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Overbooking Summit 2018: a battle in the digital era
Tourism sector strides towards digitalisation, a modern battle which requires a good strategy to be won. This topic was the main point of Overbooking Gran Canaria Summit 2018, an event on tourism marketing and communication organised by the Cabildo (inter-island council of the Canary Islands), Gran Canaria Tourism Board and the agency 22gradosº. The event took place last Thursday in Alfredo Kraus auditorium in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Fifteen speakers presented topics like artificial intelligence, custom marketing, big data, sustainability, the relevant role of Instagram as a new sales tool, creativity to boost product differentiation and technologies in tourist destinations to promote loyalty and provide unforgettable experiences.
During Overbooking Gran Canaria Summit Digital for Tourism an interesting report was launched. It was prepared by 22gradosº in cooperation with Nóverys consultant´s office for Fundación Universitaria de Las Palmas (FULP) and Fundación Mapfre Guanarteme. The paper puts emphasis on digital transformation, a process of great importance in the current economic outlook and that provides quality and useful data on the most demanded digital profiles by tourism sector. The research outcomes will be useful for institutions, universities, training centres and companies. The document can be used as a guide to learn which are the most and least demanded professional skills and adjust job offers to them.
Digital communication experts, like Macarena Estévez de Conento and Pau Klein (WAM), outlined the advantages of digital marketing to attract new visitors and improve customer loyalty. This topic is especially relevant considering that competitors like Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia are bouncing back on the road to recovery. Even though the Canary Islands is still one of the most popular destinations, Álvaro Blanco, Assistant Manager of Conocimiento y Estudios Turísticos (Knowledge and Tourism Studies) of Turespaña, explained that the economic recovery of these countries is based on hypercompetitive prices, the decrease of negative news regarding safety and the big interest of touroperators to balance tourism flows. In his opinion, quality is the best way to compete with these destinations. That quality Mr Blanco mentions is directly related to the information we gather about our customers and to the offer of customised experiences. Knowing what visitors expect from a destination and client-tailored products are two ideas that provide satisfaction, loyalty and the encourage of word-of-mouth reccomendations.
For that matter, another specialist, Itziar Oltra (Airhopping), analysed in the National Tourism Communication and Marketing Contest the market trends and the efficiency of several digital tools. Tools which can be used in the sector to play an active role in the decision-making process of tourists who are always able to use their smartphones during their holidays and who are looking forward having an unforgettable time in the chosen destination.
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