The Edinburgh Tourism Innovation Challenge, led by innovation centre, The Data Lab, has secured sponsorship from Intechnology WiFi and support from Scottish Enterprise for the first ‘Challenge Weekend’ planned for early October.

It is the first in a series of events bringing together members of the technology and tourism sectors in Edinburgh to develop new data insights, services and tools to benefit Edinburgh’s tourism and festival economy using real data from tourism organisations.

The challenge event, from 5 to 8 October at Codebase in Edinburgh, has gained access to data from Royal Yacht Britannia, Visit Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland for the first time.

With the help of project funding of £15,000 plus a package of innovation and business development support, the resulting collaborative ideas will be nurtured into outputs that are of true value for Edinburgh’s tourism industry.

Danny Cusick, director of tourism, textiles, food and drink, Scottish Enterprise said: “I am delighted to see the launch of the Edinburgh Tourism Innovation Challenge as a programme to foster collaboration and partnership between Scotland’s tech and data sectors, academia and the tourism industry.

“Scottish Enterprise estimates that data will be worth up to £20bn to Scotland’s economy in the period up to 2020. This initiative kicks off the journey to harness Scotland’s data skills and expertise to find solutions to challenges in Scotland’s visitor economy – which is worth almost £12bn – ensuring two of our greatest assets are together delivering sustainable growth for Scotland.”

Natalie Duffield, chief executive of Intechnology WiFi, added: “As Edinburgh’s digital partner, we are providing the infrastructure and software for a digitally connected capital city. Our seamless connectivity provides the potential for innovators to test and develop new products and services for Edinburgh’s world-class tourism industry.”

The event also offers a networking opportunity with industry leading organisations, universities and top technology talent.