Is it the glorious climate? The magnificent wildlife? The spectacular beaches? The rich cultural diversity or the delectable local cuisine? Whatever it is, South Africa has become one of the world’s fastest growing leisure – and business – travel destinations.
The tourism industry in South Africa is booming. Statistics SA (StatsSA) revealed a year-on-year increase in income for the tourist accommodation industry of 10.3% in July. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation estimates that the country’s tourist growth rate was more than double the rate of average global tourist growth in 2012.
Approximately 9 million foreign travellers flock to South African shores annually. The contribution to GDP as a result of their foreign direct spend is substantial and the knock-on effect in terms of employment and wealth creation is significant. In order to sustain and grow the level of tourist activity it is important to deliver a destination that offers the reassurance of safety and the comfort of an efficiently managed environment.
“The use of network cameras to monitor the movement of people and to provide an effective incident management tool is becoming more prevalent. South Africa is following the global trend of targeting and eliminating security threats at tourist hot spots,” explains Business Development Manager – MEA for Axis Communications, Roy Alves.
Hotels, restaurants, amusement parks, stadiums and various other tourist attractions from Slovakia to New Caledonia are deploying video surveillance systems to improve the quality of their service offering and ensure the wellbeing of patrons. South Africa’s tourism industry is not being left behind.
The move towards high tech surveillance has opened up a world of possibilities to enhance the experience of visitors to South Africa.
“Apart from the obvious advantage of being able to detect criminal activity, the applications of IP surveillance are limitless,” says Alves. “In Cape Town alone we have some of the world’s most outstanding natural wonders. Ranging from the Boulders penguin colony, breeding ground to the endangered African penguins, to the picturesque Cape Point, most south-westerly tip of Africa, the monitoring possibilities are vast. Live streaming of our natural heritage gives tourists the opportunity to relive their experiences or plan their next trip.”
Network cameras don’t only deliver pretty pictures; they make financial sense as well. Using analytics to provide business intelligence that optimises merchandising strategies and improves operational efficiencies by, for example, people counting or age and gender analysis, allows service provides to maintain top-quality customer service standards.
The growing investment in city surveillance has expanded tourist safe zones from the confines of their hotel or local attraction to creating a safe general environment. Strategically positioned cameras are able to monitor traffic movement to alleviate traffic pressure, make use of license plate recognition to flag suspicious vehicles, manage public transport, dispatch responders timeously when assistance is needed and deliver a host of other valuable functions.
“The increasing number of arrivals in South Africa is good news all round. Tourism is vital to our economy and if we can ensure the safety and comfort of our visitors we’ll keep them coming back,” Alves remarks.
For more information visit: http://www.axis.com