniques, CMS, CRM and Intranet platforms. In addition we offer an established lead development capability and an advanced partner management and project methodology. Together, these elements make up a comprehensive e-business enablement portfolio comprising a full spectrum of work streams – digital strategy, creative and technological.
Imagine then Build!
Tel: +27 (0)21 975 0959
Cell: +27 (0)82 784 4905