David Gonahasa is the Managing Director of Tripesa and the Co-Founder of The Naturalist - Home of the Gorillas.

Tripesa, is bringing Africa to a digitalized and automated tourism and hospitality business by building Payments First Business Process Management Systems. It enables SME Growth and businesses, particularly in the tourism sector. The company has created Digital Stores to help the distribution and sell local tourism and experience the products.

The Home of the Gorillas seeks to increase global awareness of Mountain Gorillas by leveraging technology to generate non-trekking revenues for Gorilla Conservation.

Tourism in Africa is viewed as a typical Wildlife experience for many. Sub-Saharan alone received 63 million tourists in 2019, while France had 88M and Spain had 77M. The source markets for these countries are regional markets.

David thinks that the Safari is a pre-colonial product and to make tourism work in Africa, he believes the starting point is to enable redevelopment of the product.

"Start to find systems or mechanisms to allow smaller operators, to build products that make sense to the local market or domestic market." - David Gonahasa

Tripesa is giving the smaller operators the tools to do this. The technology makes it easier for the user to design an Itinerary, distribute an Itinerary, to be able to accept payments, and get customers. It enables the people to tap into new source markets, both regional and local. As it grows, more success in things like marketplaces and new source markets - he added.

"Creating efficiency of product development and distribution. That's our key contribution to the tourism sector." - David Gonahasa

Tripesa is still early, with regards to the application of blockchain. The approach is decentralized. Nevertheless, there are many use cases that Tripesa is considering.

The moving of information around the internet is a huge risk. Tripesa believes that the immutable nature of the blockchain gives more guarantees on who is supplying the product and what you expect as a tourist because there's more verification and more security around the process.

"So we (Tripesa) actively, as a business, are looking into how we could use the blockchain more."- David Gonahasa

There are only 1063 Gorillas left the in wild. About 55% of those are in Uganda, the rest are in Rwanda and Congo. Trekking and Donor Funding are great ways to generate funds for wildlife conservation. However, Covid challenges created a negative impact on the tourism sector in the country. It proved that trekking is unsustainable because people couldn't fly in. Wherein, about $25 million for two years, was pretty much wiped off the balance sheet.

David announced that they talked with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), about creating new ways to fund mountain gorilla conservation. They propose an approach to get the world to engage with mountain gorillas virtually. The idea was to install cameras in the forest. Set up in the forest in different places, and collect data on a daily basis. The data is put into an application called the My Gorilla Family Application. It allows anyone, anywhere to join a gorilla family, and you can view daily feeds for a small subscription fee to help the funding of mountain gorilla conservation.

"This is where the blockchain presented a very strong opportunity because we figured that we could actually launch conservation NFT" - David Gonahasa

They are looking at having Two levels of NFTs. The silverback NFT that actually linked to a specific gorilla and then the collectibles that also in one part, the owner of the primary NFT that is able to make some money. An investment, but also will be able to generate lots more revenue for the conservation. Part of the revenue goes towards projects in the community. The idea was either to tokenize or track each dollar generated from the NFT sale. The NFT project is still in process. David hopes that they will be able to launch it soon.

"One of the things Tripesa also does in trying to empower the community." - David Gonahasa

To conserve the forest and animals, the community living in the area is forced to leave. They live in migratory communities, have no land, they've lost their culture, lost their identity, to be honest. - David added.

With the money coming in to support the community, it will help the people to create more livelihoods.

"Conservation is not only about animals. It's a One Health concept. It's the forest, the animals in the community" - David Gonahasa

David believes that using especially things like conservation NFT so that you can track where this money ends up would be very effective to commit support in the conservation of tourism or such projects or the like.

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