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Challenge for Africa’s top travel app

Visa and South African Tourism’s USD$10,000 challenge to developers across Sub-Saharan Africa to build the continent’s best travel app is now open for entries

First announced at the E-Tourism Summit in Cape Town last year, 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-Saharan 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 percent*.

“As a proud partner of South African Tourism, Visa is excited to collaborate with the organisation on initiatives such as the Africa App Quest that have the potential to reach a 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.”

Entries 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. All app entries must be compatible with mobile devices for iOs, Android and Windows. Any application that uses technology to improve and increase travel in Africa is eligible.

The competition closes on the 16th of August 2013, after which the judges – including representatives from Visa, South African Tourism, Betapond (an approved Facebook developer), Kenya Tourist 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 Town for 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 USD$10,000.

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.”

More information on the competition, rules and entry forms can be found at or on the E-Tourism Frontiers Facebook page,

*Africa’s Regional Finance and Private Sector Development: Sub Saharan Africa Tourism Industry Report: November 2009. Prepared by Dr. Louise Twining-Ward for World Bank, Washington D.C.


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