Walk the talk with tourism radio

Monday, March 15, 2010
By: 
Bathandwa Mbola

Pretoria - International visitors who will be cruising around the Western Cape during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in rental cars will be able to tune in to Tourism Radio, a station designed to entertain and educate them while en route.

Tourism Radio is a unique location-based radio broadcast that keeps tourists informed about the area they are in via GPS technology and a specially designed Tourism Radio device that is fitted into rental cars.

Once a visitor opts to include Tourism Radio in their hired car - for as little as R59 a day - they simply tune in to Tourism Radio on 91.4 FM to get cultural, historical and anecdotal information, as well as updates on nearby attractions and shows.

The station also airs fun and informative radio shows on topics like South African slang, local music and 20 questions a tourist would like to ask a South African.

"What this means in practical terms is that if you're in Cape Town, you learn about the development of the Mother City, and when you drive to Stellenbosch, the focus of the broadcast travels with you ... it's that easy," founder and operations director Mark Allewell told BuaNews.

"It's like having a local person there in your car," said Allewell who started the project five years ago.

In preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Allewell said they have had increased production of the devices. To accommodate the fans, he said content was now more soccer focused.

"We want to make them aware of what they can experience during and after the World Cup ... our specific (focus) will also be the safety of tourists - this is in partnership with the city of Cape Town," he said.

Those with cellphones will also be able to get their dose of informative guides by downloading them from www.hummba.com.

The website, which is currently in BETA testing, will be launching across multiple mobile phone operating systems next month.

Derived from the Xhosa name meaning go or travel, Hummba is a social network for travellers that lets them connect with friends, track their travels live and share their travel experiences, directly from mobile phones.

With an estimated 10-million tourists expected to pass through South Africa's ports of entry this year - this new technology is sure make their travelling experience more pleasant.