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Pitch

Software application that will enable travelers to search and select bedrooms, pay and reserves them for durations they want ahead of time.


Description

Summary

It is often difficult for travelers to foreign countries travelers to find hotels with bedrooms that best suit them in terms of cost, quality, safety etc. in cities of destinations. As a result they may face risks of various types. Currently, bedroom service giving hotels, guesthouses and pensions (HPGs) are also being confronted with challenge of not being identified and used by customers of various types easily. Thus, aimed at solving the multiple challenges confronted by customers and service givers, I propose for developing internet based software application technology which I call it universal hotel locator (UHLApp) that will enable customers (tourists/travelers) to easily identify bedrooms service giving HPGs in cities of destination country from where they are online. Through this application, customers will be able to search, identify HPGs with bedrooms that suits them best in terms of cost, safely, quality etc. and then register, pay and reserve rooms of choice online one day, a week, and month etc. ahead of check in date. This application will also be helpful in searching and reserving bedrooms in HPGs by travelers after they have arrived in destination country and city. For example if travelers want to change bedrooms in different HPGs in the same city of destination country or other cities of destination country after they have been accommodated for some days in previously reserved bedrooms, they can do it easily with this application. Moreover, the application is equally applicable to domestic bedroom service seekers who travel to cities out of their home city within the same country. This application will have several benefits to both service givers (HPGs) and customers. It will contribute to international peace and security.

UHLApp will also have features designated as fast up tax(FATA) that will create easy access to taxi services for travelers & travelers’ friendship (FrienTra) feature aimed at facilitating networking & partnership among travelers.


What concrete idea do you propose?

Background and rationale behind the idea of UHLApp 

It is normal that people travel to different countries of the world out of their country of origin for different purposes such as for business, for work, for tourism purposes etc. Even if people traveling from one country to another for different purpose has been started more than 10 centuries ago or more, the number of people travelling abroad per year started to dramatically increase since the middle of 20 century, due to advance in transportation technology such as aircraft carriers, ships and train. The number of people travelling to foreign countries around the world further dramatically increased in the 21st century due to rapid advances in science and technology, globalization, trade, population growth etc. I estimate that the number of people travelling to foreign countries to exceeds hundreds of millions per year if not billion. People traveling out of their country of origin for tourism purposes accounts for the largest proportion of the total number of people traveling per year. The common property that shared by all travelers is that whether they for travel for tourism, business, work or other purposes, they need to be accommodated in their destination cities and the majority of travelers are accommodated in bedrooms of hotels, pensions, guesthouses (HPGs) in cities of destination countries. Thus, to be accommodated in HPGs in destination cities, they need information regarding HPGS to stay and Currently, most travelers especially tourists inquire for HPGs with bedrooms which are suitable to them in terms of price, quality of rooms etc. in destination cities by searching through internet, by the help of brokers, tourist guides, from published materials  etc.Particularly, travelers to developing countries especially to Africa, search and identify HPGs with bedrooms to rent and stay by travelling within destination cities in person guided by local non-professional guiders or by asking local residents.

However, the existing mechanisms of searching and identification of HPGs with bedrooms and their subsequent reservations by travelers in destination cities and countries are challenging and risky to travelers seeking accommodations. Some of the challenges include that travelers may be confronted with difficulty of finding HPGs with bedrooms that suits them best in terms of quality, prices, safety etc., because foreign travelers alien to the destination country, they could be subjected to pay higher price per bedrooms/night than it could normally be as local people perceive that foreigners especially tourists are rich people. In the course of searching HPGs in destination cities by walking or driving in destination cities costing them extra time, money and energy. Fuel burned while driving here and there within destination cities until they get HPGs with bedrooms that suits them best can contribute to GHG emission. Travelers may face other challenges and risks of different types such as theft, accidents etc.

Sometimes, some travelers especially tourists, in their attempt to get low priced bedrooms in HPGs, they go to in insecure parts of some destination cities and rent rooms their risking themselves for several types of dangers and abuses. Apart from the above challenges, with increase in urban population and increasing expansion of urban areas, urban infrastructures such as roads (Bridges, suspension roads, U-Turn roads) etc. are making travel (movement from one location to another location) within such cities for searching and identifying bedroom service providing HPGs  is becoming increasingly difficult.

Most of the challenges and risks that could be faced by international travelers in their courses of searching and identifying HPGs with bedrooms that suits their interests described above could also be faced by domestic travelers. Thus, there a need for a solution that will solve most of the challenges and risks that are being confronted by domestic and international travelers in their effort to search identify and reserve bedrooms in their destination cities around the world. Consequently, I propose the development and application of internet based software application which I call it universal hotel locator application (UHLApp), an international platform that will bring all bedroom service providing HPGs in all cities of the world in one pool (Basket) from which customers (travelers) will be able to search and identify HPGs with bedrooms that suit them best their interests in destination cities, pay and reserve them for duration they want online making life simple.

