Nigeria is set to deploy new technology to derive opportunities inherent in the tourism sector.
To facilitate this new thinking the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), on Tuesday in Lagos unveiled Tourism Hackathon Nigeria.
The Director General, DG, of the Corporation (NTDC), Mr. Folorunsho Coker, speaking at the event recalled that across the world, tourism has evolved to become one of the fastest growing industries.
This growth, Coker said has been driven by the deployment of advanced technology in travel and an increased holiday culture.
Speaking further he noted that the opportunities embedded in tourism are enormous and to fully utilize the potentials of tourism for economic growth, the Corporation recognize that it cannot revert to the old ways of working and that there is an urgent need to reflect and rethink what the country is doing and how best to go about it.
This he said prompted the need to deploy technological solutions for sectoral growth across the tourism value chain in Nigeria.
With over 147 million active internet subscriptionsand a tele-density of almost 97 per cent the country has a readymade and vast domestic market for tourism development locally.
Coker said the Corporation had launched “Tour Nigeria” as the strategic vision to market domestic tourism across the country in 2017 and has also designed an ambitious plan ‘to reinvent the tourism industry through the CHIEF PLAN, which is an acronym that stands for Corporate Governance, Human Capital Development, Infrastructure Development, Events and Financing.
“We have come up with the “Hackathon ” to provide unique and innovative solutions to identify challenges and gaps across the tourism value chain in Nigeria, using digital tools that will be deployed at scale within the next 18-24month.
“Some of the identified challenges burdening businesses within the ecosystem include: proper pricing, safe payments Channels, Access to Market, Customer Service and retention, Booking and reservations.” Coker said.
Other issues raised include Data collection and analytics, Distribution, Setup, System Issues, Supply Chains and Logistics.
Theses the DG, explained is to improve the country’s ranking on the World Economic Forum competitiveness index by harnessing the growing popularity of digital technology to solve prevalent problems across the tourism value chain in Nigeria.
“We want to be able to imagine a future in which a tourist’s journey experience is fully enhanced by the digitalization of all support activities ( from the pre- booking stages until the destination experience), with more digital interactions supported by data shared in a customized secure and private way between the different players within the tourism ecosystem.” Coker stressed.
To achieve this desired objective, the Corporation is looking for ideas that are scalable and sustainable on a use-case basis.
Coker further said, “Ideas such that encompass Smart integration of information (Smart City), Multimodal mobility services, customized route optimization, Ideas with sustainability in mind, Virtual and Augmented Reality. The opportunity are limitless through technology which is why we’re reaching out to the tech community to come up with new ideas for the sector.”
To achieve the desired result the Corporation is seeking new collaboration within the private and public sector, where the private sector brings the intellectual capacity, and the public sector provides the enabling resources that will help the ideas thrive.
Oriental News Nigeria reports that the Hackathon creates an avenue for carefully selected developers from the 6 geo-political zones of the country to develop digital tools that aim to solve some of the frictions and dislocations experienced across the industry.
With the support of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and the Federal Information and Culture, NTDC believe it can achieve these objectives.