Technology can make EU co-operate on tourism
On 1 March, the UN World Tourism organisation (UNWTO) and European Parliament signed an agreement putting technology at the heart of deepening tourism co-operation. Travel insurance tech specialist, Aquarium Software says, recognition of the key role technology is expected to play must be followed up with tangible action in an increasingly digital world, not least in the travel insurance sector. With major cities like Paris and London leading the way, Europe is the world’s premier tourist destination, but with the number of visitors expected to double to two billion over the next decade, the deployment of new technology is going to have a major role to play in unlocking the full potential of the old world.
“European tourism is a big success story, but there are major challenges on the horizon to be overcome, to make the most of the opportunities ahead,” said Aquarium Software Director, Mark Colonnese. “The continent is in the midst of political uncertainty. Tourists will still expect seamless travel and access to services, and technology will be critical if travel insurance is to reach its full potential in the global marketplace.”
The travel insurance sector has a huge opportunity for growth. There is more choice in the form of packaged bank accounts, single trip cover and annual cover, yet 55 percent of us are not currently covered by any travel insurance. There is also potential to target over 65 tourists, locked out of traditional insurance due to pre-existing medical conditions; yet with the disposable income to travel more than ever, this is a potential booming market if affordable cover can be easily sourced. Software and apps are starting to make this happen, but people need to know about it.
“When signing the agreement, the need to enhance integration, connectivity and technology was made clear,” added Colonnese. “President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, said we can’t just wait for this to happen by itself and he is quite right. 56 percent of the public think the use of technology should be improved, so if the European Parliament and the UNWTO agree, it would seem a good place to start. As nearly half of us (46 percent) see travel insurance as a necessary evil, we have much work to do to change perceptions. Success will see technology as part of an emerging trend travellers are going to be seeing a lot more of and deliver sustainable, profitable tourism as a consequence.”