Last week we hosted our third and largest to date PATAcademy-HCD at PATA’s Engagement Hub in Bangkok. Twenty-nine participants joined from 13 countries representing National Tourism Boards, the hospitality sector, airports, travel agents and tour operators. In addition, we were fortunate to have a fantastic line up of coaches from brands such as Google, SITA, Aloft, Meetingsbooker, MyTravelResearch, Illusions and Hotheads.
The three-day interactive session was designed for marketers and senior management professionals in order to help them think strategically about the impact that technology may have on their businesses and also the impact disruptive innovators could have on their strategic plans in the future. Participants learned how technology is a driving factor behind innovations that are affecting not only our businesses, but also our daily life and the fabric of our society. The Future of Tourism will forever be different and in constant progress and change. How can we influence the future of tourism for our nations and businesses through innovation?
Through engaging training sessions, the participants practiced their creative skills, learned techniques to truly think “outside the box” and to think of innovative ways to reinvent their product and services in a way that could disrupt their sector. They also learned about upcoming technology trends and how they can apply them in real life and in their day-to-day business. Topics and future trends, such as Wearables, iBeacons, Augmented Reality, Pervasive Technology, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, were discussed and put into context. All the speakers stressed how important it is for businesses and nations to know and understand the implications of the technologies of the future in order to be ready for what is coming ahead.
Participants were given the task to come up with a disruptive product concept using the skills that they learned over the 3-day class and present it to the group and panel of judges at the end of the programme. The team effort and creativity demonstrated by all 5 teams showed that the learning programme achieved its objective. The winning team developed a concept based on the sharing economy where tourists get to eat with locals, calling their product “Bite the World”. The judges enjoyed the idea because they saw its immediate possibility for commercialization and how it also reflects a trend recently reported by the PATA report “The Rise of the Young Travellers“, which highlighted how young people want to travel to experience local life.
The PATAcademy-HCD was an initiative launched in December 2013 to bring together “Rising Stars” from the public and private sector together to learn about current trends in our industry and share best practices. The next PATAcademy-HCD is scheduled for June 2 to 4, 2015 in Bangkok at PATA’s Engagement Hub on the subject of Human Capital Development and will target HR Directors/Managers and division heads. The full programme will be announced via PATA Voice in early 2015.
Till next time…
Chief Executive Officer