Accommodation bookings & transport
Security services to all the clients of accommodation partners.
Security is obviously the largest concern any traveller or Travel Agency has. If we address this problem, we will win the war.
We completed a lot of research before we started the development and negotiated partnerships with key companies to grow the tourism industry.
The largest challenge is that tourists are even targeted the moment they exit the airports. Our media about the problems we had regarding OR Thambo airport where gangs worked with people in the airport to identify soft targets and valuable assists in luggage also had a negative impact on tourism.
The most important service the Homecare Foundation will provide is the way we intend to look after foreigners (prevention) and how we will interact with them should something bad happened to them. This service will help restore the growth in tourism.
The Homecare team can distinguish via the technology which phone users are guests from other countries, and which phone users are South Africans. The Homecare team will also be able to notify management within the different Private Security Companies nationally about how many foreigners we expect for the day, or even in days ahead to be in their business areas. This will help these security company owners to plan and be ready when we require their urgent support.
The Aura platform now send a stress call out to for example 5 security companies in a 10 km radius when people need support. The software can determine which vehicle is the nearest to the person with the app. The app will also update the person on how far the support vehicle is, and the estimated time it will take for armed response to arrive.
Note from Pieter (Charman):
I need to explain to readers of this document that God is in control of this important project. God even created opportunities for me to investigate all the challenges we need to address, if we intend to save South Africa from an economic crash via increase in tourism activities.
I was on a flight back from JHB to Cape town just an hour after the meeting with Warren Myers (CEO Aura) when God arranged that Mr Akram Hamad (Managing Director of A’s Insurance Brokerage) was seated next to me.
I was minding my own business and was thinking about all the technical challenges ahead to integrate different software structures into one solution that will help the accommodation companies in South Africa. (Our software structures with the software being developed by Aura etcetera) We need a solution and I knew that God wants us to support the accommodation companies with all their clients, not only clients that booked accommodation via the www.rsastay.com website.
Akram suddenly wanted a conversation with me. He offered me some of his snacks and started talking to me. The conversation eventually ended up in him asking me what I am doing. I told him about our strategy to work with private security companies and our intention to implement strategies to guard tourists with technology.
What is significant about this conversation is that Akram travels the world. He is an insurance advisor for large airports in Qatar and other airlines. In his free time, he travels to all the cities across the world to visit them. (Almost like his bucket list. He wants to see every city in the world) He already visited more than 80 countries, and this was his first time in South Africa. On this holiday trip, he planned to spend 3 days in JHB and 3 days in Cape town, before returning to Doha in Qatar. He was on his way to Cape town for the last 3 days when he was seated next to me.
When he heard about security, he said he needed to tell me something. He feels that God wants him to explain to me his first experience in South Africa.
The first interaction with South Africans often has a negative connotation.
Akram told me how taxi drivers approached him and pushed him for business. The Taxi drivers obviously know that foreigners struggle to communicate.
In this specific case, the taxi driver wanted to take Akram’s personal bag into his hands which Akram didn’t want to allow. He said that the bag contained his Passport and money, which he was concerned losing if the black person took it. (His own words)
Akram told the taxi driver that he wanted to make use of a valid taxi, meaning a branded taxi. The taxi driver asked Akram to follow hm to his car. They walked past the line where the branded taxis were parked and they then passed the police station and just behind the police station, the taxi driver wanted Akram to get into an unbranded vehicle.
Akram immediately refused and decided to walk back to the branded taxis. The driver followed him and tried to convince him to return to his car.
Akram became annoyed and asked the first taxi driver to stop following him. The taxi driver then told Akram that if he didn’t want to ride with him, that he can recommend another branded taxi.
Akram asked him what commission the other taxi driver will pay to the first taxi driver for arranging the transport, and the first taxi driver replied that he will receive R70. Akram then asked the first taxi driver to point out which taxi he must use. Akram then jumped into another taxi parked just behind the taxi being pointed out.
The first taxi driver then knocked on the driver’s window of the taxi where Akram is now seated. The first taxi driver wanted commission from the current taxi driver and the current driver then shouted to the first taxi driver to "Boger off".
Just think what is going on in Akram’s mind… South Africans, our locals are acting like baboons…
Akram then decided to open Google Maps on his phone. He was on his way to a hotel in Sandton, and he was concerned about his personal safety. He wanted to see if the taxi driver would take him to his destination. On route to the hotel, the taxi driver took according to him a short cut which Akram didn’t like. So Akram then phoned the hotel and asked the receptionist to please explain to the taxi driver the route in his native language. Akram was concerned that the taxi driver does not understand his English.
I have decided to include Akram’s e-mail address and his office number, should readers decide to follow up on this content….firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do we publish this content…?
Well, Akram told me that if we can address the safety concerns, that he believes South Africa will grow in tourism again. He told me about his view regarding media abroad, and that it is true that safety in South Africa is a huge concern…
Akram is only one example of how South Africa is viewed abroad. We cannot allow that people working in the taxi industry portray South Africa the way they are doing it now.
I decided that even if it means that we need to postpone the launch with another three months, that we need to develop software that will resolve all the issues regarding tourism, how people experience our country and how we can ensure that foreigners should return.
I have decided to implement the following action plan into the software structure.
