ABU DHABI, 15th December, 2019 — The inaugural Abu Dhabi Tourism and Data Analytics Forum, organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, DCT Abu Dhabi, concluded today following a packed schedule of keynote speeches, panel discussions and workshops at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi.
The forum, the first ever such event in the region, gathered more than 100 leading experts from across the world to discuss the latest trends in the tourism and analytics industry, with representatives from global tech giants, including Google, in attendance, as well as representatives from Skift, DCT Abu Dhabi, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Al Dar, ADNEC, TripAdvisor, Farah Experiences, EXPO 2020, Etihad Airways, Emirates Airlines, Rotana, Experience Hub, Anantara, Dnata, Hala Abu Dhabi, DarkMatter, Accor, Seera Group and STR.
Saif Saeed Ghobash, Under-Secretary, DCT Abu Dhabi, who launched the event with a keynote speech, said, “We are aware of the potential that data and analytics has to be a game changer for the tourism sector, and we believe having this analytical capability is no longer a luxury, but an actual necessity to advance our agenda and reach our ambitious goals for the emirate.”
Cyrille Fabre, Head of Consumer Products and Retail at Bain, said the retail market was changing quickly, with many households squeezed by the need for time and convenience, while not being as rich or confident as before.
Prashant Joshi, Senior Vice President, Darkmatter, said the challenge for the Food and Beverage industry was to ensure the collected data was standardised across the entire sector.
The session entitled, “Predictive Analytics in Abu Dhabi Hotel Markets”, was moderated by Dr. Mohammed K. Al Dhaheri, with panel members detailing the methods that their data analysis companies were using to enhance profitability and service in the hotel industry.
Olivier Jager, CEO and Co-founder of Forwardkeys, said the challenge was to provide customers with data, and also explain the best ways to utilise it. Philip Wooler, Area Director MEA of STR, explained that his company works alongside hotels to offer them data on how their competition is performing, giving them the tools to make business and pricing decisions.
During a panel discussion entitled, “DMC Data: Pricing Dynamics of Online Bookings”, panellists offers insights into developments in pricing packages and online booking behaviour.
In parallel with the lectures in the auditorium, the Manarat Al Saadiyat Theater hosted several workshops and presentations.