Spotlight on technology at travel forum
Technology is expected to drive the tourism's industry success under the Asean Economic Community in 2015.
Once the AEC comes into effect, growth in the travel and tourism industry will be increasingly driven by technology as more and more public and private organisations invest in enhancing their digital capabilities to build effective online sales and marketing networks across the region and the world, experts in the field said.
Technology will be in the spotlight at the first Asia Pacific Digital Travel Forum to be held in Bangkok on August 30, 2012 at The Landmark Hotel Bangkok.
Apichai Sakulsureeyadej, president of Tourism Technology Association (TTA), as the co-hosts
of the event, said that the AEC will become the tourism epicentre of the entire Asia-Pacific region, with 10 of the most popular tourism destinations in the world as core members. The Asia Pacific Digital Travel Forum is an unprecedented platform to drive the digitalisation of the tourism industry because it will bring together tomorrow's leaders and chart the course for future tourism prosperity.
"There has never been a more compelling opportunity for the tourism industry to bolster its digital capabilities than with the advent of the AEC in 2015," he said.
Bringing hundreds of top-level buyers and sellers from across Asia Pacific, the forum was launched after the success of the Asean eTravel Mart held last year. Supported by the United Nations World Travel Organisation and the Pacific Asia Travel Association, the forum will also feature a one-day conference, which will give participants the chance to hear leading tourism technology experts who are at the cutting edge of online tourism.
The tourism industry has always been an early adopter of new technologies, and the Asia Pacific Digital Travel Forum is the ideal venue for forward-thinking executives from airlines, hotels, travel websites, national tourism offices, booking and electronic payment platforms, and other key areas of the industry to converge to share their knowledge and define the future of online tourism, he said.
He added that social media, including Facebook and Twitter, had become integral to online tourism because they and similar sites represented instant access to millions of potential customers and tourists.
"One of the formidable challenges of the forthcoming AEC is the need for each member country to be fully prepared, which means intensive training for staff on all levels to prepare them for the community and the borderless opportunities that will open up. It is also essential for companies and tourism associations and bodies to be prepared for ever more intensive competition in the region and beyond," said Apichai.
Participants of the Asia Pacific Digital Travel Forum will have a full schedule of interactive meetings. It is expected that long-term trade relationships will be enhanced as like-minded tourism industry executives gather.