Tourism and ICT – the Hidden Opportunities

In many of the smaller tourism-focused islands of the Region, during the peak tourist season, the number of tourists on the island rivals the size of the citizen population. The total contribution of travel and tourism to the 2012 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Caribbean was 14 percent, the highest for any region in the world (WTTC 2013). Tourism’s contribution to GDP in 2012 was 27.1 percent in the British Virgin Islands, 22.9 percent in Anguilla and 22 percent in the Bahamas – an indication of the important role of the sector in the Region’s economies. When one considers that, at its essence, what the tourism industry is attempting to do is attract the spend of geographically removed persons to non-domestic locales, luring them based upon information that they receive prior to making the journey, the value of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) begins to become evident. Indeed ICTs are pervasive throughout the travel and tourism space, as all stakeholders, destinations, hotels, airlines and visitors, send their information ahead of them so as to optimize efficiency, facilitate value creation and enhance the transaction experience on all sides.

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