The impact of disruptive technologies on the tourism industry is set to create multibillion dollar savings through the use of Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and wearable technology according to data published ahead of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2019, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 28 to May 1, 2019.
The latest research from Colliers International, in partnership with ATM 2019, reveals that in addition to vast cost savings, the customer experience is set to be more streamlined with travel set to become better, smoother and more personalised with travel bookings on VR platforms, AI chatbots guiding customers through the booking process and IoT providing internet based inter-connectivity between everyday devices.
Danielle Curtis, exhibition director Middle East, ATM, said: “Technology, and the use of technology, is evolving every day. The tourism industry is at the very forefront of tech innovation with companies investing huge sums of money to improve the customer journey and experience.
“Airports and airlines accounted for US$30 billion of investment in IT in 2018, however this will be offset by the implementation of technology that will see fuel savings alone top US$30 billion in the next 15 years.”
There has already been “incredible developments” in recent years, Curtis said, citing the example of SITA using robots to check travellers onto flights and transport their luggage.
“Although in the infancy stage, robots have been used in some hotels to welcome guests and show them to their room,” she added.
ATM 2019 has adopted technology and innovation as its main theme and this will be integrated across all show verticals and activities, including focused seminar sessions.
Discussing the defining evolutions of hospitality technology, the Travel Tech Show will return to ATM 2019 with 45 dedicated international exhibitors and an influential agenda of discussion and debate in the Travel Tech Theatre – sponsored by Sabre Corporation.
As well as the Travel Tech Show at ATM, other features returning to the show repertoire this year include the Digital Influencers and Buyers’ Speed Networking Events which will feature 20 Chinese buyers for the first time, the ATM Best Stand Awards and the Travel Agents Academy.
This year, ATM will be held as part of the inaugural Arabian Travel Week, an umbrella brand which comprises four co-located shows: ATM 2019; Connect Middle East, India and Africa – a new route development forum, ILTM Arabia and new consumer-led event – ATM Holiday Shopper.
Another debutant this year is the Arabia China Tourism Forum at ATM which takes place on the Global Stage on April 28. With China set to account for a quarter of international tourism by 2030, an expert panel will discuss how destinations around the world can capitalise on this growth. The forum will also include a 30-minute networking session with over 80 Chinese buyers.