Editorial | Sunvoice

Editorial: World Tourism Day Targets Innovation And Digital Transformation

Over the past decades Information Technology has played an important role in the hospitality and tourism industry. Innovation and digital transformation is the theme for this year’s World Tourism Day.
27 Sep 2018 13:09
Editorial: World Tourism Day Targets Innovation And Digital Transformation

Over the past decades Information Technology has played an important role in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Innovation and digital transformation is the theme for this year’s World Tourism Day.

So the importance of digital technologies in tourism, providing opportunities for innovation and preparing the sector for the future of work, is at the centre of World Tourism Day 2018.

Technology has helped reduce costs, enhance operational efficiency, and improve services and customer experience.

World Tourism Day is celebrated on September 27, around the world and it is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on tourism’s actual and potential contribution to sustainable development.

This year’s event will help put the opportunities provided to tourism, by technological advances including big data, artificial intelligence and digital platforms, on the map of sustainable development.

The United Nation’s World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) sees digital advances and innovation as part of the solution to the challenge of marrying continued growth with a more sustainable and responsible tourism sector.

“Harnessing innovation and digital advances provides tourism with opportunities to improve inclusiveness, local community empowerment and efficient resource management, amongst other objectives within the wider sustainable development agenda,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.

The day’s official celebration will be celebrated in Budapest, Hungary, a country enjoying a steady growth of tourism backed by consistent policy support and a commitment to the digital future.

Other celebrations will take place worldwide.

The official celebration will also see the announcement of the semifinalists of the 1st UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition, launched by UNWTO and Globalia to give visibility to startups with innovative ideas capable of revolutionising the way we travel and enjoy tourism.

Meanwhile, to commemorate the day, South Pacific Tourism Organisation will hold a soft-launch of its brand new ‘Pacific Sustainable Tourism Network (PSTN)’ microsite” today at their office in Suva.

SPTO recognises the growing digital space in the Pacific and is tapping into innovative ways to advocate for sustainable tourism and were delighted as a first step to have three Fijian social influencers during the recent media roundtable – David Solomone, Dan Matanimeke and Temesia Tuicaumia.

SPTO chief executive officer Chris Cocker said: “As of January 2018, according to Hootesuite, Fiji has 500,000 social media users, that’s 55 per cent of our population and 470,000 of those social media users access social media platforms via mobile phones.

“That’s 52 per cent of our population that you have direct access to and our social influencers play a vital role in helping SPTO tap into that market with our sustainable tourism messaging.”

The use of technology in the hospitality and tourism industry has helped speed up operations and the travelling process much more enjoyable and efficient.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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