Reflecting on the Success of the Tech & Tourism Conference: A Celebration of Innovation and Collaboration

As the dust settles after the Tech & Tourism Conference, what an incredible experience this Journey has been for myself and my Team as we close off this year’s inaugural Conference. From the genuinely intriguing conversation on the innovations they have conjured up with their partners over at Blue Label Telecoms, to the wonderful chat with Adi Eyal on the power of AI and the tools of the future and the breadth of knowledge that Dr Bridget Ssamula brought to the conference, I cannot begin to express the sheer level of teachings that permeated the Tech & Tourism Conference and my absolute joy that was it’s eventuality – the sharing of knowledge for the greater good.

First and foremost, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the participants, speakers, sponsors, and attendees who made the Tech & Tourism Conference an incredible success. Your passion, expertise, and dedication to shaping the future of travel and technology were truly inspiring.
Two of the most remarkable aspects of the conference was the opportunity to learn and the joy of bringing together industry leaders from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. We could not have anticipated the interactive nature of the Conference attendees and the appetite of the audience to engage with the content and delve into the opportunities that have laid dormant in the industry for an extended period of time. In the words of one of our delegates, “No, the robot will not replace the human touch, it should serve as a compliment to provide efficiency and enhance your superpower!” The energy and enthusiasm in the room were palpable, creating an atmosphere of excitement and possibility.

Some of the Key takeaways for me was something that Dr Bridget Ssamula, CEO and leader of ECSA, offered when she was asked about the challenges surrounding Gauteng Tourism’s development vs that of the continent’s formidable Tourism Expert, Cape Town or the Western Cape. She said that the one thing that Cape Town and the Western Cape at large has gotten right is the Value Chain that Tourism requires. This seems obvious but if you really think about it, what she said is that the attention to detail in creating the seamless experience in the “little things”, like the check in process, tours etc, are the fundamental tenets of building a robust Tourism Industry.
As we concentrate on the importance of Tech and its inevitability, our role is to use the technology to create better experiences that immediately translate to the consumer of Travel to drive Tourism at large. As technology continues to revolutionize the travel industry, companies must embrace innovations such as AI, virtual reality, and data analytics to deliver personalized and seamless customer experiences that possess the ROI that we need to drive the expansion of the Tourism industry.

Something that was also incredibly important and a key differentiating factor at the Conference was the importance of definition. I had always understood AR, or Augmented Reality, to be a far fetched concept that required many ancillary services to constitute it as such. According to Mmuso Mafisa from VEZA Interactive, your phone screen is Augmented Reality. It is as simple as that. There are a multitude of elements that, in its purest form, it holds true AND it is as accessible as watching a video on your phone that delivers to you a reality that may offer you a version of a reality from a different perspective or through a different lens i.e. Youtube, Instagram and the like.

It is for this reason that we are pleased to announce the Tech & Tourism 2025 and an exciting addition to the Tech & Tourism Platform, the TechTour Pitch Den, due to be announced in the coming weeks. We are hoping that our initiative to bring great minds and phenomenal ideas to the industry will assist in the evolution of the Tourism industry for the foreseeable future.
Overall, the Tech & Tourism Conference was a resounding success, showcasing the transformative power of technology and the limitless possibilities it offers for the future of travel. As we look ahead, let us continue to embrace innovation, foster collaboration, and work together to shape a brighter future for the travel industry.

Thank you once again to everyone who participated in making the Tech & Tourism Conference a truly unforgettable experience. Here’s to many more years of innovation, collaboration, and success in the exciting world of travel and technology.

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