NTDC launches ‘Tourism Hackathon Nigeria’
To accelerate the growth of the nation’s tourism industry domestically, the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) under the leadership of its Director General, Folorunsho Coker has launched Tourism Hackathon Nigeria (THN).
The action is essentially to proffer digital solutions to the challenges and bridge the gaps in the sector.
In his remarks during the launch of THN, which took place during the week at Marriot Hotel, GRA Ikeja, Lagos, Coker noted that across the world, tourism has evolved to become one of the fastest-growing industries being driven by the deployment of advanced technology and increased holiday culture.
“The fact is that the opportunities embedded in tourism are enormous. However, to fully utilise the potential of tourism for economic growth, we realise that we cannot revert to the old ways of working. There is an urgent need to reflect and rethink what we do and how we do it. This is why we have identified the need to deploy technological solutions for sectoral growth across the tourism value chain in Nigeria with the launch of Tourism Hackathon Nigeria.
“With over 147 million active internet subscriptions and a teledensity of almost 97 per cent, we have a readymade and vast domestic market for tourism development locally. This is why we have come up with Hackathon to provide unique and innovative solutions to identified challenges and gaps across the tourism value chain in Nigeria, using digital tools that will be developed at scale within the next 18 to 24 months.”
Coker said some of the identified challenges burdening businesses within the ecosystem revolved around proper pricing, safe payment channels, access to the market, customer service and retention as well as bookings and reservations.
“As a corporation, we launched ‘Tour Nigeria’ as the strategic vision to market domestic tourism across the country in 2017 and we 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.
However, with THN, our goal 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 digitisation of all support activities – from the pre-booking stages until the destination experience, with more digital interactions supported by data shared in a customised, secure and private way between the different players within the tourism ecosystem.
“To achieve this desired objective, we are looking for ideas that are scalable and sustainable on a use-case basis. Ideas such as smart integration of information (Smart City), multimodal mobility services, customised route optimisation with sustainability in mind, and virtual and augmented reality. The opportunities are limitless through technology, which is why we’re reaching out to the tech community to come up with new ideas for the sector,” the DG further said.