News & Blog

Edinburgh Tourism Innovation Challenge

Posted on August 18, 2017

Edinburgh’s tourism industry is a powerhouse and one of the most important economic sectors in Scotland, delivering £1.3 billion of spend and supporting more than 30,000 local jobs1. These figures are rising: in the last 5 years, visitor spending has increased by 30% and visitor numbers have reached 3.85 million2. With this high growth, challenges such as visitor number fluctuations, lack of current visitor data and high density around tourist hotspots can arise.

The Data Lab is excited to announce the launch of the Edinburgh Tourism Innovation Challenge, supported by funds from Scottish Enterprise and the Edinburgh Tourism Action Group. The challenge will start with a 3-day event from 05 to 08 October 2017, where teams of technology professionals and students, and tourism- and festival-related experts will be brought together to analyse a range of tourism-related data and help take steps to solve the current problems in Scottish tourism industry.

Working on previously inaccessible data from organisations such as Historic Environment Scotland and Visit Scotland, as well as data from Edinburgh’s Festivals, teams will develop data driven ideas and prototypes for new products, services or tools that would benefit the tourism industry in Edinburgh. These 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.

Not only will novel insights be derived from the opportunity to work on real organisation’s data, but one to one follow on support will be offered for every idea created during the event to help find the best routes to develop and commercialise them. The Edinburgh Tourism Innovation Challenge has up to £15,000 in further funding to help support the ideas created at the first weekend event, as part of a longer project. Also, the event offers an invaluable networking opportunity with industry leading organisations, universities and top technology talent.

If you are in attending the event as a participant, please sign up here. If you are a company interested in data sharing or mentoring during the event, please email The Data Lab skills department here. Please sign up as soon as possible as the spaces are limited.





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