The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) is to launch an innovation cluster and hub in Cape Town to foster and promote development in travel technology.
CiTi said the launch was a follow-on to the success of its fintech hub launched last year, which has attracted entrepreneurs and multinationals to locate and invest in the Western Cape financial innovation sector.
The hub – which will be officially unveiled at a launch event at the Bandwidth Barn on April 21 – will focus on creating linkages between developers, entrepreneurs, innovators and business.
CiTi will use its small business support and acceleration programmes to stimulate startups, while its skills development initiatives will aim to ensure a steady pipeline of ICT talent. It will provide a physical space for startups, entrepreneurs and developers to establish and support travel tech solutions commercially in the Western Cape and South Africa.
“We believe that travel technology has enormous transformative potential and that the creation of a travel tech cluster to stimulate development and investment will benefit not only Cape Town but the entire country,” said Ian Merrington, chief executive officer (CEO) of CiTi.
“We have already seen significant investment into this sector over the last few months and further structured acceleration could see that increase exponentially. The purpose of our innovation clusters is to actively identify, support and stimulate innovation and growth in key sectors that will benefit the greater ecosystem.”
Western Cape parliamentary whip and chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Tourism and Agriculture Beverley Schäfer said the tourism sector was a priority job creation area for the Western Cape and a vehicle for sustainable economic growth.
“A travel tech innovation cluster gives us the opportunity to use our regional innovation leadership and competency to further accelerate the growth of business involved in travel and tourism,” she said.