NATIONAL TOURIST BOARD
ABERDEEN, LUMLEY BEACH ROAD, FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE
ENHANCED INTEGRATED FRAMEWORK
TIER 2 - SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT AND PROMOTION PROJECT
TERMS OF REFERENCE (TOR) FOR NATIONAL CONSULTANT SERVICES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A DIGITAL E-TOURISM PORTAL TO PROMOTE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES WITHIN THE SIERRA LEONE TOURISM SECTOR
Project Name and No: Enhanced Integrated Framework Tier 2 Sustainable Tourism Development and Promotion Project (EIF STDPP-TIER-2-SLE-001)
Financing Mode and Institution: Grant/ Enhanced Integrated Framework Trust Fund (EIF TF)
BRIEF BACKGROUND ON PROJECT AND CONTEXT
Since 2009, EIF funding support to Sierra Leone is totaling more than USD 4.2 million, comprising the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study Update, institutional capacity-building support, sustainability support and productive capacity development in sustainable tourism. Sierra Leone was notably one of the first countries with an EIF Tier 1 project. However, the country experienced significant setbacks during this period, in particular due to the Ebola outbreak from 2014 to 2016 and thereafter the COIVD-19 pandemic.
The ongoing project entitled "Sustainable Tourism Development and Promotion Project" was approved on 2 December 2019, followed by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the 2nd of February, 2020, with a total budget of USD 1,499,990. Despite COVID-19 setbacks, 85% of the project activities were completion. Highlights to date include the development of the e-tourism strategy; the updated 1990 Tourism Act, which is now set for validation; a small grants programme underway to develop the eco-tourism sites on Banana Island, Wara Wara and Tiwai Island; the refurbishment of the Hotel and Tourism Training Centre; the formulation of an integrated tourism and hospitality curriculum and an updated new National Tourist Board and Ministry website. Work continues under this project, particularly in the development of the eco-tourism site, as part of an approved No-cost Extension (NCE) that is set to expire on 30th June 2023.
The National Tourist Board (NTB), in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs (MTCA) Sierra Leone, has received funds from the Enhanced Integrated Framework Trust Fund (EIF-TF) to implement the EIF Tier 2 Sustainable Tourism Development and Promotion Project. The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) is a multi-agency, multi-donor Aid for Trade partnership in action for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), which supports LDCs to be more active players in the global trading system by helping them tackle supply-side constraints to trade. In this way, the programme works towards a wider goal of promoting economic growth and sustainable development and helping to lift more people out of poverty.
The tourism industry in Sierra Leone has shown tremendous potentials and vibrancy. However, the 2020 Tourism Census shows that out of a total of 459 accommodation facilities in the country (hotels, guest houses, restaurants, casinos, bars, night clubs), 56% of the facilities were registered with National Tourist Board (NTB) whilst the remaining 44% were unregistered. The study also revealed that guesthouses accounted for 44.4%, followed by restaurants at 26.2%, hotels at 18.6% and nightclubs at 10.8%. In addition, many of the unregistered businesses claimed to have limited knowledge about the services of the National Tourist Board (NTB) or the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs (MTCA).
In common with other sectors and tourism in other countries, the industry needs to take stock of the revolution in communication technologies and adapt to the emerging ‘digital economy’. Some 25% of the country’s population are now able to access the Internet. This growing use of the Internet provides massive opportunities to reach new markets and to improve business efficiency. In addition, e-tourism can make the industry more robust and more able to respond positively to crises.
The tourism industry is hindered, however, by a lack of joined-up communication facilities. The principal challenge is its fragmented nature, reflecting the predominance of small businesses, making communication and consolidation of information difficult both within the industry and consumers. Therefore, national and Regional Tourist Boards (RTBs), Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) and Tourist Information Centers (TICs) need to harness new electronic marketing opportunities to make it easier for consumers to purchase the Sierra Leonean tourism product. To enhance its capacity to leverage on the current opportunities in the global tourism sector, the ministry of tourism and the national tourist board have supported the development of an e-tourism strategy to help showcase products and services within the Sierra Leone tourism sector and improve visibility at the global landscape. This Strategy sets out a framework within which tourism in Sierra Leone can make the best use of new information and communications technology. In turn, this will enable Sierra Leonean tourism to realize new opportunities, provide more effective visitor services, and enhance the industry’s performance and competitiveness.
