Over nine million new jobs can be created within Asia Pacific destinations over the next five years by fully embracing digital platforms and data driven innovation in the tourism sector, according to “Data & Digital Platforms: Driving Tourism Growth in Asia Pacific” — a new research report published by PATA and Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company, with the support of Google.
Commenting on the findings, PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy said: “Now more than ever, it is critical that organizations obtain a thorough understanding of current technologies and innovations to make smarter and more informed decisions.”
Hardy continued: “This comprehensive report on digital platforms and data driven innovation from our newest Preferred Partner, Oxford Economics, provides important insight into the need for embracing the disruptive and technological changes occurring within the travel and tourism industry.”
And he pointed out that: “At PATA, we believe that both the public and private sectors must adopt policies to support a thriving digital ecosystem and work in partnership to enhance access to digital products and services and facilitate cross-border data flows.”
With travellers increasingly using online platforms before, during and after their trips, the report highlights several policy recommendations that destinations and policymakers should embrace to support the digital ecosystem and maximize growth opportunities for their stakeholders, including:
- Continue to invest in digital infrastructure to improve competitiveness.
- Encourage widespread use of digital platforms, and promote data driven innovation.
- Ensure skills shortages are addressed.
- Address digital use and skills in SMEs to ensure competitiveness in international markets.
- Avoid restrictive policy, such as data localisation policies.
According to the report, the economic benefits are clear for businesses and destinations, as well as for travellers.
Over the past five years, arrivals are 5% higher than would otherwise be the case due to digital interactions as businesses are better equipped to connect with potential travellers. This impact is higher in destinations which have embraced digital travel interactions.
By adopting the policy recommendations as outlined in the report, there is potential for destinations within the Asia Pacific region to grow GDP by up to one percent, generating over 9 million new jobs over the next five years.