Rustenburg - With just 262 days to go before the 2010 FIFA World Cup kicks off, another 2010 Visitor Information Centre has been launched to help tourists arriving in the country locate accommodation, road maps and other information easily.
Deputy Minister of Tourism, Thokozile Xasa, launched the R7.6 million centre in Rustenburg in the North West on Monday.
The centres provide tourists with a one-stop service where they can get assistance with information on a wide range of tourism products including tourism information enquiries, reservations, accommodation, tours, vehicle hire, entertainment, dining, sports, adventure, shopping and travel tips.
The target markets include international tourists, local tourists, bed and breakfast establishments, homesteads, guesthouses, hotels, small medium and macro businesses, booking agencies and tourism agencies.
The department has already launched centres in Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.
The Rustenburg centre covers 412 square meters and has two offices, retail area for locally produced crafts, a big foyer serving as a reception area, fully fitted coffee shop, displays and ablution facilities.
The information and reservation system (VICENSYS) used in the centres was developed in South Africa and is designed to cater specifically for the South African market.
The cost effective information and reservation system, has the ability to allow users to plan and finalise a travel itinerary by means of touch screens and Web based technology.
Furthermore, the system offers the tourists their own unique itinerary, which is accessible from anywhere in the world.
"VICs exposes visitors and domestic tourists to choices they would not easily access before since some tourism businesses lack resources for marketing," said Xasa.
Ms Xasa said apart from creating easy access and awareness of accommodation facilities and attractions within an area for tourists, the centre's would also create a medium for SMMEs who are engaged within the hospitality industry to advertise their products.
Two more centres are planned for Bloemfontein and Nelspruit.