The 27th of September is World Tourism Day (WTD), which provides an opportunity to raise awareness on tourism’s actual and potential contribution to sustainable development, and also provides an opportunity for companies in our industry/sector to reflect on their contributions (or lack thereof) to sustainable development. The WTD official celebration will be held in Budapest, Hungary, a country enjoying a steady growth of tourism backed by consistent policy support and a commitment to the digital future.
The focus of this year’s celebrations will be to raise awareness about technological advancements, for example big data, artificial intelligence and automation, which will become increasingly important in the industry over the course of the next century. These advances could either help with the task of marrying continued growth with a more sustainable and responsible tourism sector, or conversely they could further divide continued growth and sustainability. Technology is a tool, the implications of its use often come not from the function of the technology itself but how it is used. It is therefore important at this juncture where certain technology is still in its infancy to discuss amongst ourselves how we as a sector want to grow with this technology, keeping in mind the implications for not only our own generation but the ones yet to come. As Zurab Pololikashvili the Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) states “Harnessing innovation and digital advances provides tourism with opportunities to improve inclusiveness, local community empowerment and efficient resource management, amongst other objectives within the wider sustainable development agenda”.
At Considerate Hoteliers we are cognisant about the implications of technology on sustainable development. Con-Serve™ our unique data management system, tracks metrics including: gas, electricity, water and outsourced laundry, all of which can be correlated with room occupancy and/or food covers. By helping hospitality businesses gain utility from their utility data through identifying inefficiencies, improving performance and implementing sustainable change Con-Serve™ is a prime example of how data and data analysis technology can assist the tourism industry in becoming more sustainable.