TravelMate is a one-stop travel app for local tourists for easy touring through instalments payment and travel groupings
“How to make local touring smooth and costless for local tourists so that it motivates their touring behaviour”
The world is endowed with beautiful creatures that bring joy to human beings. It brings a spirit of patriotism to nature lovers and even to the ‘homebodies’.
In Malawi, the data on tourism has shown that almost 80% of tourists are from foreign countries. It is evident that foreign tourists seem to know the inner parts of the country more than the owners of the land. Although this might not appear to be a significant threat to the tourism industry, it still shows a lack of patriotism by the owners of the land and an ‘indignity’ in the sense that foreigners turn to locate places far better than their counterparts. The misfortune not only exists in Malawi but in other countries at large as according to recent research, 60% of interviewees lamented of high costs of travelling and other necessities required to tour different destinations within local premises. In addition to that, 30% of the interviewees said the absence of travel groups/communities and instalments payment prior to travelling is also a drawback for many local tourists in Malawi. With this being the case, the majority opted for inducing travel groups and Apps that would allow them to book sites in advance by paying in instalments prior to actual touring dates. This would ease the touring processes and increase the chances for local tourists to travel more and discover places at a minimal cost and flexible process.
The pertinent problem now is that there needs to be an effective solution to encourage Malawian tourists [aged 15 years and above] users to travel in groups and make bookings in advance through instalment payments.
User Pain Points
Using Google forms and direct contact with well-known tourists in Malawi, we identified a few diverse categories of prospective users and did at least 10 user interviews.
From the user interviews conducted, 60% of interviewees mentioned high costs for travelling and other necessities required to tour different destinations within local premises discouraging their touring behaviour while 70% of them argued that lack of instalments payment to tourist sites deterred them from touring.
On the other hand, 30% of interviewees preferred having Apps that would allow them to book tourist sites in advance and make instalments payments possible while 30% argued that inducing travel groups would be ideal for encouraging their touring behaviour.
The preliminary user research to validate the aforementioned problem with local tourists in Malawi found that the high costs of touring, absence of instalment payments and lack of travel groups are major drawbacks to encouraging their touring behaviour.
As an upcoming PM, I learned a lot from speaking to the customers where one of which was to focus on the problem further and dig deep to have a deeper understanding of the problem. Also, as a PM I shouldn't always look for only positive anticipated responses from the customers. Another additional problem to be addressed was how to make touring in groups more safely and entertaining in the tourism industry.
Product Manager Learnings:
Co.Lab was an educative and interesting program for me where I learned a couple of things in my PM journey. Through the program, I have learnt how to define and develop problem specs, conduct user interviews and focus more on the problem than the solution. In addition, the program has taught me how confidently to build in public and build connections with people around the globe.