The Nobel laureate Dr. Albert Szent-Györgyi once said that:
As we start seeing green shoots of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, it's time to look to the future. The travel industry has always been at the forefront of innovation, and it's precisely this quality that will help the sector emerge strong from this global health crisis.So, we caught up with Natalia Bayona, Director of Innovation, Education, and Investments at the
UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)to talk about how empowering the "voice of innovation" will pave the way to recovery.
It’s also a great time to look at sustainability and redefine this model with new conditions through big data. We need to learn from the mistakes we made in the past and be aware of how global challenges can be helped by travel and tourism as one of the most human economic sectors.
Travel/tourism and technology have always been intrinsically linked since the creation of dot coms, OTAs etc. So, it’s not a surprise that technology needs to be integrated to boost recovery. That said, it will help recovery in 3 ways:Through the use of big data. Machine learning will give us a different approach to the way destinations are promoted. Data dashboards will be able to identify what kind of traveler someone is, how best to attract them and restore confidence.Through public policy engagement. Added-value jobs will be created, and the need for startups and entrepreneurial ventures will strengthen. This will urge public institutions to implement policies focused on the preservation of innovation.Through lifelong learning. Re-learning and up-skilling education in the sector will be crucial. Technology will play a fundamental role in travel sector jobs, be that a public servant, a travel agent, an admin, or what have you.