UNWTO Executive Director Carols Vogeler has implored the tourism sector globally to embrace change and new business models as the world is experiencing technological revolution.
And Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom His Excellency Mr. Muyeba Chikonde was presented with a symbolic cheque of $13,000 from a charity called Just a Drop on behalf of Kawama School and Village in Kashitu area who are recipients of this year’s donation for water development.
Meanwhile Mr. Vogeler said he is optimist that the upcoming UNWTO – Government of Zambia International Conference on Promoting Sustainable Tourism, “A Tool for Inclusive Growth and Community Engagement in Africa”, which is currently taking place from 16-18th November 2017 in Lusaka will yield positive results.
Speaking when he officiated at the World Travel Market Tourism Summit last week, Mr. Vogeler said technology is acting as a positive force in all sectors worldwide saying the digital era has created digital tourist: more self-sufficient, better informed and very demanding, who expects a personalised customer service and feels the need to be connected 24/7.
“New business models need to be based on what the technological environment offers: Innovation in new digital product and services, in distribution, marketing and sales, decision-making based on big data and analytics, platform economies, mobile applications, start-ups, beacons, 360 video, virtual reality, augmented reality, and the cloud. Consumer power will continue to rise and tourism stakeholders must take lead in adapting to this change, rather than fight or ignore it,” he said.
He said the sector can make technology an ally and maximise the new opportunities to improve the competitiveness of destinations, make travel safe and easier, manage its natural resources more efficiently, and effectively preserve common values and culture.
He further said tourism is an instrument of development which can break down stereotypes, misconceptions and bring people together to defeat hate or resentment, accept and respect differences and learn from them.
Mr. Vogeler said tourism growth can and should lead to economic prosperity, jobs and resources to fund environmental protection and cultural preservation, as well as community development and progress needs, which would otherwise not be available.
“Together we can continue building a sustainable, equitable and well-managed tourism sector that supports many livelihoods around the world and can enrich us every time we cross borders and exchange cultural experiences. A connected traveler is at once a more responsible and demanding traveler,” he said.
Mr. Vogeler said the tourism sector needs to manage security risks and prevent them from distilling the essence of tourism as a builder of peace and understanding.
He said safety and security remains a top priority in the agendas of all countries around the world adding that this global concern requires a global response, and it is a challenge everyone must face together.
He said the UNWTO will continue to promote the exchange of knowledge in order to increase crisis preparedness and recovery within tourism, along with travel facilitation saying the sector should ensure that its conviction to improve is today stronger than ever. Otherwise, the value of the sector will naturally be lost and contested.
The World Travel Market Tourism Summit culminated by Just a Drop, a charitable organization based in the United Kingdom helping to provide clean water and sanitation in Asia, Africa and Latin America donating $13,000 to a project providing safe drinking water to Kawama School and Village in Zambia in the Kashitu area.
The charity was founded in 1998 by the Managing Director of the World Travel Market, Fiona Jeffery and supported by the members of the International Travel Industry. The Institution raises money to build wells, install hand pumps and implement health and sanitation programmes.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Zambia High Commission in the United Kingdom.