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TTC Special: CTO supports emerging technologies

TTC Special: CTO supports emerging technologies

A CTO conference in Paradise Island, last week featured a key session on ‘Modernizing the Experience: Using Technology to Enhance the Visitor Experience’. Photo: Makysm Yemelyanov

By F. Martin

TTC Service.- “The Caribbean Tourism Organization CTO is positioning regional tourism to capitalize on emerging technologies” is a fundamental idea in the purposes of the entity for the short-term future.

CTO issued a statement on the celebration of World Tourism Day 2018, Wednesday, September 27, 2018.

According to the document the CTO directive consulted “with some of the foremost thought-leaders that are encouraging public and private sector investment in digital innovations that have disrupted traditional business models”.

As a result “it is our duty to our members to explore and introduce new tools and capabilities which alter the way we approach tourism marketing and development; and we must do so at all levels” the statement added.

In his World Tourism Day message, Hugh Riley, General Secretary of the CTO, said that “one of the best examples is our digital learning series of e-workbooks containing creatively designed audiovisual and multi-lingual materials, designed to encourage and facilitate the teaching of tourism in Caribbean schools”.

Riley added that the e-workbooks are meant to build greater awareness among young students regarding the significance of tourism to the Caribbean.

Also it demonstrate “the importance of preserving our environment for ourselves and for our visitors; enlist the creativity of students to enhance tourism’s success; and showcase the full range of career opportunities tourism presents to Caribbean people”.

He cited the Tourism Information Management System (TIMS), an online application launched by the CTO in 2015 to capture, analyze and display tourism related data for the benefit of our members.

“This tool captures arrival and departure data from embarkation and disembarkation records via a business analytics system which illustrates the data in a more visual and comprehensible way, facilitating additional reporting and actionable insights” according to the statement.

The document mentioned the launch of the CTO Visitor Intelligence Database for Analytics (VIDA) in 2016. “Some CTO member states began to maximize returns on their marketing investment with the VIDA segmentation tool, utilizing postal codes to reveal rich data on the region’s visitor demographics” it added.

CTO announced in the message that is actively collaborating with innovative and disruptive companies such as Airbnb, an online community marketplace that connects travelers with hosts in over 190 countries.

“Together with Airbnb, the CTO is assisting Caribbean tourism officials and stakeholders to maximize the benefits of the sharing economy, and home-sharing in particular” the regional organization reported.

The work includes informing stakeholders of the value of peer-to-peer review mechanisms; providing economic analyses of Airbnb’s impact; developing policy guidelines and recommendations for the consideration of Caribbean lawmakers; exploring ways to make the sharing economy beneficial to our destinations while working in concert with all segments of the accommodation sector; and identifying ways to more effectively market the Caribbean as a region, the statement revealed.

CTO are also working with Bitt, a financial technology company to develop ways of using blockchain technology and mobile money systems to the advantage of the tourism industry in the Caribbean.

That include promoting the inclusion of micro, small and medium tourism enterprises; providing fast, simple and secure methods for visitors and locals to complete a wide range transactions; and assisting vendors and policymakers to improve data-processing and decision-making.

A CTO conference in Paradise Island, last week featured a key session on ‘Modernizing the Experience: Using Technology to Enhance the Visitor Experience’.

The discussion covered a broad range of applications from customer-centric hospitality models leveraging technology.