What African DMCs Can Learn from Dubai

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It’s no secret, Dubai is one of the world’s most visited cities in the world, after Paris, London and Bangkok. It’s iconic skyline, vibrant shopping experiences as well as dynamic activities has enabled the highest international overnight international visitor spend for the third year in a row.

According to experts speaking at the Arabian Travel Market 2019, travel operators must use disruptive technologies to meet customers’ evolving expectations, according to experts speaking at ATM 2019.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping to deliver more personalised offerings for travellers.

According to research, hotels can increase revenues by 10 percent and reduce costs by 15 percent through personalisation technology.

In a panel discussion titled ‘The Big Picture – Who Will Sell Travel Best in the Future?’, which took place on ATM’s Global Stage, representatives from Booking.com, Sabre Corporation, Google, Facebook and Emirates explored the potential benefits and pitfalls of technology implementation in the Gulf’s tourism sector.

While innovations such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and personalisation technology have the potential to boost efficiency across the industry, panelists emphasised that operators should always consider how new applications are likely to impact the customer experience.

Fouad Talaat, Regional Manager of Partner Services – MEA, Booking.com, said: “Some of us think we’re in an era of disruption but I think we’ve passed that already. I think we’re in an era of powerful customers.

“We think of ourselves as a customer-first AI company. This means that the application of any new technology is done to enhance the experience for our customers. We don’t experiment with emerging technologies for the sake of it. If an innovation doesn’t take friction away, we don’t invest in it.”

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