Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has launched Tourism 2.0, a blockchain-enabled marketplace that connects potential buyers directly to hotels and tour operators. The initiative is DTCM’s participation in Dubai 10X, and will further the department’s mission to establish Dubai as the leading destination for global travel, business and events by 2020.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council and Chairman of Dubai Future Foundation’s Board of Trustees, launched the bold plan, among a bundle of innovative proposals for Dubai 10X at the 6th World Government Summit in February 2018.
The Dubai 10X initiative seeks to place Dubai Government entities 10 years ahead of all global cities, across various sectors. To that end, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan approved 26 projects presented by 24 government departments. The shortlisted projects were evaluated by a panel of experts out of a total of more than 160 ideas submitted by 36 entities in less than 365 days.
His Excellency Dr. Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of DTCM noted the Department’s commitment to adopting emerging technologies such as blockchain to enhance the tourism sector in the emirate, based on the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
“By increasing the pace of digital transformation in the travel sector, Dubai Is positioned to expand tourism by bringing innovative start-ups into the ecosystem, which will ultimately deliver value in terms of higher and faster visitor conversion, and greater GDP impact.” He added, “As the pioneer in adopting the most secure and transparent virtualization technology in the tourism sector, we will be able to streamline booking processes and create democracy in travel for all.”
Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2020 has set a goal of welcoming 20 million visitors per year by the year 2020. In 2017, Dubai welcomed 15.79 million visitors, an increase of 6.2 % over the previous year. Tourism 2.0, will bring Dubai another step closer to achieving the Vision 2020 goal. As a business to business (B to B) marketplace, it will allow hotels and tour operators to connect directly. By accessing hotel occupancy and room rates, operators can communicate offers and availability more effectively to their customers. With the rise of social media channels promoting destination travel globally, the tourism industry has seen a rise in the demand for personalized travel packages. Tourism 2.0 will also be a consumer-friendly platform that will enable travelers to design personalized travel experiences in Dubai.