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Namibia’s rainmaker set to host African tourism online

Namibian startup, rainmaker Digital, is rolling out its plan to host businesses from the tourism industry on its digital platform. The platform is setup to help hospitality and tourism businesses acquire and maintain steady and substantial online presence.

The setup involves using its VISTA Destination Network Open Platform and Ecosystem. The system helps make technology available to small, medium and independent hospitality and tourism businesses. The company was founded in 2016 and has set out to help destination management, hospitality and tourism businesses with local reputations compete against the established travel agents. It does this by putting them online and helping get them established there.

First of all, rainmaker sets up a business’ complete Google environment and then optimizes it. Secondly, it goes ahead to build their online presence and caters to the business’ digital reputation on over 200 platforms such as Google, TripAdvisor and Holidaycheck. All these touch points are integrated into rainmaker’s property management system. It also assists in creating and managing targeted online advertising campaigns for customers. The company currently has over 50 businesses paying for its services.

“By seamlessly connecting all relevant stakeholders in terms of their rich content and real-time business transactions such as availability, rates, bookings and payments, rainmaker creates competitive advantages for the local in-destination businesses, enabling them to provide instant gratification to the consumer, comprised of in-depth destination experience and personal assistance,” Thomas Müller, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of rainmaker explained while speaking to Disrupt Africa.

He also explained that the major hurdle facing local African businesses is that they do not know or integrate the IT industry.  The majority destination management, hospitality and tourism businesses are setup to cater to a wider audience than they are able to reach. This situation means their online presence is regulated by the giants in the industry.

With rainmaker’s network, small and medium businesses with a low level of sophistication can garner enough online presence to boost their business.

Established in Namibia, the company used the country as a test market and it has reportedly been an excellent one with the company tripling and doubling its revenue in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Rainmaker recently opened a South African satellite office in Cape Town, and already has plans to expand into between 15 and 20 other destinations in Africa over the next five years.

BY BOLA JOHNSON