Africa App Contest Seeks Technology For Tourism

Africa App Contest Seeks Technology For Tourism

Visa and South African tourism have a contest under way named Africa App Quest seeking the app that best uses technology to improve and increase travel in Africa.

The prize: $10,000.

So far, South Africans and Kenyans dominate the 50 companies and individuals who are competing in the contest, with some entries from Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Tanzania, according to a report in ITnewsAfrica.

The appetite for the Africa App Quest mirrors the growth of apps in the travel sector worldwide, said William Price, South African tourism’s global e-marketing manager, in the report.

About 25 percent of travelers surveyed for a PhoCusWright study in January bought a travel product via app or mobile, Price said. Americans are expected to spend $8 billion on travel app bookings in 2013, up from $2.6 billion in 2011, he said.

“It’s not just about last minute bookings,” Price said in the ITnewsAfrica report. “Travelers 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.”

The contest invites entries that include online safari guides, urban directories, game spotting and recording apps, online booking and shopping tools, or apps interpreting local cultures. All entries must be compatible with all mobile devices for iOs, Android and Windows. Any app that uses technology to improve and increase travel in Africa is eligible, the ITnewsAfrica report says. The competition closes Aug. 16.

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“Visa recognizes the synergy between technology and tourism,” said Jodie Schorn, head of Cross-Border Marketing for Visa Sub-Saharan Africa. “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.”