South Africa is banking on its upgraded contact centre and the internet to help solve accommodation and other issues related to visitors who will attend the 2010 Soccer World Cup. At a press briefing yesterday, Sindiswa Nhlumayo, deputy director for tourism at the Department of Tourism, said the Web address for the accommodation and listing portal will be www.rooms4u.travel. It will serve as a tool to service providers to get their stock on the market.
She said there will be no charge for the portal’s services, but “a small fee will be levied for every successful transaction”. It will also be an easy to use point of service for local and international travellers to locate and book accommodation in SA. Information for the booking portal will be provided by a database that was created as a result of an audit that used information gathered from all the provinces, the Federated Hospitality Association of SA and the Tourism Business Council of SA. Nhlumayo said this had determined there were 202 712 rooms and 405 424 beds available for the event.
The contact centre, which will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is an upgrade of the existing SA Tourism call centre, which is currently run by CCN. “We now call it a contact centre and not a call centre because it has been significantly upgraded to use various communications technologies, and it is now able to offer English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese and, by next year February, Spanish,” Nhlumayo said.