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13 March 2013

Search on for Africa's top travel app

With the launch of Africa App Quest, the challenge is on for talented developers across sub-Saharan Africa to build a home-grown travel app to capitalise on the continent’s growing popularity as a tourist destination.

Table Mountain and its aerial cableway is one iconic destination that can be found on many a travel website and on some travel apps.     Table Mountain is one iconic destination that can be found on many travel websites and on some travel apps

It’s an opportunity for developers to use their expertise to contribute to the fast-growing tourism industry and build a uniquely African app that enhances every tourist’s travel experience. – William Price, SAT global e-marketing manager.

The quest to find Africa’s best travel app recently went live with the launch of Africa App Quest, through which developers stand a chance of winning a US$10 000 cash prize. 

The initiative – a collaboration between E-Tourism Frontiers, Visa and South African Tourism (SAT) – was announced at the E-Tourism Africa Summit held in Cape Town in September last year. The launch of Africa App Quest comes at a time when travellers globally are increasingly planning their travels on mobile devices.

Claire Olverman, head of cross-border marketing for Visa sub-Saharan Africa, is encouraging all developers – whether up-and-coming or already established  – to get involved. ‘This is a great way for developers to make a name for themselves in the global travel and tech community,’ she says.

She adds that initiatives such as Africa App Quest have the potential to reach a wider global audience and strengthen inbound travel to South Africa.

Any application that uses technology to improve and increase travel in Africa is eligible. This can be anything from online safari guides, urban directories, and game-spotting and recording apps to online booking and shopping tools or apps interpreting local cultures. App entries need to be compatible with mobile devices for IOS, Android and Windows.

The competition closes on 16 August 2013, after which the judges will announce three shortlisted entries. The panel of judges comprises representatives from Visa, the SAT board, Betapond (an approved Facebook developer), the Kenya Tourist Board and TripAdvisor.

A representative for each of the shortlisted entries will be flown to the 6th Annual E-Tourism Africa Summit in Cape Town, where final judging by the audience will take place on 9 and 10 September 2013.

William Price, SAT global e-marketing manager, says Africa App Quest is an opportunity for developers to step into the broader development arena. ‘It's an opportunity for developers to use their expertise to contribute to the fast-growing tourism industry and build a uniquely African app that enhances every tourist’s travel experience,’ he says.

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