Digicel Business strengthens collaboration with ExIm Bank and world-leading hospitality solutions providers to create ‘one-stop-shop’ for small and medium-sized tourism enterprises
Montego Bay, Jamaica – Friday, May 11, 2018: Jamaica’s small and medium-sized tourism enterprises are now moving to implement the very latest digital technologies that utilise Artificial Intelligence and Big Data tools to create unique experiences for visitors, anticipate their preferences and harness guest information that translates into tremendous business opportunities.
Working with low-cost financier, ExIm Bank, hospitality technology providers, Avaya and Aruba Networks, and digital marketing solutions firm, Trend Media, Digicel Business today brought a large contingent of small and medium tourism enterprises together at a Smart Destination Workshop in Montego Bay. The workshop was designed for operators in the industry to choose the right hospitality technology solutions, access affordable financing and long-term tech support, all in one place.
Declaring that Jamaica has reached the “age of experimentation”, Head of Enterprise Solutions at Digicel Business, Ative Ennis, said, “The hospitality sector must test new ideas and take an analytics-enabled approach to innovation. We are helping our customers to deliver the future of hospitality in the digital world now, by providing the platforms for Big Data and Artificial Intelligence to help them gain meaningful insights into guest behaviour. If you know what guests want, then you can give it to them.”
Ennis pointed to the influence of millennials who are disrupting the global travel industry with their desires for personalised travel, adventures and experiences that cater to their wishes and intents. These, he said, can only be delivered through harnessing the data collected from the millennials’ online activities and preferences over time.
Coming in with smart options for financing these technologies at the new low rate of 4.5%, General Manager for Trade and Commercial Services at ExIm Bank, Lenworth Tracey, noted that a Memorandum of Understanding is in place with Digicel for providing access to affordable financing for small and medium-sized tourism enterprises to buy advanced hospitality technology.
He commented, “These solutions will enhance the customer experience, transform business operations, enhance business efficiencies and thereby place such institutions ahead of their domestic and international competitors…and by so doing, expand markets, increase sales, lower cost and deliver profit.”
Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Edmund Bartlett, welcomed the implementation-focused workshop as part of the huge influx of innovation that is sweeping the global tourism industry, within which Jamaica must take its place.
He remarked, “The world is trending towards a more seamless visitor experience through the use of technology to create better creature comforts…and to enable people to know more before they come to Jamaica. So this workshop is going to be key to that bigger process of building out the technological applications that are going to make us a better and more competitive destination.”
As an example, Minister Bartlett pointed to the Agri-linkages Exchange (ALEX) app that is a huge catalyst in equipping farmers to use technology to reap the benefits of tourism’s success by the simple tap of a smartphone. He concluded that technology is causing Jamaica to do more for tourism from less resources.
The Smart Destination Workshop is a spin-off to the Smart Destination Technology Forum held in July 2017. The workshop was attended by over 200 small and medium-sized tourism enterprises and senior members of Jamaica’s tourism sector. The event was sponsored by Digicel Business, the ExIm Bank, the Ministry of Tourism, the Tourism Linkages Network, Avaya, Aruba Networks, and Trend Media.