“It all came to me in a dream,” Dr. Fanuel Murove, CEO and founder of Accoleisure, says as he begins to describe how he came up with this innovative idea. Zimbabwe is a country that boasts a wide variety of tourist destinations, including one of the Seven Wonders Of The World but has little information available about its gems. Despite having so many beautiful sights that have the potential to attract admirers from all over the world, there isn’t enough information available to these potential patrons on where they can go if they decide to visit.
Enter Accoleisure (named by merging the words “accommodation” and “leisure”), a digital directory for all things concerning tourism in Zimbabwe. This application aims to offer users an under-one-roof experience to plan a trip anywhere in the nation. On its mobile app, Accoleisure has compiled a comprehensive list of resorts, places that offer accommodation, activities, entertainment venues, as well as updates about upcoming concerts and other similar events that might interest tourists. Travelers are also provided with information about potential logistic arrangements to help orchestrate the trip they are planning. Having all these different aspects of tourism allows users to plan all the details of their journey in one place.
One of the most important sections of Accoleisure is the emergency number section, where users can access contact information for domestic emergency services. This information is categorized by location, which makes it easy for anyone to find the contact details should they need them. Needing emergency services in a foreign country can be daunting, especially considering most Zimbabwean tourist attractions involve safaris. Accoleisure can be used offline, so users can still access everything on it without an internet connection. This is especially useful in remote areas where connectivity could be a challenge.
Accoleisure has a place in an increasingly digitized world, where mobile applications rule and the Internet has become integral in keeping the world together. “We are living in a digital world where the majority, if not all, of international travelers own smartphones and make use of Internet-based applications to make decisions about destinations and make travel arrangements,” says Dr. Murove. Making information more accessible and providing a booking platform is one sure way to bridge the gap between the digital world and a tourism sector with many attractive destinations with little exposure.
Client engagement is one of the focal points of Accoleisure’s business. Daily updates are posted on the website, while client inquiries are received from its social media pages and used to develop the business further. Dr. Murove has enlisted AfriBlocks to connect him with freelance social media managers to handle the day-to-day. “There is a need to recognize that business is an exchange of interest, and working with freelancers from AfriBlocks has given me the best value for my money as far as the services they provide me with go.”
Accoleisure’s CEO is a qualified computer programmer who has merged his skills with a passion for entrepreneurship to build a digital directory for the tourism industry. Dr. Murove, who currently serves as chairman for the IT and digital marketing committee of the Hotels Association of Zimbabwe, says that Accoleisure plays a crucial role in marketing Zimbabwe as a prime tourist destination. His belief has been bolstered by endorsements from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), which recognizes Accoleisure as an official partner. As it continues to develop and add more places and services, the endgame is to become the number one app for domestic and international bookings.
As Accoleisure grows, it will be interesting to see how it is adopted by tourists across the world and its integration into the international market. On a digital terrain where opportunity is endless, there is space for Accoleisure on tourism’s world stage and potential to grow among the giants of accommodation and leisure.