Transport support from International airports to accommodation destinations
Homecare Foundation will enable guest houses, lodges hotels to list all their guests onto the www.rsastay.com platform, even if they booked accommodation via any other booking website. (Remember, we are here to help companies and it is not about securing accommodation business for the sastay.com platform.) We know that this will only be possible when the companies have information about the guests they expect. Certain booking sites do not forward contact details, but there are often people who might book directly or who used travel agencies. When travel agencies are involved, we will arrange that they list the client’s e-mail address in order to arrange communication.
The software will then e-mail a letter to the foreigners on behalf of the accommodation company. (The e-mail will even be individually branded). This e-mail will inform the client abroad that we use the Enjoy South Africa phone app to support tourists in South Africa.
The e-mail will also include a restaurant voucher and we will explain that we will appreciate it if the client can download the app directly from the e-mail. (Link is included in mail)
When app is installed, the video clips will explain to the client that we will help them to arrange transport if they don’t have people who collect them from the airport. We will explain that we use accredited people to transport guests to accommodation destinies.
If they choose public transport
The app will upon arrival, push a message to the client inside the terminal where he/she can select a driver on his/her phone. (photos of the drivers who are inside the airport to provide transport will be send to the foreigner’s phone. We will also ask the person to look out for the Ambassador badge which the drivers will be wearing)
The phone app will furthermore provide additional information, such as the cost per kilometre in the client’s own currency and in South African Rand. This will help the foreigner that he/she cannot be exploited.
The app user will know about the security button. If there is any need, they can push the button and private security people will support them.
The app will upon arrival at his/her accommodation destination ask the foreigner to please rate the service of the driver. The guest can provide poor service rating and there will be a field that will open where he/she can type in comments, even if these messages are in their own language. We will keep these comments on record and will use this to prevent taxi drivers who damaged our country’s image to work with foreigners who we protect. We might need their comments to back us when we cancel the support that we negotiated with taxi drivers.
A taxi driver is in our view similar than a tour guide. We will also use a scoring platform where they will share in grocery vouchers, we fund for tour guides. (More detail later on the website under "tour guides")
All the taxi drivers working at airports can apply. They will in future know that it will not be possible to treat foreigners without respect.
This important service will change the tourism industry for the better. The Homecare team will also employ managers at the different airports where International guests arrive. These people will ensure that we take control regarding security concerns.
If they choose car rentals
Tourists often rent vehicles and drive themselves to their destinations. The problem is that they do not know the layout of the cities, and often drive through more dangerous areas.
One example would be that the tourist wants to get to Midrand, and when they rely on their GPS software, the GPS will lead them through Tembisa.
The Homecare and Aura teams will monitor when tourists get into areas that we believe might be of high risk. Our staff will phone the tourist and guide them onto main roads that will lead them safely to their destinations. This will be a pro-active strategy to ensure the safety of foreigners.
This support plan requires the Homecare team and the Aura team to work in a closer partnership. Aura’s initial support plan was only based on supporting South Africans. We now need to employ staff speaking the major foreign languages, including for example Mandarin. We need to ensure that the foreigner will be contacted in a language he/she prefers.
When people are under stress, they often struggle to understand English. Our support plan is much more intensified than just providing call centre support. We create a tour buddy system where foreigners will have access to people speaking their own languages when they need any kind of support. It will not only be security calls that the team will administrate. Foreigners might need other support as well. They will know that with the click of a button, the Homecare team will contact them to provide supporting services.
What do we do when bad things happened?
The technology we develop all integrate into one solution. Our call centre agent will immediately be able to apologise on behalf of the guesthouse owner or hotel manager, and on behalf of the tour operator if the accommodation was booked by a travel agency. The names of the people involved in helping the tourist to stay in the area will appear on the screen so that the apology could be conveyed on behalf of everybody who are negatively influenced when tourists are mugged or something bad happened to them.
The most important thing is to provide a sincere apology. We need to show that we mean it when we apologize. Readers should now remember the following:
The tourist will by now know that the Homecare Foundation is involved. They would have read about Homecare if they booked accommodation via the www.rsastay.com website. We publish how many people residing in a 10km radius are supported by the Homecare Foundation.
They will by then already have seen the video clips where Ambassadors of South Africa, and even Ambassadors of their own countries informed them that the Homecare Foundation is involved in the tourism app.
We will phone them to find out if hey are OK, and help is on its way when they press the button on their phones. We will keep communication open until the private security people arrive.
We will also send a copy of the payment that the Homecare Foundation must make towards Aura when a stress call is supported to the foreigner. They will see that we use money earmarked for bedridden patients to pay for the security calls. This entire support strategy will give us the best chance that foreigners will not badmouth our country. They will understand that bad things can happen in any country, but in South Africa, people are willing to use important money to support them as individuals.
Why a phone app instead of security buttons?
The answer is simple. A button show that we are afraid. Another challange is that is that you need multiple button divices to give to each person in the family. (People often split up when they are in town). With a phone app, every person in the family is protected. Every family member has his/her own phone which is always with them.
Our commitment to grow tourism is to manage support plans where every tourist will feel welcome and safe. The foreign language support team will be increased and will be planned to support our accommodation partners best.