Against this background, the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs (MTCA) and the National Tourist Board (NTB) with support from Enhanced Integrated Framework is seeking the services of a tech consulting firm to develop an e-tourism Portal that can be utilized by players in the sector to showcase products and services and access new markets under the current competitive climate within the global tourism landscape.
The overall objective of this assignment is to develop the Sierra Leone Tourism Stakeholders’ Portal for Ministry of Tourism and National Tourist Board and their member associations to use in their marketing efforts, deliver on their mandates and boost destination awareness locally and internationally. Internet technologies like web-based Portals are powerful tools in communicating what attractions there are in Sierra Leone; it is an innovative way to aggregate important information and to share the unforgettable story about our wonderful destination, but also to bring services closer to stakeholders.
One of the key and essential ways of promoting the destination Sierra Leone is through the dissemination of important information through the most effective channels. The e-Tourism Strategy demonstrates that well-designed and maintained web-based Portals serves as very important tools for any tourism business to attract potential customers and engage stakeholders, including our source markets.
Therefore, it is vital that all-inclusive and updated information on the tourism system in Sierra Leone is included and shared on this portal and which would serve our visitors better in terms of accessing information on Sierra Leone’s tourism. The Portal will be professional and with a great design and quality of content to reach visitors more effectively and ultimately to increase visitation to Sierra Leone.
The specific objectives of the consultancy include:
a) To provide a standalone Portal that promotes the tourism sector and National Tourist Board registered members; make them stand out from other players, improve their ability to attract customers, and generate brand awareness utilizing the influence that web portals have in creating a mental image of a touristic destination. In addition, the Portal will:
1. Enable the National Tourist Board, enhance its service delivery within the sector.
2. Mobilize effective organizational and technical responses to assist the industry, especially small tourism businesses, adapt to the new e-tourism environment.
3. Improve the collection and dissemination of comprehensive and appropriate tourism information to meet the needs of consumer growth markets.
4. Improve business processes for marketing, booking, and purchasing of tourism products and services.
5. Adapt the most relevant communications and technology solutions and management information systems at the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and its agencies, National Tourist Board to support efficient service delivery in the tourism sector.
6. Support efficient communication and collaboration between the MTCA and MDAs as well as other tourism stakeholders.
7. Establish an easy to use but sophisticated Portal for tourism sector players to interact and drive demand for their services.
8. Help tourists travel and hopefully provide them the answers they want when they search about Sierra Leone’s tourism online.
SCOPE OF WORK
In line with the above, the Ministry of Tourism and the National Tourist Board seek the services of a professional web/software developer to work with our team in the production of the said Portal.
The Consultant(s) tasks will include the following:
1. Provide a detailed and attractive proposal for the development of the Sierra Leone tourism stakeholders portal
2. Gather all the required information and content from Sierra Leone’s National Tourists Board, its members and stakeholders key for the creation and delivery of a complete and functional web portal.
3. Develop at least three mock layout designs (also called “samples”) of the web portal for the project team to critic and decide upon, before fully building the portal.
4. Custom-build a fully functional portal of international standard.
5. Must incorporate all the requirements from Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs/National Tourist Board
6. Use the latest development framework to develop the said portal making it user friendly and optimized for various devices.
7. Host the portal or recommend a web-hosting arrangement for the web portal with guaranteed reliability, integrity and security.
8. Provide the requisite user training of the Portal to Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs/National Tourist Board staff and all the other end users.
9. Ensure to show the work in progress to MTCA/NTB and incorporate any changes as requested by MTCA/NTB.
10. Fix any bugs in the website within one month from the date the portal goes live in addition to providing bug fixes and maintenance support for at least the first 12 months after handing over the portal to MTCA/NTB
11. Carry out minor changes and updates to the portal as will be necessary for at least the first 12 months.
12. Integrate with a customer relationship management (CRM) system for use by MTCA/NTB in managing of their members and in communicating and engaging them as its relates to their statutory obligations.
EXPECTED OUTPUTS, DELIVERABLES AND DURATION
The consultant(s) is required to use their professional expertise and originality to ensure the delivery of globally attractive web portal with a basis of promoting tourism.
