The new Durban Accommodation app. (Source: Play Store)
Cape Town – There’s no doubt that technology has revolutionised the tourism industry, and everyday there’s a new tech-savvy product that makes travelling even more simple and easy.
One of these new products is Durban Accommodation - an application launched by Durban Tourism that’s available for download on Android Play Store.
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The locally developed app lists hundreds of Durban’s accommodation venues – including hotels and BnBs - as well as airports, banks, garages, hospitals, police stations, restaurants and shopping malls in the city.
The app needs permission to access a user’s location to assist in navigating them to their desired destination.
Durban Accommodation also provides contact information on various tourist attractions in the city and the tourism offices. Other useful links for the city’s visitors include emergency numbers and places where foreign exchange can take place.
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"The app was developed based on compliance audits at all accommodation sectors, both formal and informal, in the Durban area. Compliance in terms of business licencing, CTO registrations, and we included grading, pet-friendly and universal accessibility," Roshni Mehta of Durban Tourism told Traveller24.
"We had created a database on the accommodation establishments that were compliant. We decided that based on our youth travel study, most people traveling below the age of 35 are the adventurers that just buy a ticket to a long-haul destination and then seek accommodation at the destination. We wanted to make finding accommodation easier - keeping with international trends - hence the accommodation app was created," she adds.
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The app took about 3 months to be developed by consultants, Lulu Lonke. "It is still at its initial stage and we are still working on updating, modifications, add-ons and improvements," Mehta told Traveller24.
Mehta says that the app allows tourists "to make informed decisions as to where to go and what to do".
"The accommodation service provides the name of the establishment, the address and telephone number, website that can be accessed and the star grading of the establishment, UA and whether it is pet friendly."
"This app has been developed to make the experience of the discerning tourist a pleasant one, thus meeting their expectation and providing on the go assistance," she adds.
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“No more carrying catalogues and maps for activities in Durban,” adds Durban Tourism on Twitter, saying that all one needs to do is download the app.
However, while most comments on Play Store about the app say it’s “convenient for tourists” and “easy to use”, others say its “probably the most useless app” and that people should not “waste data” on it.
If you downloaded the app or plan on doing so, let us know your thoughts on it by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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