Project name: Paryatak Sahayog
Prabin Kayastha(Pulchowk Engineering Campus)
Problem statement: Tourism related problems in Kathmandu valley such as
· Tourists getting cheated
· Tourists losing their route
· Tourists lacking the knowledge of the locality
· Unlicensed tourism industries that run in the valley
· TO-DOs and NOT-TO-DOs
· Losing in the way while in their trek
· Losing their goods and carriages
· The social issues that tourists need to get familiar with
· Tourism related crimes
· Problems regarding hawkers, beggars, street children and so on.
Tourism has been an influential and most profitable business strategy here in Nepal (especially Kathmandu valley being such a place of tourist attraction) ever since the beginning. It has played a vital role in developing national economy. But despite being of such importance, due to lack of proper management, the problems related to tourism has been one of the many serious strains in the Kathmandu valley.
The core jest of this project is to address the problems and issues that tourism sector of Kathmandu valley (and Nepal in general) is facing. The tourists visiting our country have been facing a lot of problems. This project shall address as many issues that prevail in the tourism industries of the valley as possible. This project/app shall be useful for both the internal as well as external tourists.
This app is a helper, a map, a schedule keeper, an alarm, a reporter and to be short, it’s a virtual guide. This app shall have privileges of maps and transportation routes, complain box (problems regarding the cheats, thugs, low standard services, high unreasonable charges etc), contacting the travelling agencies and tourist police, creating time table for the day, flash news of the contemporary issues, advertisements of and from various tourism agencies, recommendation for new places to visit, recommendation for accommodations etc.
Similarly, collaboration with the tourism board of Nepal, and partnership with tourism organizations such as hotels, travel agencies, tourist police, and other major and minor private agencies that rely on tourism business will yield a fruitful outcome.
As far as I am concerned, this project is the first mobile app in our country that will be issued for tourists and visitors from our homeland as well as foreign land. So this will certainly draw some attention at national level.
The project is specially targeted to the tourists and people engaged in tourism sector. As the project prioritizes on solving various problems that tourists face while in their visit, the tourists would surely be interested in using this project. Similarly, tourism organizations, traveling agencies, hotels and restaurants, lodges, and private tourism companies would also be interested in this project so as to foster their business.
According to the statistics from Nepal Tourism Board (NBT) a total of about 600,000 foreign tourists entered the country via aerial route in 2012. So far, it is reasonable to estimate that, by this time, the number has increased to the range of about 650000s. Similarly, there are ten 5-star hotels in Kathmandu alone. Alongside, there are hundreds of registered restaurants, hotels, and lodges in the valley. All these tourism entities are the targets of this project. We know that many people have an easy access to the modern gadgets (cell phone, laptops and internet access). We can assume that above 80 percent of the incoming tourists carry such gadgets on while in their field trip. So we may estimate that more than half of the tourists and almost all the interested organizations may at least try using this app.
According to various surveys and field visits made by tourism experts, it has been found many tourists who have been in this country, especially Kathmandu valley, have faced the problems mentioned in the problem statement earlier. Even the licensed tourism organizations have been turned down due to unlicensed and illegal tourism organizations. In addition to them, many international and national illegal activities have been found done by using tourism business as cover. This has adversely affected all the above mentioned parties and hence such problems are to be made clearer to everyone.
To take glance at the problems regarding tourism in Kathmandu valley, we may take the transportation in Kathmandu valley as a simple and good example. Tourists are often seen confused with the direction to their destination or even destination in some cases. Tourists who prefer to travel on their own are most prone to such vulnerable condition. Even if they get a vehicle, we may notice that public-bus, taxis, rickshaws are more likely to over-charge tourist simply because the transportation rates are completely unknown to them. Besides, many crooks use tourism as a cover to their illegal activities. Even unlicensed industries tend to make illegal money deteriorating the fame and reputation of registered industries. We also hear now and then that illegal activities are run in Thamel, the heart of tourist center, in Kathmandu. These all are the traits that makes us regard such a system of tourism as a growing problem of Kathmandu valley.
This project is however a small initiative to solve such problems. Tourism professionals, tourists themselves, Nepal tourist police, and various other tourism industries shall be so interested into this project.
Since there are no such types of projects available in Nepali market, I don’t think we will have any project competitors. But, still, any other application developers, organizations, and individuals, who will be using similar ideas, will always be considered as competitors. So, maintaining and uplifting the standard of this project will be definitely a great challenge.
Since many of the prevailing tourist helping internet sites are still not that portable and services are not accessible, they are not that useful. So, considering this, my project will be containing the following features so as to set up a class way above other similar projects that may come in further future.
· The mobile app will be 100% offline except for sharing and updates.
· Provision for traveler’s reviews and ratings.
· Directories of points of interest such as accommodation, travel agencies, hotels and restaurants with their pictures, location, contact information, booking links and more.
· Single or multiple destinations for cities and towns.
· Calendars of events, daily routine.
· Notes and things to remember, TO-DOs-and-NOT-TO-DOs.
· Offline maps and location based navigation.
· Journal writing provisions and reviewing them.
· Advertisements of various collaborated organization.
· Complaint box for reporting.
· Recommendation for more places to visit.
· Miscellaneous tool box for application customization, alarm, themes etc.
People who are engaged in tourism sectors as well as the tourists themselves are the most likely personas of this project. And sidewise, people who have their direct and indirect concerns with the tourism of the valley may be considered rightful users.
The project may be viewed both with money-oriented aspect as well as social aspect. We may make money through various sources. The following diagram shows a schematic diagram of the business model of the project.
Furthermore, we can have partnership with tourism related organizations such as travel agencies, domestic airlines, tourist police, hotels, restaurants, and many more so as to flourish the scope of our project and hence the economy.
The application shall basically be targeted for the windows phone, android phones and iPhone cell phones. The application shall also be using offline Bing Nokia maps facilities and/or Google Earth facilities, offline map GPS tracking system, compass and connectivity access for updates and data transaction. Such use of the technologies shall make the project more powerful and reliable.