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Published on : Thursday, November 24, 2016
For maintaining growth in visitor numbers, the tourism sector of the UAE needs to embrace innovation, as said by Mohammed Al Muhairi, the undersecretary for the Ministry of Economy. He said that he believed that the hospitality industry needed to compete in changing times where old methods cannot be relied on for sustaining growth in business and visitor numbers. To quote him, “We need innovative thinking, a cultural change. The UAE works best when the private sector and government sectors work together and that is why the government is calling for, and supporting, innovators. Innovation does not just happen it has to be fostered.”
Innovation in tourism now has various forms like technological advances, low cost airlines and Airbnb. Services like Airbnb will have positive impact on hotel demand, since a growing number of young and affluent travelers are opting for such ‘shared-economy’ services like Airbnb for various reasons like flexibility, cost, authentic local experience, etc.
International travel is on the rise and according to the UNWTO, over a billion people travel globally every year. Since global financial crisis, international travel grew at a rate of 5% each year and is expected to go to 1.8 billion in 2030. Hence, with more people traveling, there is more opportunity and both big and small operators are making use of the digital space for luring potential customers. Social media and the digital platform have altered a lot of strategies in this digital era.