The key deliverables of this assignment include:
1. A detailed proposal in presentation format. The detailed presentation must include functions and other applications of the portal as well as its integration with third party applications including secure payment options.
2. A finished website layout design
3. Present draft website to MTCA/NTB at the end of the development for incorporation of comments
4. Finalize the production of a fully functional final website ready for launching
5. Host the portal or recommend a web-hosting arrangement for the web portal with guaranteed reliability, integrity and security within this contract. The hosting facility must be reliable, secure and robust.
6. Provide source code and CMS access of the website to Sierra Leone’s National Tourists Board Members and it shall be the property of MTCA/NTB
7. Accommodate minor changes to the portal for at least 12 months after its public launch.
8. Provide best and creative ideas to enhance the portal
The recommended features will include but not limited to the following:
1. Landing Page
2. Content Pages
3. Banner(s) with image slider(s)
4. Menu bar for contents
5. Contact page
6. Social media integration
7. Links of other MTCA/NTB websites and/or stakeholders
8. Multiple content managers with different privileges directly or indirectly representing players along the tourism value chain
9. Registration and login menu for content managers and/or users
10. Newsletter or blog and/or function
Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights
In consideration of the fees paid, the Consultant expressly assigns to MTCA/NTB any copyright arising from the works the consultant produces while executing this contract. The consultant may not use, reproduce or otherwise disseminate or authorize others to use, reproduce or disseminate such works without prior consent from MTCA/NTB. The completed and/or uncompleted portal and any other products, drafts and deliverables shall be the property of the National Tourist Board, and as such MTCA/NTB reserves full copyright of both the drafts and final portal.
This assignment must be completed within 2 months from the date of signing of contract. Aftersales support shall run for up to a period of 12 months after delivery.
The consultant will report to the General Manager of SLTB. SLTB will liaise with the Marketing Manager on an ongoing basis and meet to track performance and discuss progress on the tasks assigned and work through any issues that is faced by the consultant.
Corporate Responsibilities and Teamwork:
- Plans, prioritizes and delivers tasks on time;
- Participates effectively in a team-based, information-sharing environment, collaborating and cooperating with others.
- Recognizes and responds appropriately to the ideas, interests, and concerns of others;
- Ensures others’ understanding of, involvement in, and adaptation to a change process.
- Critical thinking;
- Ability to make new and useful ideas work.
- Ability to persuade others to follow.
- Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement;
- Excellent ability to multi-task in a high-demand and fast-paced work context.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
- Promotes a knowledge-sharing and learning culture in the office;
- Ability to conceptualize, write and present in a clear and concise manner.
Job Knowledge and Expertise:
- Expertise and knowledge in the field of digital transformation, preferably with focus on digital economy and digitalization of the business sector.
Required Skills and Experience
- Advanced university degree in economics, public administration, business administration, ICTs for development, or other relevant field;
- At least 7 years of relevant professional experience in the area of digital transformation, e-governance, digital economy, internet-based companies, innovation hubs in the region.
- Proven experience in provision of technical advice and collaboration with the public sector .
- Understanding of digital transformation trends in the region.
- Fluency in languages of peoples of Sierra Leone and English language.
- Solid knowledge of the governance system of Sierra Leone;
Individual will be evaluated based on the following methodology:
When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract should be made to the candidate whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
a) responsive/compliant/acceptable, and
b) Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.
* Technical Criteria weight-70%
* Financial Criteria weight- 30%
Interested candidated must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:
- Personal CV, including past experience in similar projects and at least 3 references
SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS
Qualified consultants may submit full technical and financial proposals, one original and two copies to including the following elements:
i. Cover Letter
ii. Understanding of the terms of reference
iii. Complete personal curriculum vitae with 2 referees
iv. Recently signed and dated ‘Statement of Availability’ to undertake the digital E-tourism portal from each key consultant included in the technical proposal.
v. Proof of similar assignment ( two samples of recent reports);
vi. Proposed budget;
In a sealed envelope labelled “Proposals for digital E-tourism portal of EIF Tier 2 Project” not later than 12:00 noon on 6th June, 2023 to the Procurement Committee, National Tourist Board, Lumley Beach Road.