After 20 years of using the Tourplan tour operator software platform, Tourvest Destination Management has deployed a sophisticated ‘network’ of Tourplan instances, all carefully aligned, synchronised and standardised throughout six countries of inbound operation.

Parallel to this, Tourvest Destination Management has developed numerous in-house engineered applications to complement the off-the-shelf product and provide unique competitive advantages. This includes Africa’s most comprehensive B2B sales platform, a set of its own customer-facing TDM APIs, extensive content synchronisation tools, and a host of internal workflow automation solutions.

Dieter Holle, Chief Information Officer at Tourvest Destination Management says: “In software, if a solution is available ‘off-the-shelf’ sign up and pay; if not, build your own. But developing software in-house has its challenges, including an acute global shortage of experienced developers, particularly so in South Africa. The advantages, however, are clear, in that it allows an organisation to truly shape its own future, not easily replicated, in the digital space, which for a large player is a non-negotiable.”

To counter this, Tourvest Destination Management has partnered with the NPO, WeThinkCode_, out of which promising young talent is nurtured and sourced to complement the existing experienced team of ‘devs’.

The current focus is on engineering a global cloud-based infrastructure to rapidly calculate and cache travel offerings ready for distribution to the systems employed by Tourvest Destination Management’s large wholesale customer base such as ANIXE and Peakwork. On completion, this development will position Tourvest Destination Management to compete with automated booking practices in commodity services, whilst retaining the ability to skilfully consult on specialised itineraries and product choices.

Holle continues: “We need to be the best hybrid, tech and travel expert humans combined in the same business…It’s the years of experience in the industry that lets us look ahead with confidence and make big decisions for the future. We are building a platform that solves many of our challenges and gives our customers what they need to sell our product alongside the large OTAs and Meta Searches of today, and we have a good basis to deal with a reasonable look into the future.”