Risk is an inevitable factor in business and entrepreneurship.  Data and insights not only reduce risk but also empower business owners to capitalise on short- and long-term opportunities.


Sadly, engagement with research is not a priority for tourism SMEs. This is largely due to a lack of exposure as well as budget limitations.  


“Research is currency and very important for business success. It’s also critical for us to provide market intelligence to get businesses investment ready,” says Sindile Xulu, founder and CEO of TIA360. “We’ve been looking for a credible research partner who not only understands tourism but is also aligned with our ethics and values.”


MyTravelResearch.com (MTR) was established in 2011 to deliver the power of evidence to businesses across the visitor economy, regardless of their size. MTR’s Tourism Insights and Trends Membership Hub offers an insights library that enables destinations and tourism businesses to plan effectively.


This hub covers elements such as customer understanding (e.g., adventure tourism or culture and heritage tourism), customer journey mapping, digital marketing, and key trends.  


Partnering for success


TIA360 and MTR have partnered to offer the best resources to local businesses and destinations as the sector gathers momentum in a post-COVID-19 environment. TIA360 is the official MTR representative in South Africa and SADC.


Both businesses are women-led and share a vision and commitment to revive tourism.  


“TIA360 and MTR connected through our joint partnerships with World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage. We instantly recognised our shared passion for seeing our industry thrive and overcome the many challenges that it faces,” said Carolyn Childs, CEO, futurist, and strategist of MTR.   


“The team at TIA360 knows the struggle that businesses experience without practical insight to support their decision-making. We’ve also recognised that having a local partner engenders trust and ensures that our solution reaches the people who most need it”, continued Carolyn. 


Opportunity for SMEs


“We’re excited by the synergy of our businesses and want SMEs to realise the benefits. We will select ten businesses that attend the Mwelisi Tourism Investment Readiness Bootcamp in June to take them through a 6-month mentorship programme,” said Sindile.


Registration for the Mwelisi Tourism Investment Readiness Bootcamp 2022 (20 – 24 June) is open; click here to register.


Carolyn and Sindile will host regular open access ‘Ask us Anything’ webinars to share some insights for destinations and businesses to understand the value of current research.


“SMEs are cost-sensitive, but we are committed to giving them access to relevant research so MTR is creating affordable, tailor-made solutions which will be available on the TIA360 website soon,” concluded Sindile.


Look out for announcements on the TIA360 website and social media platforms.  


Image credit @uxindo


First published on TIA360 on 16 June 2022.