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Focus on ‘Tourism & Technology’ at UNWTO Asia/Pacific Executive Training Program
  • March 2018
The 12th UNWTO Asia/Pacific Executive Training Program on Tourism Policy and Strategy is being organized by the Regional Program for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO’s operational arm  ‘Tourism & Technology’ is the focal theme of the 3 day training programme 
Mr. K J Alphonse, Minister of State for Tourism, Government of India, Inaugurated the Hotel Leela Kovalam,Thiruvananthapuram. In the Inagural address he said “The promotional video put up on the ITB Berlinhad received 17 million views in 12 days which showcases the power of social media and digital technology. Social media and technology plays a big role  as catalyst for more footfalls  in destinations. Therefore we must update our tourism promotional policies according to the rapidly developing technology.” “Electronic travel visas implemented by the Indian government are one such step towards the harnessing potential of technology in the sector.1 million tourists out of the 10 million who visited India in the last year have made use of  E visas. We hope to raise the number to 3 million in the coming year”, he added.
Delivering the Presidential address,Mr. Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Cooperation, and Devaswoms, Government of Kerala, said “ Promoting Responsible Tourism where local communities are aided to be part of a sustainable system of production and distribution of services while boosting tourism is the focus of Kerala Tourism. He also added that Kerala tourism has always been a step ahead in utilizing technology and has the credit as the first State to launch an official Tourism website in the country and also have social media handlers.
Mr Xu Jing,Director,Regional Programme for Asia and Pacific UNWTO,said “2017 has recorded highest growth rate of international tourist arrivals across the borders of the world since 2010 coming in at 7%.Asia and Pacific accounts for 25% of the global market share  and 30% of the tourism income . International growth rate in the sub region of South Asia achieved a growth. rate of 10% in 2017 led by India at the rate by 15%.” “India being a leader in technology plays the best host to this training event” he added.
“Growth in world tourism is closely related to the advancement of technology which has transformed the tourism sector and we have to take the advantage of technology to move ahead in tourism sector” said Mr Yu Byung Chae, Director of Tourism, Republic of Korea. Mr Suman Billa, IAS, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, welcomed the gathering and Mrs Rani George IAS, Secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, delivered the vote of thanks. Sri P Balakiran IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism, was also present at the inaugural event.
The programme will also aim national tourism authorities to expand technology as a tool for destination development, management and innovation; adapt technology towards supporting inclusive and sustainable growth of tourism in the region;  deploy technology and social media support in contributing towards destination marketing and quality assurance; and adopt policy level decisions so that they can help improve the effectiveness of the use of technology to ensure the competitiveness and sustainability of a tourism destination.
The training program would strive to enable UNWTO’s Asia and the Pacific Member Countries to share successful tourism practices in technology. The ultimate objective is to strengthen the capacity of destinations at the regional, sub-regional, national and destination levels.
The second day of the Training Program, a session on “Good Practice in Destination Management and Operation through the Application of Transformative Technological Solutions” will be discussed about companies that have been successful in adopting emerging technological developments and have produced new business models in tourism and hospitality sector.

Tourism India, India' s Travel & Tourism Magazine, Kerala , India

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