Tourism has been cited as the world's largest single industry, supporting more than 250 million jobs worldwide, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.
Some disagree with this, saying that it is perhaps only the 4th largest industry in the world, but still confirm that 250 million people are employed in this sector. So what it is is only 4th - this is still very large by any standards. Within South Africa, tourism generates R320 billion towards the GDP, which is 11.4% of the total economy. There are more than 1.2 million people working in tourism, which represented just more than 10% of the total jobs in the country.
XtownX was originally conceived for identifying and sharing information on local businesses and skills, to support growth and development of local economies. However, every local economy has tourism as one its key drivers, and in many places it is the primary economic activity.
Whenever people travel from one place to another, for any reason, they will want to know a lot about the places they will be going to, and travelling through on their way to their destination. However, we found that in practise this information is mostly unavailable, except for a massive amount available on accommodation. But very little available on what the visitors should do while they are in a place, where they should eat, what sports activities are available, what is going on in the place while they are there, and who to contact if they run into trouble.
This was our starting point for the development of our eTourism Portal.
Once the core XtownX portal was established, with its ability to connect people, business, places, communities and governments, we started to explore more specific requirements concerning particular user needs, and one of the first of these was the needs of visitors / tourists when visiting specific places.
XtownX provides the following tourism information:
- where to stay
- places to visit
- things to do
- what routes to drive to discover the area
- where to eat
- what's on
- where to get help
Through this, visitors then then encouraged to experience the towns they visit to the full and consequently to increase their spend and return visits, as well as their word-of-mouth promotion to their friends, family and colleagues.