An African technology company has launched a revolutionary social networking platform as it seeks to increase local tourism profile in East Africa. Dei Technologies International Ltd has introduced DeiPlaces, the local answer to TripAdvisor, where citizen can discover, create and share places and memories with friends and families.
The platform will also be beneficial to tourism and travel stakeholders, as they can market their products, tour spots and activities. According to the firm’s Business Development Manager, Dr. Paul Bamutaze, if well harnessed, DeiPlaces will improve local tourism by 20 per cent at the end of the year.
“There are over a billion places across the continent worth visiting but people do not know about them. DeiPlaces is now here to help us market such places to the world,” he said.
To access the DeiPlaces platform, one has to register and create an account. The social network focuses on individuals, organizations among other entities sharing information in pictures, videos and words about places. A team of dedicated developers from America, China and Uganda designed the platform.
Simon Kamau, DeiPlaces Team Leader for the Kenyan market highlighted the suitability of the networking platform for local tourism.
“There are many Kenyans who are yet to explore the beauty of our country due to lack of awareness. Gladly, today is also about what this event highlights – what we can do to imbue our people with tourism,” he said.
The platform comes at a time when internet connectivity in the country is at its peak. There are over 37 million mobile phone subscribers in Kenya and internet users are 31.9 million. Latest statistics from Communications Authority show that 89.7 out of 100 people in the country access internet services. Tourism, a major foreign exchange earner, showed a turnaround last year, growing 13.3 per cent after contracting 1.3 per cent the previous year, according to Economic Survey 2017.
The Kenya Tourism Board states that total international arrivals to the country by air and sea increased by 7.8 per cent to nearly 787,000 tourists last year compared to a similar period in 2016 between January and October. The direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to the country’s GDP is 3.7 per cent and over 399,000 jobs (3.4 per cent of total employment) were supported, recent data from World Travel and Tourism Council shows.
According to Mr Kamau, local tourism must be fully supported if optimal benefits are to be reaped in the industry. Also we should look beyond the borders of our respective states and explore the beauty of other countries within the regional market.
“In the spirit of East African integration, further efforts should be pursued to localize regional tourism,” he added.
Since 2014, cross border movement across the region has grown at an average of 2 per cent annually according to data from East African Tourism platform. In 2015, the number of regional tourist arrival within the regional member states was approximately 852, 000.
East Africa now represents 44 per cent of arrivals and 38 per cent of revenues. Uganda occupies 2nd top source market for Rwanda with about 260,000 Ugandans visiting Rwanda annually. Within the region, Kenya ranks highly as one of the key source markets for travelers to Uganda accounting for over 48 per cent, followed by Rwanda at 35.3 per cent; Tanzania at 11.2 per cent and Burundi at 5.4
per cent. This is mainly attributed to education, entertainment and visiting friends and family.
“The figures above show that the biggest tourism earning opportunity in our region is by encouraging our people to inter-visit and explore each other,” says Dr Paul Bamukaze.
The firm will also launch DeiPlaces mobile app to take advantage of the large number of smartphones in the region.
Editors Note: This is a press release from the Dei Technology Limited