The Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has launched a new product to reinvent the nation’s tourism industry.
Announcing the new innovation, while addressing journalists on Tuesday October 25, the Director General of NTDC, Chief Folorunsho Coker stated that the product is being launched to utilise the potentials of tourism for economic growth.
“Across the world, tourism has evolved to become one of the fastest growing industries.
“This growth has been driven by the deployment of advanced technology in travel and an increased holiday culture. Indeed, the opportunities embedded in tourism are enormous.
“However, to fully utilize the potentials of tourism for economic growth, we recognize 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.
“Therefore, we have identified the need to deploy technological solutions for sectorial growth across the tourism value chain in Nigeria.
“With over 147 million active internet subscriptions and a tele-density of almost 97%, we have a readymade and vast domestic market for tourism development locally.Why the Hackathon?
“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. We have come up with the “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 18-24 months,” he said.
According to the NTDC DG, some of the identified challenges burdening businesses within the ecosystem include: Proper Pricing, Safe Payment channels, Access to market, Customer service and retention, and Bookings and reservations.
Coker revealed that other issues raised include Data Collection and Analytics, Distribution, Setup, System Issues, Supply Chain and Logistics.
He emphasised that the goal of NTDC 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.
He said: “We want to be able to imagine a future in which a tourist’s journey experience is fully enhanced by the digitization 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.
“To achieve this desired objective, we are looking for ideas that are scalable and sustainable on a use-case basis. 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 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. How? The initiative is a collaborative effort of 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.
“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 UNWTO, and the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, we believe we can achieve these objectives.”