Digital transformation is no longer optional for tourism stakeholders, said Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism Hajah Dahliana binti Haji Aliakbar during a capacity building workshop yesterday.
“It has become a necessity,” said the acting permanent secretary.
“The tourism and travel industry have always been at the forefront of technological innovations and cannot stay constant,” she said, adding that COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised the need to be more adaptive.
The acting permanent secretary said according to the World Economic Forum’s Digital Transformation Initiative (DTI), the tourism and travel industries is expected to spend up to USD305 billion on digitisation processes from 2016 to 2025; of which a profit of USD700 billion is expected. “This shows how big the potential is, especially for the tourism industry,” said Hajah Dahliana.
The pandemic had brought changes to the business landscape in the tourism and travel industry, she said, adding that with new emerging global trends such as ‘Smart and Contactless Travel’ as people put safety first, and ‘Sustainable Travel’ especially because consumers are much more aware and responsible for their ecological footprint.
Yesterday, the workshop organised by the ASEAN-Korea Centre (AKC) was attended by 70 participants comprising Tourism Development Department officers, hoteliers, higher educational institutions, travel agents, tour operators, small-medium enterprises and community-based tourism service providers.
Secretary General of the AKC Kim Hae-yong said the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the tourism sector. “Much like the rest of the world, the number of tourist arrivals in Brunei plummeted by 94 per cent in 2021 as compared to 2019,” he said.
The secretary general urged the tourism industry to embrace digital transformation.
“The tourism industry is bound to break away from the traditional business model and growth methods and move towards an innovative, sustainable, and inclusive industry.”
The workshop saw Korean tourism experts presenting the seminar topics such as ‘How to Attract Korean Market through Online Tools’, ‘Overcoming Challenges and Adopting Innovative and Digital Solutions In Businesses’ and ‘Benefits of Digitalisation’.