Technology a great enabler for small tourism businesses: CM

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Trivandrum: Chief Minister Shri Oommen Chandy today urged young entrepreneurs with small, start-up businesses in the travel and tourism sector to take advantage of digital technology which is opening up vast global markets that were once unreachable through traditional marketing tools.

Inaugurating the country’s first International Conference on Travel Technology (ICTT), CM said India, which is ranked 41st in terms of international tourist arrivals, has a long way to realise its full potential, given its natural and cultural attractions. Technology is fuelling the surge of entrepreneurship in this industry by providing platforms to market their products and services. In Kerala, we have a lot of entrepreneurs in the tourism sector and I’m sure technology will give them wings.

ICTT India is being organised by the Association of Tourism Trade Organizations, India (ATTOI) at Kovalam, with the support of Kerala Tourism.

Union Minister of State for HRD Dr. Shashi Tharoor who delivered the keynote address said one of the most important uses of the web for tourism business is review and response to customer feedback which is increasingly influencing travellers’ decisions.

“The real danger from the web is that it is an unmediated platform. Opinions can easily be doctored or manufactured. The best way to counter fake reviews is to put out correct information; alert hoteliers and destination managers must come up with quick responses,” he said.

Minister for Tourism Shri A P Anil Kumar, who was the guest of honour at the function, said the Kerala government was among the pioneers in marketing tourism through the web and has had a long standing policy of utilising the internet for tourism promotion.

“Our marketing strategy based on the internet is headed the right way. IT has not just complemented our promotional activities, but has helped reduce expenditure and significantly lowered our consumption of print products,” he said.

Tourism Secretary Suman Billa made a presentation on Kerala Tourism’s initiatives in IT over the past few years.

ATTOI President V Sreekumara Menon said the conference will discuss the latest trends in travel technology, social media and how digital platforms can be leveraged by the industry.

ICTT features 17 eminent speakers from countries such as the US, UK, Australia, UAE and India with expertise in the travel industry and digital entrepreneurship. More than 250 delegates, including tour operators, travel professionals and bloggers, from around the country and abroad are attending.

Kerala IT News

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