Madrid/Manila, 29 December 2021 (TDI): The World Tourist Organization (UNWTO) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have released a joint report on the use of big data for the betterment, planning, and management of tourism.

The report contains the instances from the region of Asia and the Pacific, by disclosing the key trends in wake of the use of big data in tourism at the forefront of technological development and innovation. The report is assertive on the role that big data may play in recovery and the evaluation of the economic, social, and environmental aspects of tourism.

According to the report, tourism experienced its worst crisis on record in 2020, with overseas arrivals dropping by 73% due to the diverse impacts of pandemic COVID–19. This is projected to be followed by a 70-75 percent drop from 2019’s level in 2021.

As the tourist industry begins to recover, data and market intelligence will be important in enabling destinations, firms, and tourism employees to be prepared better for the rapid change of scenario.

The COVID-19 pandemic also has expedited the trend toward digitization, emphasizing the importance of relevant and trustworthy data and intelligence in tourism management.

The said joint UNWTO-ADB report will assist both governments and the corporate sectors in their efforts to supplement official statistics with big data in order to better comprehend the transitions in the behavior of consumers by boosting the recovery with targeted goods, segments, and source markets.

Big data will also play an important role in facilitating smooth travel by enabling the safe reopening of borders through the deployment of safety procedures, biosecurity technology, and digital health certifications.

The report also discusses some of the major barriers against fully harnessing the potential of big data and digitization for better tourist strategy. These include ongoing reservations on privacy issues, talent gaps, reliability of data, insufficient governance and infrastructure, the digital divide, as well as accessible impediments.

Both organizations will collaborate to ensure the policies of tourism across the region for the purpose to achieve the establishment of measurement, monitoring, management systems, and frameworks, thereby assuring synchronized, analogous, and reliable data and indicators.

According to the UNWTO, the throughput of foreign tourists (overnight visitors) increased by 58 percent between July and September 2021 as compared to the same period in 2020. However, they remained 64% lower than in 2019.

While the throughput of tourists was -63 percent lower in the months of August and September 2021 compared to 2019, since the start of the pandemic.

During the third quarter of 2021, the propensity of tourism was driven by increasing traveler confidence with quick progress on vaccines and the relaxation of entrance restrictions in several countries.

Worldwide International tourists’ throughput from January up to September 2021 was 20% lower than the same period in 2020, but it was still 76% lower from 2019 levels’.

Despite the speed of recovery has been noted slow and inconsistent across the globe in the same quarter due to different degrees of movement limitations, vaccination rates, and travelers’ confidence.

In the same quarter, the arriving level of tourist in the region of Asia Pacific was comparatively 95% below than the year 2019 because most of the destinations were closed for non–essential traveling.

Coordinated response among the states regarding synchronized health & hygiene protocols, travel restrictions, prompt and effective communication for the restoration of the confidence of consumer will be the central elements for the safe resuscitation of the international tourism.