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New Technology Is Coming To Tourism – Ready Or Not!

Tourism never stands still, which is why increasingly tourism operators are looking to emerging technology and artificial intelligence, trends that are coming whether we’re ready or not.

“Ready or Not!” is the theme of this year’s Tourism Summit Aotearoa on 7 November, organised by Tourism Industry Aotearoa, tourism’s peak industry body.

Technology and artificial intelligence (AI) are no longer just on the horizon, TIA chief executive Rebecca Ingram says.

“We’re already seeing robots serving in hotels and restaurants, virtual and mixed reality tourism, and new platforms for bookings and operating systems that are developing at an ever-increasing pace.

“To borrow a saying from one of our members, ‘Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.’” 

Registrations have opened for the one-day Tourism Summit Aotearoa in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington and you can view the programme here. 

One of New Zealand tourism’s flagship events, the Summit begins with important insights into the current state of the tourism industry from Rebecca Ingram, Greg Foran (Chief Executive, Air New Zealand) and Tourism New Zealand.

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Artificial intelligence will bring both opportunities and impacts for Kiwi tourism operators, according to our keynote speaker, technology futurist Ben Reid.

We’ll hear more about how businesses are already utilising technologies such as robotics, virtual reality and AI for sustainability, from speakers:

  • Les Morgan (Sudima Hotels)
  • Soraya Sarwary and Sean Mascarenhas of SkyMotion (virtual reality)
  • Annie Lewin (Senior Director of Global Advocacy and Head of Asia Pacific at Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org)

In our focus sessions we’ll look at demystifying AI, building a resilient business, navigating our future tourism workforce and trying out new AI-powered carbon calculators.

Leading us there will be:

  • Alex Dykman (Maverick Digital)
  • Dr Erica Seville and Dr Tracy Hatton (Resilient Organisations)
  • Jason Hill (Tourism Talent)
  • Tom Hallam (Carbon Trail)

To wrap up the day, we’ll have short presentations from:

  • Ara Journeys and Tuwhiri on Augmented Reality (Preserving culture, language, and business growth through interactive mobile games)
  • Interislander on its game-changing new ferries
  • PredatorFree 2050 on its world-first AI trap
  • And an inspiring talk from award-winning champion for digital equality, Eteroa Lafele.

The Summit will be accompanied by an evening event, the New Zealand Tourism Awards, which celebrates outstanding tourism businesses and individuals, with 13 award winners being announced at the dinner.

Bring your favourite Kiwi travel stories as we also celebrate the 70th anniversary of Tourism Industry Aotearoa.

For more details and to register, please visit:

The Tourism Summit Aotearoa website https://go.tia.org.nz/e/949662/2023-10-09/wbz125/836354113/h/OKqEOTrab9GbXImY_CyhFbHbm8w1rpx9EtXSb1G47Y8z

The New Zealand Tourism Awards https://go.tia.org.nz/e/949662/2023-10-09/wbyzzk/836354113/h/OKqEOTrab9GbXImY_CyhFbHbm8w1rpx9EtXSb1G47Y8

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