United Nations is marking this year’s World Tourism Day by exploring how technological advances such as big data, artificial intelligence and digital platforms can contribute to the way people travel and foster innovation in the tourism industry.
During the celebration of the World Tourism day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres pointed out how technological innovation and digital transformation could reduce the ecological burden of tourism and bring the benefits of tourism to all.
“Yet, tourism needs innovation in technology to realize its potential contributions. Its benefits need to flow to host communities. Governments can help to connect start-ups with investors to facilitate innovation, entrepreneurship, employment and a truly inclusive tourism sector.”, he said.
According to the Madrid-based World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), tourism has become one of the fastest growing and most important economic sectors in the world with international tourist arrivals having grown from 25 million in 1950 to nearly 1.3 billion today. The sector represents an estimated 10% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 1 in 10 jobs globally.
UNWTO expects that tourism will continue to grow at an average of 3 per cent annually until 2030, as more people have access to travel, thanks to the decline in the price of transport, especially air transport, and growing middle classes worldwide.