15:10 | 21.05.19 | News | 5324

Winners of “Innovative Ideas for Tourism Development in Armenia” hackathon announced

On May 18-19, 2019, the “Innovative ideas for tourism development in Armenia” hackathon was held at the Vanadzor Technology Center (VTC) for the second time.

The hackathon was organized by Enterprise Incubator Foundation together with Vanadzor Technology Center with main support of the European Union through its EU4Business “Support to SME Development in Armenia” (EU-SMEDA) project, which is co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ’s Private Sector Development in South Caucasus Program.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Innovative Solutions and Technologies Center (ISTC), Tourism Committee of the RA, Integrated Rural Tourism Development project of United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Lori regional administration also supported the implementation of the event.

In the scope of the event sessions and discussions on relevant tourism-related topics have been held with the invited experts in attendance.

23 teams from all over Armenia worked on the prototypes of their ideas/products within 24 hours and submitted them for the jury’s consideration.

The experts from absoluteGPS and HeroHouse provided mentoring to the teams.

The jury involved representatives from absolutGPS (Germany), Catalyst Foundation, SmartGateVC, Tufenkian Hospitality, Vanadzor Technology Center, Tourism Committee of the RA and UNDP.

2.000.000 AMD, 1.200.000 AMD and 750.000 AMD were offered as a prize for the winners of the hackathon. Prizes were granted by EU4Business “Support to SME Development in Armenia” project as professional services to support further development and promotion of the proposed product and will include marketing expenses, business consultancy, translation services, or study tours in Europe. The winning teams are:

Guide me – (Yerevan, 2.000.000 AMD) - A mobile application, which will tell about more than 60 cultural and historic attractions in 10 languages within 4-8 minutes, provided by professional native speakers. The app includes a map, where the guest houses, restaurants, bike and hiking routes are indicated.

Armenian discovery (Yerevan, 1.200.000 AMD) - An online shop and information platform where incoming tour operators have the opportunity to register their companies and have their mini web-page. It aims at supporting to sell the products from creative people living in remote rural areas of Armenia in various countries.

Guru guide (Yerevan, 750.000 AMD) - Through the application the dwellers of cities and rural areas can study and become a guide and find a job registering in the application and share stories about their hometowns. The platform connects local people and tourists making it available for authentic story telling from "your local buddy".

A few participating teams of the hackathon received encouraging prizes from the partner structures involved in the jury.

UNDP has expressed readiness to work with Visit My Armenia, Armenia Discovery, Improvis, Boo, Hako teams, in order to support them to realize their ideas.

Tufenkian Hospitality provided DentTur team with 4 free night stay at Tufenkian Avan Dzoraget Hotel.

HeroHouse provided a $100,000 credit to Travel Trivia team in I-game cloud platform.

Trying to identify the challenges of tourism development in northern regions of Armenia, the hackathon aimed to provide tech-based solutions and promote the Armenian tourism industry by bringing innovative solutions and services to the market that will be more attractive to tourists, both domestic and international, and will potentially ensure high income for the implementers of those ideas and projects.

As a note, that the first tourism-related hackathon was organized in Vanadzor Technology Center (VTC) on 7-8 April 2018.