Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Search on for Africa's top travel app

Kenyan developers will have the chance to win about KSh.840,000 (US $10,000) in the Africa App Quest, which is being sponsored by Visa and South African Tourism. The Quest, which went live recently, challenges talented developers across Sub-Saharan Africa to build a home-grown travel app, specially designed for the tourism sector in Africa. 

The Africa App Quest 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 ten years. The world average is 4.1 percent1. 

"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," said Jodie Schorn, Head of Cross-Border Marketing for Visa Sub-Saharan Africa.

Schorn added: "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."

South African Tourism's Global E-Marketing Manager, William Price added: "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 (KTB) 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. He further added: "In line with growing demands of the modern traveler, we have embraced e-tourism and recently launched our own mobile app at the just ended ITB 2013 in Berlin". 

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, 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, South African Tourism Board, Betapond (an approved Facebook developer), Kenya Tourism 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 Townfor the 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 US $10,000.

More information on the competition, rules and entry forms can be found at

www.e-tourismfrontiers.com or on the E-Tourism Frontiers Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/etourismfrontiersltd
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