Published on : Wednesday, November 14, 2018
The tourism department of Northern Ireland is ambitious to double the value of Northern Ireland tourism to 1.7 billion by 2030 and create 20,000 new jobs. To do this our visitors have to be encouraged to stay longer and spend more.
The digital transformation and innovation will be a driving force in empowering Northern Ireland tourism to become an internationally competitive industry, by increasing visitor numbers and encouraging them to stay longer, explore more and spend more.
The tourism department need to encourage more regional and seasonal dispersion so that the accommodation and experiences outside of the traditional hotspots of Belfast and Causeway Coast are not overly reliant upon the domestic market. To achieve this the visitor needs to come first and we need to deliver on their expectation of a simple yet customised journey and experience.
The global tourism industry is highly competitive. New access routes are opening up emerging destinations to increasingly mobile and digitally aware customers. If the tourism industry of North Ireland is to remain internationally competitive we must develop the capacity to position the use of digital applications as an integral part of the product development of North Ireland, marketing and visitor servicing programmes.
It will be important to harness the potential of the industry, third party online service providers and visitors themselves in the use of digital applications to achieve the strategic aims in North Ireland tourism. The Tourism North Ireland is leading an ambitious digital transformation work programme, all about providing leadership to our wider industry around three key themes – Connectivity, Digitally Re-invented Experiences and Regional Outcomes.
The use of an NI-wide tourism data infrastructure will ensure connectivity at all attractions and events and support a network of smart devices and sensors. A cloud-based tourism data hub will promote aggregation and analysis of all tourism related data.
North Ireland need to connect with visitors in a more meaningful way and respond better to their personalised requirements. This will mean marrying our tourism ecosystem, infrastructure and customer journeys with data. Working with all of our stakeholders to capture and aggregate data sets will help provide real time insights and intelligence. The machine learning for content has become a norm in other industries (eg personalised suggestions on Spotify and Netflix) and this personalisation would help us to connect with visitors in a more meaningful way.