Visa and South African Tourism’s quest to find the continent’s best travel app continues with more than 50 companies and individuals having registered so far for the Africa App Quest competition.
To date the majority of the entries have come from Kenya and South Africa. There are also entries from Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Tanzania. The competition will run for another six weeks.
South African Tourism’s Global E-Marketing Manager, William Price, said the appetite for the Africa App Quest mirrored the growth of apps in the travel sector worldwide.
“According to a PhoCusWright study conducted in January this year, nearly 25% of travellers surveyed had purchased a travel product via an app or mobile site. It is predicted that Americans will spend US$8 billion on travel app bookings by the close of 2013, a sharp rise from US $2,6 billion in 2011.”
Price went on to say that travellers are using apps for a variety of purposes.
“It’s not just about last minute bookings: Travellers are using apps for concierge services, maps, translations, price comparisons and location based guides to restaurants; the list is endless. I am very excited to see what innovations the Africa App Quest exposes.”
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. All app entries need to be compatible with all mobile devices for iOs, Android and Windows. Any application that uses technology to improve and increase travel in Africa will be eligible.
The competition closes on the 16th of August 2013, after which the judges – including representatives from Visa, the South African Tourism Board, Betapond (an approved Facebook developer), the Kenya Tourist Board and Trip Advisor – will announce the three shortlisted entries.
A representative for each of the shortlisted entries will be flown to the 6th Annual E- Tourism Africa Summit in Cape Town for final judging by the audience on the 9th and 10th of September 2013. The winner of the Africa App Quest will receive a cash prize of about KES 800,000 (US $10,000).
“Visa recognizes the synergy between technology and tourism. We believe the Africa App Quest will showcase some interesting innovations that will not only benefit tourism across Africa but will help strengthen the growing tech community across the continent,” said Jodie Schorn, Head of Cross-Border Marketing for Visa Sub-Saharan Africa.
“We are committed to growing tourism, especially in-bound travel to Africa and the Africa App Quest further enables this sector to grow and develop.”