World Tourism Day – When Tourism Meets Digital TransformationSeptember 27, 2018
The digital transformation impacts all sectors of human activity: the technological reality is confused with our daily life that now we hardly imagine without Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Whatsapp, Instagram, Google, etc. As a result, tourism, by its very nature a factor of social transformation having a considerable spatial dimension, could not escape the digital transformation.
In the era of a digital world, the meeting between a globalized tourism industry and the digital phenomenon was bound to occur. The importance of digital technologies in tourism, incentives for innovation and the preparation of the sector for the future of work will be at the heart of World Tourism Day (UNWTD). This year, it will be celebrated in Budapest (Hungary) on September 27, 2018.
About the World Tourism Day
At its third session held in Torremolinos, Spain in September 1979, the UNWTO General Assembly decided to establish a World Tourism Day beginning in 1980. The day chosen is an important milestone in the history of the world tourism because it is the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes on September 27, 1970.
This is a particularly good time of year because tourism is in the minds of millions of people around the world, with the high season ending in the northern hemisphere and beginning in the southern hemisphere.
UNWTO encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to organize and join festivities in their country or at their holiday destination. The official WTD celebrations are held in an UNWTO Member State on the basis of geographical rotation.
UNWTO aims to raise awareness in the international community of the importance of tourism and its value from the social, cultural, political and economic point of view. This is an opportunity to discuss the global challenges contained in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and highlight the contribution tourism can make to achieve these goals.
Tourism and digital transformation
This year’s World Tourism Day will highlight, in the context of sustainable development, the opportunities offered by technological advances, including Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital platforms. Faced with the challenge of sustaining growth over time while making tourism a more sustainable and accountable sector, the World Tourism Organization (WTO) sees digital advances and innovation as providing solutions.
“Tourism that builds on innovation and digital progress will have more opportunities to improve inclusivity, empowerment of local people, and the rational use of resources, among other objectives in the broader context of the sustainable development process, “said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.
The official celebration of WTD will take place in Budapest, Hungary. Tourism is experiencing strong growth in this country, with constant support from the government and a commitment to the digital future. Other celebrations will be organized around the world.
The use of so-called “high tech” tools allowed the discovery or, where appropriate, the return of archaeological sites, par excellence discovery tourism sites or scientific tourism.
Many of us have become accustomed, for our travels, to prepare everything from our computer; it only takes one click to buy a plane ticket, an e-ticket, to reserve a seat in the aircraft, at will to save one or more pieces of luggage, to print one’s boarding pass, and to the opportunity to visit and possibly book the hotel room. The purchase of the ticket online, whatever it may be, is detrimental to the travel agent who is thus potentially deprived of the commission of the airline. Now, the two pillars of the tourism industry, air transport and the hotel industry cannot do without digital technology.
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