Our inspiration comes from a new trend of tourism, Responsible/Sustainable Travelling, which benefits local communities socially, economically, and environmentally. While the pandemic brings negative impact to the tourism industry, it also presents an opportunity for the industry to reform into a new model of travelling. We recognize the essence of Responsible Travelling is about a community and its people; thus, our focus was to create a tool to empower people. Interestingly as more research was conducted, we realized that the concept for "local" and "traveller" is relative (you are a local/host to your own community, but you are a traveller/guest in another community). So why don't we connect people in different communities to share what's the best in their own place?
What it does
Gemigo is a tool that empowers millennials from different communities to connect digitally through sharing local hidden gems. It not only simplifies the search for unique travel experiences but also revives communities by promoting local small businesses. With a mutual exchange of information, Gemigo promotes a sense of community responsibility to help locals and travellers experience each other’s place in an authentic and sustainable way. We believe this is the key to create a new appreciation of travel and lead the way in travel resurgence after the pandemic.
How we built it
It's a native Android app built in Java. For the backend, we used nodejs, express, and postgresql, deployed on elastic beanstalk. AWS Lambda functions and s3 for photo upload and storage.
Challenges we ran into
We ran into multiple challenges throughout the hackathon. Our team was not familiar with the tourism sector and did extensive research to identify opportunities. Almost half-way through the event, we found out that our original idea won't work. We scrapped everything and started over with our current idea - everything was done in less than a week.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud to overcome different obstacles throughout the process and successfully developed what we submit today. It was a great learning experience for both of us.
What we learned
We learned about the tourism sector and explored a lot of different ideas in the industry.
What's next for Gemigo
Stage 1 (June - Aug, 2021) Development of Business Portal Going forward, Gemigo plans to develop a portal for small business owners, which will provide a marketing tool to track leads and conversions efficiently. We’ll also create various campaign templates for businesses to customize and increase conversion rate. Public Awareness Campaign On the consumer side, public awareness campaigns will be in place to attract new users.
Stage 2 (Sept - Nov, 2021) Language Support As more regions are reopening their doors to tourism, we aim to develop muti-language support and expand our service to non-English speaking regions.
Stage 3 (Dec 2021 - May 2022) Gamification Features Gamification features will be developed to make it more fun to recommend or experience gems.