Techies enticed to develop home-grown travel app

April 15, 2013
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The Africa App Quest, which is being sponsored by Visa and South African Tourism, is built on the growing use of apps for travel and to capitalise on the continent's growing popularity as a global tourist destination/FILE
The Africa App Quest, which is being sponsored by Visa and South African Tourism, is built on the growing use of apps for travel and to capitalise on the continent’s growing popularity as a global tourist destination/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 15 – Kenyan developers will have the chance to win nearly Sh840,000 in the Africa App Quest, an initiative that challenges talented developers to build a home-grown travel app, specially designed for the tourism sector in Africa.

The Africa App Quest, which is being sponsored by Visa and South African Tourism, is built on the growing use of apps for travel and to capitalise on the continent’s growing popularity as a global tourist destination.

According to research commissioned by the World Bank, even with the economic slowdown, sub-Sahara Africa’s travel and tourism industry is expected to achieve an annual growth rate of 5.5 percent over the next 10 years, much higher than the world average of 4.1 percent.

South African Tourism’s Global E-Marketing Manager William Price added that this is an opportunity for developers to step into the broader development arena and use their expertise to contribute to the fast growing tourism industry.

Head of Cross-Border Marketing for Visa Sub-Saharan Africa Jodie Schorn said: “Visa is excited to be involved with the Africa App Quest as it has the potential to reach out to a wider, global audience and strengthen inbound travel.”

“We encourage all developers, whether up and coming or already established in the industry, to get involved in the Africa App Quest. This is a great way for developers to make a name for themselves in the global travel and tech community,” he added.

South African Tourism’s Global E-Marketing Manager, William Price noted: “This is an opportunity for developers to step into the broader development arena and use their expertise to contribute to the fast growing tourism industry and build a uniquely African app that enhances every tourist’s travel experience.”

Kenya Tourism Board Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said the Africa App Quest was a great opportunity for the Kenyan tech sector.

“Kenya is widely known as one of Africa’s innovative hubs of application development. In line with growing demands of the modern traveller, we have embraced e-tourism and recently launched our own mobile app at the just ended ITB 2013 in Berlin,” he emphasised.

Entries for the Africa App Quest can include anything from online safari guides and urban directories to game spotting and recording apps, online booking and shopping tools, or apps interpreting local cultures. Any application from an African company, which uses technology to improve and increase travel in Africa will be eligible.

The competition closes on August 16, after which the judges – including representatives from Visa, South African Tourism Board, Betapond (an approved Facebook developer), Kenya Tourism Board and Trip Advisor – will announce the three short listed entries.

A representative for each of the shortlisted entries will be flown to the 6th Annual E- Tourism Africa Summit in Cape Town for the final judging by the audience on September 9 and 10.

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