Terms of reference for a tourism trade web portal design, hosting & maintenance

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I.    Background Information

The Rwanda Tours and Travel Association (RTTA) is one of the five member associations of the Chamber of Tourism which is one of the 10 professional chambers that currently exist under the umbrella of the Private Sector Federation (PSF).

As the Private sector development continues to play a catalytic role in the development of the country’s tourism industry, RTTA seeks to contract a consultant to help the association create business to business (B2B) linkages with company members of the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) through the creation of a digital trade portal.

II.    Purpose and Rationale

Rwanda’s Vision 2020, a development blue print, identified the tourism sector as a major contributor to the eradication of poverty in the country. Developed through an all-inclusive participatory framework, it has been a yard stick for measuring the development and growth of the Rwandan economy. To promote the tourism industry, the government of Rwanda initiated critical efforts to restructure tourism development, fast tracking tourism investments, growth and development by attracting investors, devising pro-active policies and a regulatory framework and instituting a private-public partnership to ensure the sustainability
of the growth and development of this industry.

In the same spirit for the promotion of the tourism industry, the Rwanda Tours and Travel Association seeks to innovatively create opportunities for its members to establish partnerships with tour operators in Tanzania as a move to complement other efforts already in place to integrate communities within the EAC partner States.

Such initiatives include but not limited to;

The East African Common Market to realize an accelerated economic growth and development; through the attainment of free movement of persons, labour, goods, capital and services, and the right of establishment and residence.

Therefore, the assignment will have a special focus on the integration of the private sector in a bid to diversify products and increase partnerships among private sector operators in Rwanda and Tanzania aimed at further increasing the number and the length of stay of tourists visiting the two countries.

This would be done through seeking consultancy services to enable an efficient and convenient way to communicate and partner among tour operators or to reach out to operators across the world; as previously tour operators would have to engage for B2B meetings occasionally organized at exhibitions and trade fairs.

Rwanda Tanzania B2B Tourism Trade Portal is a digital and responsive portal with key resources that will enable collaboration, communication, monetization of services, and facilitate new business opportunities for Rwanda and Tanzania tour operators. The idea is for both destinations to collectively package their tourism products, efficiently and appealing way to the regional and international trade market.

With the significance of engagement with trade partners globally in general and in emerging markets specifically, the plan is to provide a single portal for agents in the target markets to connect with tour operators in Tanzania and Rwanda in multiple ways:

  1. Getting the latest news and updates
  2. Taking a training course on selling both destinations
  3. Logging bookings and inquiries

III.    Strategic Objectives

  • To develop a portal supported by a web application which will develop tourism linkages among operators locally, regionally and internationally
  • To design a platform that creates easy trade collaboration among tour operators for an efficient and profitable industry
  • To create opportunities for regional integration and exchange of culture and knowledge among others the tour operators from TATO & RTTA 
  • To design the portal in a way that easily connects tour operators with various stakeholders and partners for trade purposes
  • To design a portal that allows tour operators to schedule, invite partners and conduct webinars as part of product educational programs
  • To design the portal with a communication feature that allows seamless communication among users
  • To design a portal that is visually attractive, informative and user friendly
  • To encourage proactive participation and involvement by all stakeholders including but not limited to tour companies, tourism government boards, private sector tourism apex bodies, etc.
  • The web portal will be based on the technologies enabling the following features:
  • CRM
  • Communication
  • Market place
  • Reporting

