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Monday, June 03, 2019

Medallion, NOTAP advocate adoption of tech-trends to boost tourism - ITREALMS

Thought leaders from Medallion Communications Limited and the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) have advocated the adaption of latest technology trends to boost tourism, reports ITREALMS.

The two organisations in the private and public sector of Nigeria’s technology industry advocated for the deployment of technology in the nation’s tourism and travel space as a panacea for boosting businesses in the sector, reports 
ITREALMS.

In two separate keynote addresses delivered at the Maiden Edition of Tourism and Technology Summit held in Lagos, South West Nigeria, organised by Brandworld Media and  online technology news, 
TechnologyMirror, both noted the essence of technology in the tourism and travel business.

President/CEO of Medallion Communications Limited, Mr. Ike Nnamani, a telecoms engineer in his keynote address disclosed that technological advances has changed the way people travel, and these new innovations offers an interactive and exciting experience that were unprecedented.

Nnamani who was represented by the Chief Financial Officer of Medallion Communications, Mr. Olatunji Sulaiman said that the mobile technology has brought about the significant changes in revolutionising tourism and hospitality industry noting that mobile phone has become “our tour guide, travel agency, best restaurant locator and maps.”

According to him, the IoT promises to bring significant changes to the tourism industry saying, “They include integrating sensors connected to the internet items like cars, suitcases and luggage's, building and home equipment. All these enhance the security of the travelers which makes an holiday spent with relaxed minds.”

He also said with the virtual assistants technology insight into what the weathers brings exciting moments on vacations and that it is now it is possible to “teleport” to the most remote corners of the globe without getting off the couch.

Sulaiman stated that Medallion core business is to provide infrastructural support to enable stakeholders in the tourism and technology industries to tap into evolving business opportunities that all technological innovations require.

Delivering a keynote address on behalf of the Director-General, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr Dan-Azumi Ibrahim, his representative, the Principal Technology Officer of NOTAP, Mr John Omesili said that there were six trends to watch out for in the tourism industry.

He said that the six trends included: Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Voice Technology, Wi-Fi Connectivity and Wearable Devices.

He disclosed that Nigeria has the best brains around the world and it must use them stating the country could be the first to sell or franchise Virtual Reality software for the Digital Tourism in the world.

He added that the agency was working towards ensuring that all technologies in the country would run on Nigerian software saying that “Today using pay stack, we can directly charge cards and allow payments to be made to local businesses”.

“We have an online travel websites such as Wakanow and hotels-finding service, hotels.ng. These brands use software to run their businesses; they show how ICT and Tourism can work together to bring desirable products to the market place,” Ibrahim said.

Quoting GlobalData 2018 Report, Technology Trends in Travel and Tourism, he said that technology is fostering a change in the travel and tourism industry regarding how companies interact with customers.

“Consequently, travel companies are adopting various technologies to improve operational efficiencies and meet customers’ expectations at every stage of their journey,” he said.

The NOTAP boss said that Nigerians could leverage on these trends to create new realities in the tourism space and that using real time location sensors, the country could create digital experiences never imagined.

Also speaking Jemi-Alade,also the Chief Executive Officer, Jemi-Alade Associates Ltd., a Travel Agency, said that disruption by technology was forcing travel agencies to innovate or die.

According to him, technology is radically transforming the way travel and tourism business is conducted around the world, saying that Africa was not an exception.

“The rapid growth in the travel and tourism sector across regions of Africa is largely driven by technology and numerous initiatives across the continent to attract more tourists,’’ he said.

Jemi-Alade said that tourism industry players were beginning to realise that tourism and travel space had become a technological business and were adapting to the new reality.

“African countries are discovering the need to develop and market their tourism potential, and technology is making it easier and cheaper to promote destinations and showcase various tourism endowments.

“Technology has helped reduce operational costs, cost of travel and also simplified visa procurement systems.

“Sustainability of growth in the travel sector is dependent on the sector’s ability to recognise the key drivers and respond to challenges facing it.

“The online movement is the next big wave in travel and is now shaping the way Africans travel within Africa, and how the travel business is conducted on the continent.

“It is daily transforming the entire value chain bringing with it new products, services and experiences,’’ the tour and travel chief said.

He said the online and mobile app travel booking were the new trend, adding with over 200 million smartphone users in Africa, the trend was sure to expand.

Jemi-Alade said that African continent was well endowed with various tourism assets and products that attracted tourists from around the world.

He said that there were factors against tourism growth and development on the continent, but with the advent of technology, the narrative was changing.

“Recent trends in information technology are changing the narrative by providing cheap and affordable solutions.

“With vast unexploited potential, the future of tourism in Africa is brightly enabled by technology,’’ the chief executive said.

Earlier in a welcome address, the Managing Director of Brandworld Media, Clara Okoro the tourism ecosystem in Africa is evolving rapidly and it was time to connect and attract the best brains using technology as a launch pad to change the narratives.

She said the key interests at the tourism and technology summit includes ensuring fostering education, excellence, inclusion, knowledge and experience of Africa’s abundant offerings in tourism through our professional tourism consultancy as well as strategic partnerships with government and other professional bodies to take the tourism industry in Africa to the levels where they should be technology.

“We have decided to settle for this specific niche on tourism and technology and already have a 10 year blueprint as a framework to implement,” she asserted.

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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Pix: R-L : Nisham, Chabra, GM, Netcore Solutions Nigeria, Clara Okoro, Brandworld Media, Muky Emelda, CEO, Instyle Ventures, Chukwudi Nwokike, Client Success Manager, Netcore Solutions Nig at the Tourism/Technology Summit organised by Brandworld Media in Partnership with Technology Mirror in Lagos, recently.

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