ABU DHABI – Data analytics will be a key driver for Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry in the years to come as the emirate looks to compete globally as a top tourist destination, said Saif Saeed Ghobash, undersecretary of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT Abu Dhabi).
We strongly believe that a tourism destination not adopting data and analytics as part of its work in this day and age is akin to a city running without electricity or fuel.
Mr Ghobash was speaking at the first-ever Tourism and Data Analytics Forum held in Abu Dhabi on Dec 15. The event brought together leading industry players from the tourism and hospitality sector to discuss the latest trends within the sector and how important data information will be as the industry looks to expand.
According to Gulf News, DCT Abu Dhabi has enjoyed a successful 2019. Last month, it announced a 2.9% increase in hotel guests staying in Abu Dhabi compared to 2018, with the emirate hosting several major events this year including the Asia Cup, Special Olympics, UFC 242 and the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
“We believe that the subject of data analytics is a fundamental pillar of our modus operandi. Data is the fuel that drives the various operating models as a key ingredient to achieving our aspirations,” said Mr Ghobash.
“We strongly believe that a tourism destination not adopting data and analytics as part of its work in this day and age is akin to a city running without electricity or fuel.”
Pointing to the highly competitive nature of the tourism industry, he added: “With the world crossing the 1 billion threshold of visitors and the US$1 trillion market spend, competition is global and it’s real.”
Mr Ghobash said that it was no longer an option to provide visitors with a personalised plan tailored to their tastes, but rather a must for cities looking to stay ahead of the competition.
“Mass personalisation is no longer a theme of innovation when it has become a customer expectation,” he said.