IV.    Scope of work 

  • This assignment will include the design of a web portal that enables participating private sector organizations to create synergies among their members for business profitability, ease of networking and communication.
  • The consultant will be required to build and host a web portal supported by an application (s) or tool (s) which allow participating private sector organizations to create their own environment.
  • The assignment involves the collection of information and content from relevant stakeholders to populate general sections relevant to tourism attractions, experiences and activities among others.
  • The consultant is expected to design the portal for joint sales activities for tourism products of companies participating from both countries. The portal should creatively showcase itineraries including but not limited to information about the destination (s), tours and activities, experiences, accommodation and transport.
  • The web portal is expected to allow the creation of company profile including relevant resources for member companies from participating private sector organizations.
  • The web portal features include a communication module for intra-members (Business to Business) and organizations to members and vice versa. This should also have synchronized agendas, a bulk messaging and emailing features.
  • The web portal should be interactive to allow the private sector organizations and member companies to create events, communicate them to the desired audience and gather direct confirmations.
  • The consultant is expected to design the portal in view of creating space for feedback from users/clients to the participating private sector organizations especially on a specific event/matter/issue and alerts for important/urgent information from the private sector organizations to members.
  • Member companies should also be notified when potential partners are looking up their profile. Potential partners should be in position to browse looking for regional tour companies by area of specialization or any other that may be defined through the implementation of the project.
  • The web portal should be designed to allow collaboration among users privately, or publicly. Member companies can choose whom to collaborate with to exchange information for B2B cooperation with partners.
  • The web portal being primarily for B2B partnership should have features that allow to find partners with the same profile or interests for ease of business linkages.
  • The consultant should ensure that a webinar tool is integrated to the portal for ease of product training or trade information sharing among member companies and their partners.
  • The consultant is expected to make provisions for plug-ins of videos and social media applications.
  • For business development, sales and marketing purposes, the portal should allow member companies to create attractive advertisement messages to all users and can establish their e-commerce activities to sell their packages and any other services.
  • For continuous evaluation of possible upgrades and maintenance of the portal, the consultant is expected to design dashboard including data analysis reports about the member companies, their activity, the current trends, the engagement of members, and any other performance indicators that will be decided throughout the implementation, in order to better understand the businesses’ needs and act accordingly.
  • The consultant is to ensure that content on the web portal will be of high quality, technically sound, consistent, and up to date. 

The consultant should ensure that the web portal is designed for Search Engine Optimization and site analysis including but not limited to:

  • Keyword research & analysis
  • Site analysis
  • Competitive analysis
  • Site content optimization
  • HTML code optimization
  • Web ranking report

The consultant firm shall provide ongoing support and maintenance for a period between 6 and 12 months after project completion with weekly reports during the development of the portal and monthly reports submitted to the Secretariat of RTTA.

The consultant shall provide user-friendly web based administration interface that will be used to manage all the information on the portal. The administration interface will be used for creating, reading, updating, validating, publishing, deleting, and archiving the data and any other relevant information.

The portal should have a modern and professional look and easy to navigate with multi-level indexes.

The contracted consultant will provide access to analytics (eg: number of views) annual and detailed reports analyzing progress, trends and areas to be improved. The reports should also include comprehensive and cumulative figures for downloads; as well as a competitor analysis.

V.    Timelines

  • The trade portal has to be up and running by first week of December
  • The consultant should have a skeleton of the portal with the possibility of testing certain key features (to be agreed on in the contract) within 3 weeks after contract award.

VI.    Qualification and Competencies required

  • Deep expertise and hands on experience with Web Applications and programming languages such as HTML5, and content-management systems and latest trends and technology in website content and social media such as Laravel, React Native, Joomla, WordPress Skills, E-Commerce
  • Good information technology skills, with previous experience of website maintenance, management, editing, and/or development.
  • Strong analytical and research skills, including the ability to analyze audiences, attitudes, communications products and messages and to translate them into the design and implemen­tation of effective websites.
  • Knowledge of the mandate and work of a government department website would be desirable.
  • Excellent I.T. skills and project management skills.
  • Strong editorial team with communications skills to write clearly and compellingly English & Swahili.
  • Ability to juggle priorities and deadlines and perform well under pressure; Ability to respond quickly to the maintenance requirement in the post commissioning phase.
  • Ability to utilize the latest smart technologies for website development.
  • Knowledge about tourism products in Rwanda and Tanzania

VII.     Documents to be submitted

Interested consultants/firms should provide specific information as indicated below:

  • Description of management/ organization structure, list of key staff relevant to the as­signment and their Curriculum Vitae& Company portfolio
  • Bidders must provide their company profile together with Certificate of Registration.
  • Attach at least five (5) references of similar work done in the last three years.
  • Such information may include description of similar assignments, experience in similar conditions, and availability of appropriate skills among staff with their most recent profiles showing their experience, qualifications, capabilities, and referees, letters of recommendation and details of past experience especially in their areas of expertise.

The proposal should:

  • have two sections: technical and financial
  • clearly establish an understanding of the services required and separate out activities according to the two areas of work listed above;
  • describe how the company engages with its clients: what processes they follow and requirements they have regarding timelines, rates, requests, sign-off and payments;
  • provide a standard SLA; and
  • Include CV of the team of (programmers and designers) assigned to the work, the timetable, and the financial proposal.
  • The budget should be broken down by activities.

The proposals should be strictly submitted to RTTA on email via info@rtta.rw

The deadline for submissions is 5th November 2018.  Please mention “Tourism B2B trade portal” in the subject line.

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