Tourism infobot make its debut

Ellanie Smit
The Namibia Travel and Tourism Forum (NTTF) launched a tourism infobot on WhatsApp that focuses on marketing Namibia.
The platform provides on-demand information about the country, regulations, flight schedules and even allows visitors to search from a directory of registered Namibian tourism companies.
According to the NTTF, the infobot was first announced in July during the Youth in Tourism Africa summit on a testing basis, and now it is open for public use.
To start interacting with the infobot, simply send a message to +26485NAMIBIA (+264856264242) via WhatsApp, and you can then interact to receive all the needed tourism information immediately.
The NTTF said that while many companies globally use chatbots on platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook and Instagram to interact with clients and send out updates, what makes this one different is that it is solely focused on promoting Namibia as a tourist destination.
Another unique feature is that it provides information at your fingertips without having to download an extra app, or costing tourists any money.
The NTTF signed an agreement with the tourism ministry last September to introduce a new range of initiatives, among which is the digitalisation of Namibian tourism.
A major concern for the industry has always been outdated and inaccurate information, which is why the NTTF has engaged with the relevant stakeholders and has provided them with a channel to manage and update their own information on the database.
The infobot, along with soon-to-be-released iOS and Android apps, will be an interactive and invaluable source of information for visitors and Namibians alike.
A mobile app is in the approval phase and will be available to download from Apple and Google Play for free.
It contains information on over 5 600 registered Namibian tourism companies, things to do, shopping, local cuisine and activities, and will be the first app to list Namibian tour guides, souvenir shops and restaurants.
Some of the content already available via the infobot includes travel information, visa and arrival regulations, Covid-19 regulations and testing facilities, international and domestic flight schedules as well as road border and health and safety information. Emergency numbers across Namibia, weather overviews, driving and road distances, filming and drone usage information will also be available along with permit forms and other tourism information.