The Data Lab has announced the launch of the Edinburgh Tourism Innovation Challenge, bringing together technology and tourism specialists to develop innovative solutions to problems in Edinburgh’s tourism industry.
A spokesperson for the Data Lab said: “Edinburgh’s tourism industry is a powerhouse and one of the most important economic sectors in Scotland, delivering £1.3b of spend and supporting more than 30,000 local jobs.
“These figures are rising: in the last five years, visitor spending has increased by 30% and visitor numbers have reached 3.85m. With this high growth, challenges such as visitor number fluctuations, lack of current visitor data and high density around tourist hotspots can arise.”
The challenge will begin with a three day event on 5th to 8th October 2017, and will provide previously inaccessible data from organisations such as Historic Environment Scotland, Visit Scotland, and Festivals Edinburgh. This could include models that predict or forecast the details of the Edinburgh tourism population; services that support simpler navigation and planning throughout Edinburgh; tools that encourage destination discovery or data visualisations that help reimagine the tourism industry.
Entrepreneurially minded data scientists and analysts, designers, and software engineers will spend the three days and three nights analysing the data to develop innovative products, services, or tools that will benefit Edinburgh’s tourism industry. Participants will form small cross-functional teams to work on a product prototype with support from subject matter experts, and the wider technology community.
One-to-one follow up support will be offered for every idea created during the event to help find the best routes to develop and commercialise them. The Challenge has up to £15,000 available in further funding to help support ideas as part of a longer project.
The spokesperson said: “the event offers an invaluable networking opportunity with industry leading organisations, universities and top technology talent.”