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New CT innovation cluster to punt tech in travel space

The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative on Thursday announced the launch of its Traveltech Open Innovation Cluster, which aims to bring a new technological edge to the travel space.

According to organisation head Ian Merrington, the cluster was inspired by the initiative’s recent initiatives in the fintech space (it currently plays host to Barclays Africa’s Rise accelerator in its Woodstock facility). In looking for a new vertical to focus on, they quickly hit on travel as an obvious one.”

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“The role in tech and digital channels is massive,” he said at a special launch event for the cluster. “It’s how we book our flights, make our reservations, and organise activities when we travel,” he said.

The cluster includes a physical space for startups, entrepreneurs, developers in Woodstock Bandwidth Barn and aims to establish and support travel tech solutions commercially in the Western Cape and South Africa. That makes sense. Startups run through Citi’s blood. But according to Merrington, the cluster isn’t just about up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the travel tech space. It’s also, he said, for people in the travel community to find ways of using technology to collaborate in new ways.

The cluster will also collaborate with a similar project in London, with reciprocal membership available to members of the two clusters.

The Traveltech Cluster is the latest in a series of programmes by the initiative, which labels itself as he hub of tech and innovation in Cape Town.

As well as the above-mentioned fintech cluster and entrepreneurial spaces like the Bandwidth Barns in Woodstock and Khayelitsha, it has work readiness and enterprise development programmes.

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