Swiss-Belhotel International Highlights the Role of Technology in the Return of Tourism at ITIC

As part of the Arabian Travel Market thought leadership programme, Priyanka Kapoor, Senior Regional Director of Sales and Marketing – Europe, Middle East, Africa and India, and Group Director – Sales, Marketing, Branding and Communications, Swiss-Belhotel International participated in a panel discussion at the virtual International Tourism & Investment Conference. The panel was moderated by Dimitrios Buhalis, Director eTourism Lab & Deputy Director, International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research, Bournemouth University Business School, UK.

Analysing the impact and challenges of digital transformation in the travel and tourism industry with the experts, Priyanka highlighted the role technology will play in the return of tourism not only in the immediate future but also for the long-term.

Priyanka stressed, “In 2020 our revenue technology had come to a standstill. Historical data had become irrelevant. We had moved to manual ways of revenue management, and we still are in that stage with frequently changing restriction levels. However, this period made us realise, once again, that People are our Business. And when we say People, we don’t only mean the guests, but also our owners, our staff, our trade partners, and our customers. We need the technology to focus on relationship management with these People to be ready for the return of Tourism and maintain it for the long term.”

The experts believed, for continued success it is essential to bolster products and processes with more robust digital tools aligned with the realities of the current hyper connected business requirements.

When asked about how tourism technology is likely to evolve moving ahead to 2030, Priyanka replied, “There are so many unknowns and so many developments that will happen from now till 2030 that will shape technology, but one learning that we have taken from the pandemic is that ‘sustainability’ is key to our industry. This is the time to move towards more sustainable ways of working which are economically viable in the future for our hotel owners’ net profits and also because sustainability will talk into the evolved emotions and needs of the travellers after the experience of Covid-19. As we navigate through the market challenges, our goal is to cater to evolving guest requirements with innovative and enhanced experiences in a safe environment.”

Diversifying its market offering, Swiss-Belhotel International has recently opened two new hotels in Bahrain in May 2021 – the stunning 4-star Swiss-Belsuites Admiral Juffair and the spectacular 5-star Grand Swiss-Belhotel Waterfront Seef.

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