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This month we look at the impact of the technology revolution on the tourism business and offer 8 tips on protecting your business from cyber attack.
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Tourism businesses in race to keep up with fast-changing tech

The technological revolution has left no industry untouched, but few sectors are being transformed as profoundly as tourism. In many ways, it has made it easier for business owners to manage their small and medium tourism businesses, but it certainly has also introduced significant challenges for anyone trying to grow a modern tourism operation, says Arnold February, area manager at Business Partners Limited.

There is little doubt that the tourism industry as a whole owes its ongoing rapid expansion to a large extent to technological progress. It is, quite simply, easier to travel than ever before. Bookings and boarding systems are becoming seamless. Planes are bigger, faster and more fuel efficient than ever. Road transport systems are improving. With GPS technology and mobile connectivity it is nearly impossible to get lost; updated information is available online about nearly every corner of the world.

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Eight tips to protect your business from cyber attacks

The false impression that cyber-attacks are aimed solely at large organisation is understandable. It is only the big data breaches that reach the news, says Jeremy Lang, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited.

The sober fact is, however, that as much as 70% of cybercrime in the US is aimed at small businesses, according to figures released by the National Cyber Security Alliance. The exact figures for South Africa are not yet known, but it is plausible that South African owner-managed businesses are equally at risk, says Lang.

The dangers include having to pay ransom to hackers who encrypt your company information, having your business’s website and social media accounts vandalised, your bank accounts raided and your customers’ confidential information breached.

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October 2018 / Vol.9.8

IN THIS ISSUE:

Entrepreneur’s big dream within reach after incremental growth
 

Lorraine Chitate always loved travelling and tourism, but for a long time her dream of owning her own hotel or resort one day seemed out of reach, until a chance meeting with a guest-house owner changed her life.

As a young Zimbabwean nurse it was her love of travel, which she shared with her doctor husband that brought the couple to South Africa in the mid ‘90s, “just for an adventure”. The idea was to stay for just a year or two before moving on, but they ended up building substantial careers for themselves in Pretoria and Polokwane.

When her husband started studying toward his medical specialisation, Lorraine decided to study towards a BCom degree, a choice that suited her better than medicine, she says. She was raised by a father who was always entrepreneurial and built businesses despite his lack of tertiary education. She followed her degree with a master’s in business leadership and soon left medicine to join the Tshwane University of Technology as a lecturer.

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Seriously serial entrepreneur tackles the tourism industry - and thrives

It says something about the resilience of the tourism sector that, in a very difficult year economically, the De Ja View Exclusive Guest House in West Acres, Nelspruit, had managed to double its business from last year.

De Ja View, which opened its doors four years ago, caters almost exclusively to the local business tourism market, providing accommodation to salesmen, travelling corporate trainers and inspectors, as well as lawyers and advocates involved in court cases in the nearby High Court. The current recession should have had a significant negative impact on the young guest house’s occupancy, yet it is having its best year so far.

Then again, perhaps its impressive growth says more about the owner behind the guest house, Johan Visser, a seriously serial 56-year-old entrepreneur.

Over the course of his business career, Johan has started, run and sold a security firm, a farm, a children’s play centre, another security company, a ceramics factory, a clothing factory...

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