World Tourism teams up with Telefónica

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The United Nation’s World Toursim Organisation (UNWTO) and Telefónica look to make tourism more competitive and sustainable.

The two say technologies like big data and the IoT are already starting to revolutionise services in the tourism sector and respond to customers’ demands.

To leverage technology to get the maximum benefit, the alliance has come up with four action plans.

First, to promote innovation and digital entrepreneurship within the tourism by creating innovation fora, collaborating in open programmes with third parties, and public-private collaboration models focused on open innovation. The idea is to create the spaces to develop ideas and reach out to all relevant parties.

Second, the two will launch initiatives aimed that exploit IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data, among others. They could be used in retail where a digital experience helps to drive loyalty, of for mobility, making car rentals or car-sharing easier and safer.

Big data analysis will be used to better understand patterns of behaviour by tourists, to address challenges facing tourism in Latin America and Europe, by influencing decision-making and public policies. LUCA– Telefónica’s dedicated big data and AI unit – is already working with national and local tourism organisations in eight countries in Latin America and Europe through more than 40 projects. 

Digital education and training are important, so the two organisations will collaborate through the training platforms managed by Telefónica Educación Digital, such as Miríadax, to promote local and international courses on digital technologies and skills applied to tourism and aimed at different parties in the sector.

Finally, Telefónica will lend its support to the tourism organisation to help develop a Digital Agenda for Tourism guided by these objectives: to place new technologies at the service of sustainable growth; foster innovation; and promote inclusive economic and social development.

The framework agreement by the two organisations was signed in Madrid by Jaime Cabal, Deputy Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, and by Eduardo Navarro, Director of Communication, Corporate Affairs, Branding and Sustainability of Telefónica.