Brief elaboration of the idea of UHLApp  ( How it  works?)

Global Web based platform entitled: www.UHLApp.com  (Universal Hotel Locator Application) will be developed and launched up on which bedroom service providing hotels, pensions and guesthouses (HPGs) (Eligible to be displayed on the application as decided by Admin of the envisaged application) will be uploaded and listed by country/province or state/cities/HPG. Then as directed by Admin of the application, owners’ of bed room service providing HPGs will upload their bedroom types by class/room number/price per night so that they make their bedroom services visible and accessible to customers. They can also upload video of sample descriptions of bedrooms. Following this, as guided by admin of UHLApp, owners of bedroom service giving HPG will be able to monitor and update the status of each bedroom as required. Any bedroom service providing hotel, pension or guesthouse will be assigned with unique identification code by Admin of UHLApp which is similar to digital object identifier (DOI) given to published articles. In addition the envisaged application requires international regulations, laws, terms, policies etc, that service giving HPGs, customers, bank and insurance service giving organization etc. should abide by regarding service provision, service uses, and financial transaction pertaining to the envisaged application.

After the application has been fully developed and released to users, customers (tourists, business travelers etc.) who are intending to travel out of their country, through this application, they will be able to navigate the country of destination, then to specific city where they want to stay and then after finding the city of interest, they will be able to navigate into HPGs available online and select hotel, pension or guesthouse with bedroom services that best suits them in terms of price, quality, proximity etc. The last task that the customers will do is that they will register themselves online through the envisaged application and perform payment for the duration they want to stay in the bedrooms selected; in return they will receive unique legal confirmation of the reservations. Customers will be able to do all the above tasks from where they are (home country), several days, weeks or months ahead of the actual traveling/visiting day through UHLApp. UHLApp will also have additional feature which I call it fast up Taxi (FATA). The purpose of FATA is to create easy access to Taxi services for travelers in destination cities which will transport them to the hotel where they have reserved bedrooms or anywhere they want to go in destination cities and countries. Moreover, it will have feature called travelers friendship (FrienTra). This feature will enable travelers from different countries who are traveling to same destination country to introduce and exchange information among themselves for establishing business partnership, friendship relation etc. ultimately contribute to globalization.

In order  to effectively deliver the intended services, the application will have integrated systems (Fig.1) with several interfaces such as interface between bedrooms service providers (BRSP)-customers, Customers-Banks, BRSP-Bank, UHLApp systems administrator-BRSP-customer-Banks interfaces etc. which will allow all important actors to interact between and among each other as predefined and programmed in application earlier so that the various tasks and services provided by the application will be effectively delivered.

Figure 1. Model representing the interactions between and among the different components of UHLApp.

UHLApp with partial application feature

In this case HPGs in cities along with their locations in cities, description of the bedrooms types and prices/room/night will be uploaded and displayed. Moreover, the status of each bedroom such as whether it is free, reserved etc. will be displayed to any interested person. This application is very is important for customers who seek bedroom services in countries where online money payment services are unavailable and for customers who are already in cities of destination and want to search and know the location of HPGs with free bedrooms suitable to for customers in question online so that they can travel in person and reserve them.

In general, to realize the proposed UHLApp, key actions that must be accomplished are very briefly described below:

  1. Pilot scale development of UHLApp and testing.

    Figure 2. Model for actual piloting of UHLApp (Designed by Tewodros George/Team member).

 

Figure 3. Model example of www.UHLApp.com to be developed at piloting stage of the application (Designed by Tewodros George) .

2.Drafting regulation, terms of references, international convention charters, related law etc. through which the application will be operated, administered so on.

3. Signing of the convention by countries of the world which will be interested and willing in UHLApp to be operational within their geographic boundaries.

4. Setting (preparation) minimum criteria and standards which individual bed service giving hotels, pensions and guesthouse required to fulfill so that they will be able to upload their services on this application and benefit.

5. Setting criteria that travelers (customers) should me to be eligible to use the application.

6. Preparations of laws, regulation, terms of references et. That service givers, customers and all other actors of the application should commit themselves, abide by and subjected to pertinent to their role in the envisaged application.

7. Full scale development of the application.

8. Release and make the UHLApp operational worldwide.

 

 


Who will take these actions?

Scale of applicability of UHLApp

The envisage UHApp is applicable at different scale such as at sing city level, state, country, regional and global levels. But as the call of this contest is for digital technology that ensures sustainability of travel and mobility at the international level, I have briefly described possible actors of UHLApp and their roles for its application at global scale.

Global level application of UHLApp, its possible stakeholders and their roles  

UHLApp in course of providing several important services to international and domestic travelers, it will generate income from users of the application (customers, bedroom service givers (HPGs)). Thus, the envisaged application is a business idea that will first need investment and then generate income. At same time, It will be an international platform; it requires big initial investment (capital, technical manpower etc.) to be fully operational. Thus, I suggest if Google alone or jointly with Lufthansa implement and run this application. This is because Google is a giant internet service providing company in the world with extensive technical experience and management capacity of such software.

