Could artificial intelligence reshape the travel and tourism industry? That was one of the questions that occupied the minds of the Caribbean tourism leaders, who met in Barbados this week for the Caribbean Hotels and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace business meetings.
Many are of the view that the travel and tourism industry could benefit from artificial intelligence (AI), which could essentially reshape how this is currently done.
Tourism Minister Charles Max Fernandez spoke about some of the possible benefits that could be derived during a state media interview on the sidelines of the talks that were held in Barbados.
He compared the technology to that of scissors which, he said, could be useful and detrimental at the same time.
“It is going to make a tremendous impact on how we market our product it’s also possibly going to change and allow easier experience without actually travelling. We must not see it as so much of a threat but more so an opportunity”.
“Artificial Intelligence can also go as far as to assist us with passengers coming through our borders with the use of facial recognition and more. So yes, it’s a challenge but there is a tremendous amount of opportunities to be gained from it if it can be used correctly,” the minister said.
Also forming part of the two-day talks was the issue of regional connectivity and technological innovation, public/private partnerships and alliance among others.
“It was very, very insightful that we were able to participate and learn a tremendous amount from the meetings,” Fernandez said.
He also participated in talks that centered around multi-destination marketing, labour market, taxation and linkages. Other Discussion topics included: Responsible and Resilience Tourism as well as Technology and its impact on Caribbean tourism.
Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, during her keynote address, inspired those at the forum with an investment and a shared interest in the region and its development to be “Be shapers, not takers”, a phrase that reverberated throughout other speakers’ presentations during the day.
Caribbean Travel Marketplace affords tourism suppliers the opportunity to meet face-to-face with wholesalers from around the world selling Caribbean vacation travel over the course of two days of business meetings.