The Indian minister of state for tourism, KJ Alphons, has stated that technology adoption in tourism should not be just for sales and distribution but also for discovery, planning, booking, execution, operations and post-trip relationship management, at the 108th session of UNWTO Executive Council.
With a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy under the Digital India Programme initiated by the prime minister, Shri Narendra Modi, the minister recently attended the event, along with a delegation of senior officials, held in San Sebastian, Spain.
With a view to scaling up innovation and digitisation in the sector as the focus of UNWTO Executive Council, the minister discussed the role of tourism in socio-economic development through job creation, enterprise and environment development and foreign exchange earnings. He also brought out the impact of innovation and new technology, which have become key factors for the competitiveness of every economic sector including tourism.
The minister met up with the Secretary-General of UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili to develop a joint action plan focused on tourism innovation and digital transformation including the positioning of India on the action plan of UNWTO.
The discussions also included developing tourism as a strong agent for the better future of the world and establishing the global public-private partnerships.
In a discussion with the tourism minister of Spain, Álvaro Nadal, Alphons discussed cooperation in the field of tourism primarily pertaining to the synergy between India’s iconic destinations and Spain’s smart destinations.
This would include setting up a centre of excellence for tourism technology, training programme for tourism professionals (central / state employees) management of pilgrim destinations and also the management of UNESCO Heritage sites.