In addition to the requirement for organization/firm interested to invest on the envisaged application, there will also be several stakeholders which will have stakes for its full realization. Possible stakeholders and their roles in this project are described one by one as follows:

Software engineers

My proposal here is an idea that can be converted into digital application aimed at contributing to sustainability of travel and mobility. However, as I am not professional in software engineering, I can’t do it myself. Thus, if there are grey matters in my proposed idea, its realization into workable digital application needs to be done by software engineers.

Google

It will provide location maps of bedroom service giving HPGs in destinations cities for customers

Countries covered by the envisaged application

  • Sign agreement that allow the application to be implemented within the territories of the country in question and related regulations etc.
  • They need to avail online money transfer (from and to) systems (E.G PayPal, bit coin, credit cards etc.)
  • Encourage bedroom service providing HPGs to join the envisaged application and benefit from.

Bedroom service providing HPGs

Be willing to join the envisaged platform for their own benefits but before that they need to fulfill the minimum criteria that are crucial for joining the platform.

Customers (International and Domestic Travelers)

Customers are major beneficiaries of UHLApp and thus they need to fulfill some requirements such as they should have valid passport and ID, official bank account, abide by terms of agreements etc.

Banks

Regulate and ensure money transferred paid to entitled beneficiaries that will be paid by bedroom service user as programmed earlier.

Telecom companies

Provide efficient call and SMS transfer services  

 


Impact/Benefits


What impact will these actions have on sustainability within Travel & Mobility?

The envisage application when fully operational will have several benefits to travelers and all actors likely to be involved. Some of the benefits include:

  • The envisaged platform will simplify searching and identifying hotels with bedroom services in a particular city as this platform brings all such service givers in one pool (basket). As opposed to similar search of such service givers by exploring their individual web pages or searching physically by travelers by walking or driving within the city of destination.
  • The application will be legal and thus travelers will have trust to reserve bedrooms in destination cities abroad online several days, weeks or months ahead of travel and check in date.
  • It will make travel and mobility of people easy and safe.
  • It will contribute to globalization of the world.
  • Various types of risks such as theft, high cost, accidents etc. that travelers may face in conventional travelling systems will be avoided.
  • It will contribute to control illicit money transaction.
  • It will create job opportunities.
  • Helps to restrict some travelers in being accommodated in parts of cities of destination countries which may be risky to them or being accommodated in sub-standard bedrooms.
  • Help for expansion of hotel, guesthouses  and pensions in world
  • It will contribute to GHG emissions reduction.
  • The envisage application is a big business firm thus it will be a big source of income for those firms which will invest in it.
  • It will contribute to international peace and security.
  • The application will generate income for actors involved such as banks, telecom companies, and government of the country covered by this application.

  • Bedroom service giving HPGs will be easily identified, accessed and rented to customers from anywhere online so that their income will be increased.

  • The application will stimulate improvement in qualities/standards of bedrooms rented by HPGs in cities around the world.

  • It will help to control tax evasion in countries where there is no strong tax regulatory systems.  

  • The envisage application (UHLApp) will be inclusive meaning that the application will serve all travelers of bedroom service seekers with different levels of paying capacities.

  • It will be inclusive of disabled people.

  • The application (UHLApp) will also be inclusive to all bedroom service providing hotels pensions and guesthouse found in any city across the world provided that they are interested to be enrolled in the application platform and avail themselves for customers; and fulfill the minimum standard requirements of the application. 


About the team members

My name is Wassie Haile, Ethiopian national, currently working as an Associate Professor of soils science in the college of agriculture, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia. I am engaged in teaching soil science course both at under graduate and graduate levels, conducting research experiments aimed at addressing soil fertility and soil acidity challenges in the highlands of Ethiopia and serving as theses research supervisor of students working for their MSc and PhD degrees in various fields of soil science.  

 Moreover, I am highly impressed by digital technology and its application. Thus, I am always thinking areas of development where digital technology continues to be applied and employed to solve problems.  Consequently, similar to my idea here, I have generated an idea that can be converted to digital technology aimed at strengthen regular education being offered in the high schools of Ethiopia and elsewhere in the world, and with the help of my IT partner in my university named Tewodros Geroge , we developed and launched web based application: www.ethioexam.com   Please, I kindly invite you to visit the page. Previously, I and my IT partner developed a web page: www.academic-support-africa.com  dedicated to advancing science and technology in Africa but it is now down since June, 2019.

I am member of :

Linked at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wassie-haile-10267826/

Researchgate at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Wassie_Haile/info?ev=prf_info

If my Idea proposed here is applicable, my contribution will be providing further details of my idea. If piloting of my idea is required,  I will do it in partnership with my IT partner. If fully implemented, I will  involve as consultant. 

Tewodros George is software engineer currently working at Hawassa university as ICT officer and apart from the above web page, contracted by different organizations, he had developed several web page in Ethiopia.