A hackathon aimed at creating innovations to improve Edinburgh’s growing tourism sector was launched last night, hosted by Product Forge, The Data Lab, Scottish Enterprise, Edinburgh Tourism Action Group, and Intechnology WiFi.

The Edinburgh Tourism Innovation Challenge runs through to Sunday and will focus on creating capacity for improvement in destination discovery, forecasting tourism population, as well as navigation and planning around the city.

The weekend will see teams comprised of creative professionals, tourism sector experts, and the wider technology community based at CodeBase in Edinburgh for three days and nights.

They will analyse a range of data provided by public, private, and third sector organisations with a stake in the Edinburgh tourism industry. Their analysis’ will be used to prototype innovative products, services, or tools that would benefit the tourism industry in Edinburgh.

Delivering £1.3 billion of spend and supporting more than 30,000 local jobs, Edinburgh’s tourism industry is one of the most important economic sectors in Scotland.

The Edinburgh Tourism Innovation Challenge is sponsored by Intechnology Wifi and Scottish Enterprise, and in partnership with The Data Lab, Scottish Enterprise, and Edinburgh Tourism Action Group. The primary objective is to foster data-driven innovation between the wider technology community and Edinburgh’s tourism sector.

Product Forge brings together developers, creatives and entrepreneurs to build new products that solve real world problems. It runs hackathons “with a twist”; events develop teams and products that tackle society’s hardest challenges. Participants use design thinking and digital technology to rapidly prototype their ideas, with support from mentors who have real world commercial experience.