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ViaVii

Ready-to-buy unique travel experiences designed by local communities, live a life in their day and hear their stories

Photo of Rola Fayyad
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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

The travel activities space is largely fragmented and available offline, while on the other hand, more than 57% of travel reservations are made online each year. This clearly shows a gap in matching the demand and supply in the travel industry. Today, for every $100 spent on holiday by tourists only 5% benefits the local destination & community as per Booking.com research. With an overwhelming amount of unorganized information in travel planning – travellers face problems in personalizing their itineraries, and end up at the familiar and typical antique touristic sites, and not meeting locals and communities that are in need of benefiting from tourism. Our two-way platform, enables local communities to digitize their offerings with ready-to-buy experiences, increasing revenue and visibility for the hosts, and connecting them to travellers in-need of personalized and unique journeys. Our AI travel recommendation engine relieves travellers from the hassle of finalising the last leg of their trips. They can discover personalized itineraries based on their interests and budget. The platform is also built to help travelers easily find a variety of immersive experiences, designed by trained local communities, and book them online instantly. Our technology is maturing by using Artificial Intelligence to support communities and governments by enabling their businesses to perform smarter and better. We offer a mobile app and website, to businesses and travellers, with online ticketing for experiences and attractions. We will lead the MENA activities hub, and convert the data collected from communities to bookable content, and share it with global travel databases to make it available to billions of agencies and tourists for instant purchasing. Targeting local communities to share their experiences and stories, we offer capacity building and training to have then enhance skills and transform them into an experience, which will create a revenue stream for their house

Geography of focus (500 characters)

Our geographical area covers the MENA region in our mid-term plans, we chose this region as it’s over 60% offline, with only typical tours available online. We believe the culture here is very powerful, highlighting multiple nationalities displaced and refugees due to political issues. Launched in Jordan, we focus on areas outside the capital and refugees, extracting their their stories and experiences and making them bookable for travellers and even locals who should support.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

Tourism is a significant engine of overall development in many destinations, generating 10% of employment around the world and accounts for 10.4% of global GDP. We are building bridges between local communities and travellers through connectivity, to increase employment, for a better and decent living standards in rural areas. Those communities have no light shed on them due to no marketing, when in fact, their experiences are very unique and offer true travel hospitality.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

Let’s go to the basics of human emotions, the need to feel worthy and fulfillment of the basic needs of life.In order to be able to achieve that, people must have hope for a brighter future and dignified work to reach there, to create joy for themselves and their families. When we look at tourism, there are many social impacts for communities when they are involved in projects, making them build futures for their families. Social interaction with travellers, increase their knowledge, confidence and skills, making them feel fulfilled and happy when dealing and meeting different cultures and having a chance to speak up and tell their stories to be heard. The more engagement done with communities, the better their social status gets; financially and personally. Tourism is linked to happiness, as we break away from traditionally day-to-day lives, and when tourists are served by communities, they both share the satisfaction of serving each other.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

The platform creates a gateway/marketplace for hosts in communities to be creative by adding experiences, and enables them to be searchable online by anyone accessing the internet. This allows them to sell, market and grow and increases collaboration between community members for the purposes of achieving common goals, improving their local community and pursuing individual benefits. Rural tourism is seen as a "cure" for poverty and leads to the improvement of transportation and development of telecommunications in an area, hence, giving the community better logistics. In addition, opportunities for local businesses which allows for increased trade among the increased number of visitors and then develops a variety of local businesses. The project will follow strict OKRs and KPIs to ensure the smoothness and impact created, with milestones for each activity. We have done this before with USAID and EU funds and can refer you to have an idea on the success rate we achieved with them.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

As a traveller and employed in the industry for over a decade, I was fed up of seeing corporates running the show, making all the profits, and ignoring the real source of tourism and hospitality, the people. Unfortunately today, communities are by-passed, and most companies and governments focus on promoting their attractions, when in reality, true hospitality comes from communities and the people who work very hard to develop their locations on their own. Myself, I love travelling and seeing fancy places, but the days I met locals, and lived in their shoes, heard their stories, and understood that happiness is never financial, I decided our company will always support the growth of those communities and highlight them to the world. Performing unique experiences with locals; cooking, arts, adventure, etc.. is truly different than the typical tours you find online, we want to ensure next time your online, you find Ahmed and Um Saddam, who will show you a true experience in Ajloun, Jorda

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

We will be targeting up to 4 communities in Jordan; Jerash, Ajloun, Al Salt and Madaba. These locations are to top rural areas visited by tourists and locals, and we can create new hosts, linkages and experiences through capacity building. Sample Persona of a host: Local host in a community Age Group: 19 - 38 Gender: Male and female Income: Low to middle Characteristics; Blue collar, single, parent, high school or college degree, incomplete education ✦Behaviour: Adventurous, friendly, story-teller, learner. ✦Needs/Goals: Increase family income and status Collect revenue to start a business Meet new people and share stories Engage with community members Complete education Learn new languages to serve tourists

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

The communities we are dealing with, have a common idea on capacity building and support provided by startups and NGOs through grants. The local communities are familiar with working closely together and collaborating, with no sense of competition, however complementing each others services provided. This strength and positive attitude can refer to the increase in jobs, a higher quality of life for locals, and an increase in wealth of an area. We aim to create a network effect between hosts and communities, increasing linkages between them for further development of their strengths and skills.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

We have over 10 partners helping us scale our operations and expand to include more local communities in our programs. We received several support from entities dedicated to social enterprises like; JADE project, Zain, USAID Lens, Crown Prince Foundation, GIST, etc… The support that we receive from our partners helps to enhance local communities, and in-kind support come as training material, free consultation services etc.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Other

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Platform: Creating a community or market that facilitates interaction between users and resources

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Early Adoption: We have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have proof of user uptake (i.e. 16% to 49% of the target population or 1,000 to 50,000 users).

Group or Organization Name

ViaVii

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

ViaVii is a travel technology startup which focuses on delivering a solution for travellers, and extending the solution to comply with communities guidelines. We are a team of 11; interns and full staff, who believe in an easier way to travel, and not falling into tourist traps. Our passion is to make every traveller engage with communities and travel like a local, instead of a tourist. This passion derived from supporting the home-based businesses (hosts) by transforming their offerings online, enabling them to be visible. For us, the best thing about our job is supporting the hosts, listening to their needs and ensuring our technology meets it. In Jordan and Qatar, we have been able to find the right partners, including NGOs, community initiatives, startups and governmental entities, and continue working with them on projects focused to bring data online, and train communities.

Website URL:

www.viavii.com

Type of submitter

  • We are a For-Profit Startup or Startup Social Enterprise

Organization Headquarters: Country

Jordan

Organization Headquarters: City / State

Amman

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Photo of Sevde Şengün
Team

Hello Rola Fayyad great to have your idea on the platform for the challenge. It's exciting and I really like your idea's touchpoints and your visuals! As the ideas phase comes to an end within few hours, we would encourage you to again have a last look at the evaluation criteria here: https://ideo.to/NQ6TlJ
Also, it will be exciting for your to check out other ideas on the platform, provide some feedback and explore potential areas of collaboration with them! For example check out the Bridge to a Better Life : https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/2019-bridgebuilder-challenge/ideas/bridge-to-a-better-life-empowering-refugees-to-become-independent-and-productive-members-of-society