Innovation, story-creation are key to sustain tourism business: ICTT

An increasingly competitive market warrants tourist destinations to constantly update and acquire a unique identity, while creating a story is key to promoting any product as a brand, a global conclave said today.

“Innovation is pointless unless it is commercial. We must create an ecosystem conducive for growth by supporting new talents and building start-up incubators,” business information systems expert Brian Marrinan noted at the International Conference on Tourism Technology (ICTT 2019) here.

Citing an example from a small city in his native Ireland, he explained how Shannon in the province of Connacht has been a world leader in travel technology since World War II. “Shannon was the first airport in the world to introduce duty-free stores. Today, can you imagine an airport without a duty-free outlet?” the speaker said. “But there is a gap in innovation, what I prefer to call an ‘opportunity gap’. These opportunity gaps can be addressed through travel tech accelerators.”

Taking the point further in his session titled ‘How Innovation in Travel and Tourism is Driving Economic and Job Growth’, Marrinan said Ireland has been instrumental in building the first start-up accelerator: Propeller Shannon, the world’s first early stage aviation, aerospace and travel tech-specific accelerator.”

“See, 10.4 per cent of the world’s GDP is gained through tourism, yet the innovation in the sector has been very slow,” added the speaker, managing partner of Journey Partners. “We need to give tech start-ups the ecosystem to develop newer products for boasting tourism with the support of the government.”

The two-day ICTT, being organised by the Association of Tourism Trade Organisations, India (ATTOI) in association with the Kerala government’s Department of Tourism, had its final day overlapping with the World Tourism Day (September 27).