Entrepreneur seeks enabling environment for tourism hackathon to grow
Clara Okoro

Entrepreneur Seeks Enabling Environment for Tourism Hackathon to Grow

An entrepreneur, Mrs Clara Okoro, yesterday urged the Federal Government to create an enabling environment for hackathon in tourism to grow.

Okoro made the appeal at the maiden edition of the Tourism and Technology Summit held in Lagos.

According to her, tourism ecosystem in Africa is evolving rapidly and now is the right time to connect and attract the best brains using technology as a launch pad, to change the narratives.

Entrepreneur seeks enabling environment for tourism hackathon to grow
Clara Okoro

“There are new intersections for African narratives and opportunities in Afro-tourism and technology is an open avenue which can be explored to build businesses and create opportunities for prosperity.

“Our key interests at the tourism and technology summit include ensuring we foster education, excellence, inclusion, knowledge and experience of Africa’s abundant offerings in tourism.

“It will be done through our professional tourism consultancy as well as strategic partnerships with government and other professional bodies, to take the tourism industry in Africa to the levels where they should be technology wise.

“We have decided to settle for this specific niche on tourism and technology; and already have a 10-year blueprint as a framework to implement.

“Our belief is predicated on the fact that technology solves problems and more than ever before, tourism needs technology to solve its problems in Africa,’’ she said.

Okoro noted that the same way the smart phone had transformed telecommunications and media, a comprehensive smart travel model, one that includes smart visas, borders, security processes and infrastructure would revolutionise tourism.

She said that with consolidation of technology tools, passengers could book their flights and check in online, have their boarding passes on their smart phones, go through automated clearance gates and even validate their boarding passes electronically to board planes.

According to her, these measures being put in place with technology would improve both travel facilitation and security.

Okoro noted that the hackathon would showcase new apps, new disruptive innovations that can revolutionise the travel industry; and new tools that can be deployed across board as an integrative functional tool as a solution.

John Omesili, Principal Technology Officer, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) said that the hackathon came at the time the  federal government  was emphasising on local content in ICT.

He said that it would serve as a road map to inclusive and organic growth for national socio-economic development.

“NOTAP has also keyed into the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) set up in July 2016, to remove bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria, and make the country a veritable place to start and grow business on the African continent.

“These activities are specifically geared toward improving the country’s economic productivity; diversification of the economic base; improving country’s competitiveness; and global ranking in ease of doing business index.

“In the course of evaluation of Technology Transfer Agreements, it was observed that huge funds were remitted outside the country on a steady basis, under the various sectors of our economy which include tourism and ICT,’’ Omesili said.

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Entrepreneur Seeks Enabling Environment for Tourism Hackathon to Grow