“Innovative ideas for tourism development in Armenia” Hackathon held for the second time
With the support of EU-SMEDA project, the second “Innovative ideas for tourism development in Armenia” Hackathon was successfully held on 18-19 May 2019 in Vanadzor, organised by Vanadzor Technology Center (VTC), the Enterprise Incubator Foundation and Lori region’s administration in cooperation with the Tourism Committee of the RA.
The hackathon aimed at promoting the tourism industry in Armenia by bringing innovative solutions and services to the market to attract more tourists, both domestic and international, and potentially ensuring higher income for the implementers of those ideas and projects.
Around 30 teams from all over Armenia actively took part in the creative and stimulating atmosphere working on the prototypes of their ideas and products for 24 hours guided by experienced mentors and experts available there for the whole duration. A number of topic-related sessions were organised such as: Insights from Tourism Development by the co-founder of absoluteGPS from Germany; Combination of a workstation and co-living house by Debed.life; How to start a Startup by Armenia Startup Academy and more were presented to the participating teams along with hands on consultation and guiding while the latter were working on their final pitches, presenting them on the second day to the Hackathon’s jury.
Thus, the best ones who proved to be the most innovative, creative, impactful and sustainable were granted by EU-SMEDA project monetary award of 2.000.000 AMD, 1.200.000 AMD and 750.000 AMD as support for the further development and/or promotion of the proposed product, such as marketing expense, business consultancy, translation services, study trips to or trade show participation in Europe.
The 1st winner is Guide Me - 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. A map, where the guest houses, restaurants, bike and hiking routes are indicated. Information about the guest houses will be provided through record of 1-2min. duration.
The 2nd winner is Armenia Discovery – an online shop - 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 in various countries the products from creative people living in remote rural areas of Armenia. The 3rd winner is Guru Guide- through the Guru Guide 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. We provide a platform that connects local people and tourists making it available for authentic story telling from "your local buddy".
Aditionally, encouragig prizes were offered by UNDP Armenia to cooperate 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.
As mentioned above this was the second time that the Hackathon on “Innovative ideas for tourism development in Armenia”was organised in the Northern region of Armenia: Lori, and it tends to become a sustainable and continuous imitative for the upcoming years as well to serve as a platform for boosting tourism and innovation in the regions through digital and technological approaches and solutions, eventually making Lori and other regions of Armenia a true innovative touristic center.
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