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A toolkit to boost smart tourism and revive the economy in Dublin

9 minute read
The Irish capital is working on the implementation of the "Smart Dublin" program, As a collaborative initiative supported by several local authorities in the city and focused on four main areas: Analytical data and insights, digital records of tourists, guidance, and digital transformation. Through this initiative, Dublin hopes to be able to collect data in […]
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The Irish capital is working on the implementation of the "Smart Dublin" program, As a collaborative initiative supported by several local authorities in the city and focused on four main areas: Analytical data and insights, digital records of tourists, guidance, and digital transformation. Through this initiative, Dublin hopes to be able to collect data in real time. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the reality of tourism in the city and ways to adapt to it after the COVID-19 pandemic, In addition to identifying the possibility of enhancing the tourism sector through data analysis.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had many negative consequences on the economies of countries in all sectors. The tourism sector was one of the most affected. Frequent lockdowns and lockdowns have led to a drop in the number of tourists on the streets of cities, even those that were – and still are – a sought-after tourist destination. This situation has included the city of Dublin, The Irish capital, where the tourism sector is a major economic driver, In 2019, before the pandemic, it attracted about 8.6 million visitors. Achieving revenues exceeding 3 billion US dollars, As well as supporting a large proportion of the workforce, which occupies approximately 68,000 jobs. The paralysis of the sector due to the pandemic has led the relevant Dublin authorities to set a future path that ensures a balance between economic returns and retains a positive impact on infrastructure and the city's residents.

Despite the pandemic's damage to the tourism sector, The authorities of some cities and their municipalities found an opportunity to evaluate their actions, and consider ways to reshape its tourism offerings for the better, Especially after those concerned understood that the equations changed, They are no longer purely economic equations, They realized that there were tools to be used to benefit from tourism. In this context, Dublin witnessed a pivotal moment as the city looks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Customize a new post named "Smart Tourism Manager", His mission was to "use digitization and data analysis to contribute to building more accessible and sustainable tourist destinations." Same to you What smart tourism means from a Dublin perspective, The ambitious tourist city, Seeking to be named the Smart European Tourism Capital for the year 2021.

From the perspective of the Irish capital, smart tourism is a model for supporting innovation and driving positive transformation within destinations. The ultimate goal of the Smart Tourism Programme is to establish Dublin as a world-leading 'smart destination' through innovative projects, research and partnerships.

In parallel with the creation of the "Smart Tourism Manager" function, A cooperative initiative supported by a number of local authorities has been launched, Among them is Smart Dublin, Dublin City Council, the Irish National Tourism Development Authority, It focuses on four main areas: Data and insights, digital records of tourists, routing, and digital transformation.

These authorities realized that things had changed with the pandemic and its repercussions, This has forced a shift in how official destinations handle and understand data. In the post-pandemic reality, there is no place for the previous methods of traditional tourism whose performance is measured using annual data sets. Such as the occupancy rate of airlines and hotels, visitor arrivals, and polls. Such data are critical in normal situations of stability outside of health crises and other disasters.

Therefore, the authorities turned to digital means, By collecting and analyzing real-time data, To first form a comprehensive understanding of economic behavior and the recovery process; second, to leverage digital applications and digital transformation in all aspects of city life; third, to provide tools that help individuals navigate and deploy; and fourth, to collect best practices for embedding smart tourism in organizations across sectors, Long-term.

The initiative has taken advantage of data and "digital fingerprints" — digital records in which tourists online record what they do. Including the sites they visit and the data they share. Dublin's traffic sensors have helped to achieve this. Most of these devices produce open data on turnout rates, They can be used to improve the tourist experience.

The initiative also used a wide range of non-personal data, including open city data, and real-time consumer spending data from Mastercard, and transaction reports in Dublin hotels, open data for restaurant reservations, National Transport Authority information, As well as publicly available navigation data from sources such as Apple and Google.

But in the context of facilitating data exchange, Two important challenges emerged. The first is the need to facilitate the acquisition of tourism data from companies. Another challenge was the need to convince companies that their data is valuable to many municipal and tourism establishments. and that it is worth taking the time to explore ways to present them, Whether it's paid or free data. While some companies have realized, Like MasterCard, the importance and value of data, Consequently, new proposals were made during the pandemic, Some were not convinced, Or he was simply too busy running the company's main business.

Officials believe that smart tourism is still an emerging field in post-pandemic cities. It is an initial step to finding solutions to many challenges, Such as tourism sustainability, equity, balance and economic recovery.


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