One of the country’s largest hospitality groups, Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG), has introduced a unique service in response to the demand of the market.
By Staff Reporter
Last week RTG launched the tourism industry’s first integrated mobile and website application — RTG Gateway App — in Harare.
The application, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe, allows users to browse, book and pay for their product or service in a few quick steps. Each transaction earns the user redeemable points at any service provider listed on the app.
RTG CEO Tendai Madziwanyika said the vision behind the application was to give users access to tourism products and services at the touch of a button.
“The RTG Gateway App enables a user to book and pay for hotel accommodation, book a table for a meal, order prepared food for delivery and buy gifts for loved ones, both from RTG and its partners on the RTG Gateway App,” he said.
What makes the application unique is the fact that RTG has taken on board partners, who under normal circumstances would be deemed competition.
Madziwanyika said they adopted a co-opetition approach to business as can be demonstrated by their RTG Virtual platform which was launched in 2014. RTG Virtual is a partnership platform between RTG and selected hotels, lodges and tourism activity companies in Zimbabwe in areas where RTG has no hotels.
In the case of Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls, RTG Virtual has partnered with hotels and lodges that provide a different product offering to RTG. Before the launch of the RTG Gateway, a guest had to book a stay or an event at an RTG Virtual partner through the RTG reservations office. These partner services can now be accessed on the app.
Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Prisca Mupfumira said the launching of the application would go a long way in boosting the tourism industry in the country.
“I am confident that the RTG Gateway App will complement government’s thrust in the development and growth of domestic tourism as it is set to open up immense possibilities for this segment,” she said.
“I am advised that the products accessible on the application go beyond RTG’s own products by extending to the successful RTG Virtual concept which was launched in 2014.”
Mupfumira said the move was set to revolutionise the way customers transact and access tourism and other products.
“Global trends have shown that business in the more developed countries is now being conducted predominantly on internet-based platforms. This is quite visible in the tourism industry where individuals go to the internet to choose a holiday destination, review other people’s experiences, make a decision, book and pay online for all their travel requirements using platforms such as TripAdvisor, Expedia and other booking engines,” she said.
The RTG Gateway App has the RTG Homes option whereby a guest can select a home from a selection of homes across the country.
RTG Homes offers guests the choice of staying in a residential home at highly competitive rates, thereby providing a home away from home experience.
“As an ISO-certified company, we are cognisant of the importance of standards so we visit the RTG Virtual Partners and the Home Stay partners to ensure acceptable standards,” Madziwanyika said.
The RTG Gateway App has more than 50 restaurants, 115 RTG Virtual Partner hotels/lodges, 40 RTG Homes private homes and 30 products for sale under the gifting and occasions section. Recruitment is currently ongoing and listings are set to grow.
Payments are processed through the Paynow platform, using any of Visa, Mastercard, Zimswitch, Ecocash and Telecash.
The RTG Gateway App is downloadable for free and is now readily available on Google Play and Apple Store.