The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) held the second edition of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Data Analytics Forum on March 28, 2021.
The event, which was deemed a success, offered a platform to learn and discuss the latest tourism insights shaping the sector and provided attendees with an overview on the anticipated future of the industry based on data shared during the event.
The event united business professionals, analysts and researchers from the tourism industry from various countries including the UK, the USA, China, India, Russia and Spain.
A number of discussions were held during the event, including an interview with Minister of Tourism and International Transport of Barbados, Lisa Cummins, who discussed longer-term tourism in a remote work world.
The forum also entailed eight panel sessions about a range of topics including using data to drive business insights, leveraging data and analytics to revitalise the tourism sector, as well as lessons from China’s travel restart post COVID-19. Led by several experts, the panel sessions revealed interesting insights into the current status of the global tourism sector, as well as the projected recovery timeline.
Undersecretary, DCT Abu Dhabi, HE Saood Al Hosani commented: “Throughout 2020, data and analytics helped us identify specific challenges, issues and concerns faced by consumers and our business partners. As a result, we were able to tailor our response, by creating efficient and timely initiatives and campaigns that met the needs of our stakeholders on a personalised level. DCT Abu Dhabi has adopted a rigorous data-driven approach to continuously assess and redesign journeys across all touchpoints: from booking museum tickets to the submission of licence applications, to our internal day-to-day operations.
“Data analytics is an essential pillar of our strategy that will enable us to achieve our ambitious long-term targets for Abu Dhabi. Fuelled by research and insight, I feel confident that we will achieve our goal of developing the emirate into a front-of-mind tourist destination with 23 million visits per year by 2030,” HE Al Hosani added.
Principal industry analyst, public sector, Google MENA, Songul Cengiz has explained that the pandemic has set the global tourism industry back to levels of the 90s, with estimated loss of global GDP equating to more than two trillion US dollars. Fortunately, government responses to the pandemic and the launch of the global vaccination roll-out campaign provide indispensable hope to the sector, with destinations such as the UAE and Maldives already welcoming back international tourists.
During the event, the insights presented highlighted that the pre-pandemic level of travel could possibly be achieved by 2024/25, aligning with the progress of global efforts to immunise the world’s population against COVID-19. In order to support the enlivenment of the tourism sector, global organisations are showing greater dependence on data and analytics to create and implement suitable strategies and solutions that aid the development of the tourism industry.