The need for innovation in tourism entrepreneurship

I received the amazing news this morning that a hospitality innovation lab had launched in Nigeria. I believe this is good not only for Nigeria but for the global tourism and hospitality industry. It means our governments, as well as some of the actors of the private sector are realising the importance tourism in our economy. I can’t wait to hear about more initiatives like this in and outside the continent.


Since we are talking about innovation… I was invited to speak at the tropics business summit build up event in Johannesburg last Friday ( 22/06/2018) . You can find my recap of the event which took place at the Radisson Blu HERE , as well as more information about the Tropics group’s main business event ( set to take place in October). My talk was about the need for innovation in the tourism industry.   As explained to the audience, to me, the tourism and hospitality industry in Africa is a mysterious child: we all know we need it, we know if brings money into our economies but only a few want to really explore it or even learn about it. In fact I remember the disappointment of some of my family member when I told them I was studying tourism and was planning to continue at postgraduate level.

Indeed, African governments have realised the importance of tourism and I enjoyed initiatives such as the #DoTourism campaign in South Africa or even the Arsenal deal in Rwanda (although it was widely criticised). However, you need more than a smile and a house converted into a B&B to succeed in tourism or even make money out of it. We need to innovate, embrace technology more and adapt it to our markets and activities. We also need to DARE!  I remember when I came up with the tourism entrepreneur workshop concept, I doubted myself because no one seemed really interested and there was nothing like it in Africa (a platform dedicated to tourism and hospitality startups). But guess what: the event took place, I had industry experts among my speakers and my inbox is now flooded with requests about the next edition. Dear tourism entrepreneur, be DARING!

Tourism Entrepreneur (165)

Lastly: another trend I spotted and that might be of interest is cryptotourism. With the rise of digital currencies like the now famous bitcoin and the creation of similar currencies, medium to large scale events are taking place globally and many tourism operators are taking advantage of it. In fact Airbnb created Cryptocrib, an app connecting traveling crypto-enthusiasts with crypto-friendly accommodations throughout the world. You can read more about it HERE.

Have a lovely week,

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