Daily Escape team wins Dragons’ Den at Inholland Diemen with a tour game

Winnaars Daily Escape

The pitch of the student team Daily Escape has won them the Dragons’ Den of the Destination Development (Tourism Management) minor. For this minor, fourth-year students were tasked with setting up a business to facilitate ‘meaningful interactions’ between tourists and the local population in Morocco.

The students had gone to Tangier, Morocco, to look for inspiration for the development of a tourism product. The winning group, Daily Escape, came up with a self-guided cultural tour with game elements, supported by a smartphone app, which led them to develop the ‘Escape the medina tour’.

Solving riddles
The app introduces tourists to Hamza, who is originally from Tangier, and his wife Michelle, the reason he moved to the Netherlands. They are visiting Tangier and Hamza wants to impress his wife. By helping him achieve his goal, you can earn the title of ‘master’. To do so, you must interact with local residents to solve riddles. The game includes storytelling throughout, as Hamza talks about different places that had an impact on his youth. For example, he always went to the same bakery and had a part-time job at a rug store when he was a teenager. The game can be played at any time and can also be paused.

Nadine and Michael explain how they came up with this idea. ‘We just kind of walked around in Tangier’s medina (the old district). Over the course of a couple of days, we walked quite a lot. We even got lost once!’, Nadine recalls. Michael adds, ‘Eventually, we got to know the area better, and the more time we spent there, the more details we noticed about the surroundings and the culture. At a certain point, things struck us from an entirely different perspective. How amazing is that?’

‘We talked to a lot of “locals” about the things we came across,’ Nadine continues, ‘since we didn’t have a tour guide or anything. Even so, we learned a lot this way.’ ‘And that’s how we developed our own tour and added storytelling to it,’ Michael concludes.

The students were given the opportunity to present their tourism product to a jury consisting of professionals in the industry, in a Dragons’ Den format. The ‘dragons’ (members of the jury) were representatives from ING, Koning Aap, Amsterdam Odyssey, Passie voor Marokko, Recrout, AllSensing, Better Places, Glimpse, Eliza was here, FP Academy and Green Travel.

During the presentation, the dragons quickly realised that all members of the group were equally enthusiastic and that everyone had contributed their fair share, which they heartily approved of. An interesting detail was that the team had assured lecturer/supervisor Swen Waterreus, a week in advance, that they would win the Dragons’ Den on his behalf. What began as a joke turned into reality!

Customised business trip
The runner-up, ‘Be Ready’, came up with a concept that combined culture, relaxation and learning with a customised business trip, for employees at multinationals that are interested in doing business with Morocco, but haven’t done so yet. Besides storytelling and gamification, other teams also looked at mindfulness, Moroccan cuisine and old Moroccan crafts as important elements for their tourism products.

Coordinator Manon Joosten is very satisfied with the results. ‘It’s great that so many dragons were willing to participate as members of our jury, and we got some pretty impressive names as well. I’m ecstatic that our team of lecturers managed to organise this and very proud of our students!’

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