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27 January 2012 - Cape Town, South Africa

Two giants team up to bring powerful, multi-platform listings offer to southern African hospitality industry

Umuntu Media and Tracks4Africa today announced a partnership that provides a simple and affordable listings service across multiple platforms to operators in southern Africa’s hospitality industry and small to medium businesses.  

Owners of hotels, lodges, camp sites as well as restaurants and other local businesses in the countries where Umuntu Media operates, can now reach potential clients locally and internationally on all the essential marketing platforms. This includes premium online listings, social networking services, mobile phone applications, a guide book and various geo-location based trip navigation and trip planning services.

Umuntu Media is the publisher of a range of online iPortals (including iNambia, iBotswana, iZimbabwe, and iZambia), while Tracks4Africa is Sub-Saharan Africa’s premier source of GPS travel info.

Johan Nel, CEO of Umuntu Media, said one of the most powerful aspects of the partnership is that it gives advertisers access to powerful listings opportunities. This is not only on Tracks4Africa’s GPS routing maps for self-drive tourists, but also on the major international trip planning services through Tracks4Africa’s content sharing agreements with Google, Navteq and Nokia.

"The real kicker is how simple and affordable this package with its massive reach potential is made. Information and pictures are supplied once, before being published across all the platforms," said Nel.

"Each client gets a dedicated liaison that ensures that all information is up to date and pro-actively ensure the accuracy of not only the listings on the local iPortal and Tracks4Africa, but even update the advertiser’s profiles on services like Google maps regularly."

The personal service and multiplatform reach is offered at a price that is about half of what the individual components would cost. It is also highly cost-effective when compared to the prices of other advertising media catering for the hospitality industry.

“We’ve set out to close the circle for advertisers, simplifying the choice between channels for them and taking much of the hassle and technological logistics out of the process," said Nel.

“Also, we aren't just aiming at the exclusive luxury accommodation market, but priced the offer to be accessible to even the smallest eatery, accommodation establishment or small to medium business.” 

Johann Groenewald, Managing Director of Tracks4Africa, said: “Our business revolves around the configuration of travel experience and I can understand how frustrating it must be for business owners to keep up with the plethora of offerings and data bases to register on. Today we bring a service to the business owner where he/she can let professional cartographers plot their business accurately on a map, configure all associated information and then disseminate this information to the big players such as Google and Navteq.”

VALUE

The offer is great value, offering exposure to hundreds of thousands of possible clients in southern Africa and the rest of the world across a range of platforms for only R2 600-00, a fraction of what a listing in many printed Travel directories would cost.

REACH

It offers remarkable multiplatform reach, which includes the following:

Online listings:

  • Twelve high-quality pictures and detailed information listed on various listings sites.
  • Featured listings on the local iPortal, which in conjunction with a free, dedicated web address for the business can in effect create a website.
  • Listing on Tracks4Africa’s popular trip planning site.
  • Listing on Google Places via Tracks4Africa business listing updates to Google which is submitted on a weekly basis.
  • Listing in the Tracks4Africa layer in Google Earth.

GPS navigation:

  • Full listing on Tracks4Africa’s GPS maps, the market leader for supplying overland and self-drive tourists with interactive, location-based travel information on Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Information is also shared with some of the world’s leaders in geo-location services, Google, Nokia and Navteq, the world’s leading global provider of maps and location data, enabling navigation, location-based services and mobile advertising around the world.

Social media:    

  • Featured on the local iPortal’s Facebook page, the largest and most active in the country.

Guide book:

  • For businesses in Nambibia and Botswana, a featured listing in Tracks4Africa’s guide book for Namibia and Botswana. Distributed in Southern Africa, Europe and USA.

Mobile phones:

  • Exposure on the local iPortal’s mobi-site.
  • Listing on the Tracks4Africa app for Nokia which is available free of charge to compatible Nokia phones via Ovi Maps.

Quick-ads:

  • Access to a powerful new application that allows the advertiser to SMS a special or notice for publication across a wide selection of outdoor and online notice boards.

CONVENIENCE

The partnership enabled iNamibia and Tracks4Africa to create a seamless multiplatform offering that is extremely simple and convenient to access, with one decision taking care of most of the client’s marketing needs. It can eliminate the need for hospitality industry members to puzzle over how to mix their marketing spend to ensure they reach locals and foreign travelers and are present on all the relevant platforms.

Not only is each client provided with a client liaison, who will pro-actively update information across the platforms, but the advertiser also gets login access to their listings on both the iPortal and Tracks4Africa. In this way they can update their own listings instantly.

 ACCURACY

The client liaison on the advertiser’s account will make contact every six months to update listings (including that on Google Places) on behalf of the advertiser. This ensures that the client presents a consistent and true image on all platforms and protects Umuntu Media and Tracks4Africa’s reputation as providers of the most accurate information.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Contact : Johan Nel, tel:  +27 879 416 560;  Johann Groenewald, tel: +27 (0)21 880 8660

About Umuntu Media:

Umuntu Media exists because they love Africa. They love technology and they have a passion for local content.

With just one registered domain per 10 000 people on a continent with over a billion people, Umuntu sure is filling a significant gap in Africa.

With a background in media and online publishing, CEO and founder Johan Nel saw that gap while researching local information for a family holiday in Namibia in 2009. His journey started with a very simple mission: to deliver relevant local content on world class platforms across the continent.

In September 2010, with support from the Dutch investment firm, eVentures Africa Fund, their business plan expanded from a single portal for Namibia to multiple portals across Africa.

The winning iPortal formula encapsulates their passion: to bring relevant local content to people who want to know what’s going on in their area, all day, every day. Keeping true to their promise of getting Africa online, they remain focused on an ambitious growth plan to deliver 13 local content portals by April 2012.

Umuntu Media are also rolling out Mimiboard, a mobile communications platform created in Africa, for Africa, designed to cater for Africa’s local content needs.

Their business is driven by certain key principles. Always question the norm. Never be boring. And always embrace new technology to directly serve the market that wants it. After all, a publisher that owns a tech platform is the publisher of the future.

www.umuntumedia.com

www.inamibia.co.na

www.ibotswana.co.bw

www.izambia.co.zm

www.izambabwe.co.zw

 

About Tracks4Africa:

Tracks4Africa is a community mapping project which started in 1999 and grew into a commercial tourist map of Africa as seen by self-drive tourists. All road and point of interest information on Tracks4Africa maps was sourced from a community of travellers and carefully put together by what is today Tracks4Africa, a privately owned company in South Africa with its head office in Stellenbosch and community members from all over the globe.

Tracks4Africa is making Africa visible and accessible and promotes travel which is sustainable to nature and local communities alike.

www.tracks4africa.co.za