The Covid-19 pandemic has forced countries and travel companies to address shortcomings in how they utilise data and also highlighted different approaches taken by nations in the East and West, delegates at Arabian Travel Market were told.
Speaking during a session hosted by Pata, the association’s chief executive Mario Hardy said the West had “focused on the economics of the pandemic” while the East had “focused on the health of citizens”.
However, Nigel David, the WTTC’s director for the Middle East and Asia, countered that the former focus could explain why “the damage to economies is half what is being experienced in the East.”
Iata regional director Kashif Khalid said it was essential to develop consistent global standards, remove quarantine requirements and increase reliance on testing to manage the pandemic and reopen borders on a global scale.
Carlos Cendra, chief marketing officer for Mabrian Technologies, said the pandemic had accelerated the need for governments and companies to use data in a more effective way to plan for post-pandemic recovery.
He said: “For too long the industry has dragged its feet on predictive modelling and analytics. Now, forced to deal with the new situation, all countries and businesses in travel have or are adopting the use of data for fact-based decision making.”
Cendra added: “Every travel business, every destination has tons of data, they just need someone to translate the data into information.”