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Mauritius leads in SA bookings on high-tech system

The countries that have seen the greatest growth in flight bookings from travellers in South Africa in the last 12 months are Mauritius, Thailand and Zimbabwe, according to analysis conducted by Travelport. 

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Global distribution systems (GDS) are vast hi-tech reservation networks that allow travel agents, travel management companies and large corporations, among others, to search and book airline seats, hotel rooms, rental cars, and other travel related items. Globally in 2017, Travelport alone processed 1 trillion transactions through its platform.

Guido Verweij, Travelport’s Managing Director for Africa, said: “Mauritius holds great appeal for South African travelers. Just a four-hour flight away and with a multitude of beautiful beach resorts to choose from, the Indian Ocean island offers competitively priced package deals to suit all pockets. Mauritius also offers a number of incentives to offshore investors, which continue to help it attract large South African corporates to set up major offices. While Zimbabwe has long been a contentious destination for South Africans, following its economic and political stabilization we’ve seen a spike in bookings to the country, which boasts stunning destinations like Victoria Falls. Zimbabwe has also seen new carriers like Fastjet introduce direct flights from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport. Thailand remains a cost-effective getaway with exotic appeal. Straight forward visa laws and a huge variety of package deals available throughout the year for South African travelers makes this location a good value purchase.”

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turkey completed the top five positions in the table compiled by Travelport. The UAE saw an increase of 9,474 (+17%) in bookings made in South Africa through all GDS. With an increase in bookings of 63% (+6,837), Turkey was the biggest mover in terms of percentage growth out of the ten countries with the largest volume growth. Indonesia was also a big riser, registering a 51% increase (+6,135) in booking from South Africa through all GDS over the last 12 months.

Verweij added: “Travelport has invested significantly in developing cutting-edge analytics products for travel agents and airlines because we recognize the impact they can have on their revenue. Even relatively straight forward booking analysis, like we have done here, can help travel agents evolve the packages they offer in line with traveler demand and support airlines in identifying needs to increase or decrease flight capacity on certain routes. We are already seeing business won and lost through the effective analysis of industry, business and competitive data, and this will only happen more in the years to come as companies become more sophisticated in how they use it.”

Later this week, Travelport will hold its exclusive bi-annual Travelport LIVE Africa event in Cape Town. The event will bring together over 200 business leaders from across the globe to discuss the challenges and opportunities disruptive technologies, like big data, pose to the travel industry in Africa. It will include presentations and panel discussions featuring global, regional and local leaders from Travelport, as well as noteworthy third-party speakers such as Ulrich Homann, Distinguished Architect in the Cloud and Enterprise business at Microsoft.

Fastest-growing destinations for travelers in      South Africa booked through global distribution systems
Rank Destination Vol. Increase % Change
1 Mauritius 17,764 17%
2 Thailand 12,602 27%
3 Zimbabwe 9,506 20%
4 United Arab Emirates 9,474 17%
5 Turkey 6,837 63%
6 Indonesia 6,135 51%
7 United Kingdom 5,154 5%
8 Namibia 4,663 9%
9 China 4,291 10%
10 Netherlands 3,627 20%
This data is derived from Travelport’s interpretation of relevant MIDT data. It reflects bookings made in South Africa through GDS only. Additional booking will have been made directly with airlines, which may or may not also have a GDS presence.

From 1 September 2017 to 31 August 2018, bookings made2 in South Africa through all global distribution systems (GDS) to Mauritius increased by 17,764, up 17% on the previous 12 months. Bookings to Thailand from South Africa over the last          12 months rose by 12,602, up 27%, and to Zimbabwe by 9,506, up 20%.

 

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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