Dr . Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the UNWTO, was unequivocal about the situation within the travel sector: “ We have an issue with innovation and with thinking outside of the box“, he said at ITB Berlin, and briefly outlined the way the tourism industry should react to the newest P2Ps and platforms on offer: “ We should not fight them, simply because they contain many positive elements, yet we should know how to deal with them“, described Rifai, who pointed out that these are industrial services offered via digital systems, and not a case of unpaid swapping or sharing.
Steve Kester, who is currently conducting the survey on this subject for the UNWTO, and who has already evaluated more than 100 responses from a wide range of nations, emphasizes that the platforms on offer would certainly contribute to the expansion of the travel and leisure sector because travel would be a lot more accessible to wider sections of the people, and people would be encouraged to travel more regularly. Obviously these new trends perform present a disruptive challenge meant for existing providers.
Kester described five areas where the vacation industry will have to adjust to new provides: information, accommodation, transport, food and routines. The emergence of new platforms during these five areas introduces a whole range associated with questions concerning, for example , such problems as fair competition, tourism preparing and sustainability, consumer protection as well as the working conditions of those providing the assistance. As Kester explained, for travel and leisure providers it is important to be able to understand and also to observe the developments, which are frequently technology-driven, to modify and adapt what they them selves offer, and also to set up systems offering protection and regulation.
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