RIYADH: The travel and tourism sector should look to Uber to learn how to diversify, according to the Global Managing Director of IBM’s Travel and Transportation Industry Dee Waddell.
Speaking at a panel during the second day of the World Travel & Tourism Council Global 2022 summit taking place in Riyadh, Waddell said the industry has an opportunity to take a platform approach, in the same manner as the US-based ride-hailing app.
“Uber has started to launch out beyond just the traditional taxi, they've gone to scooters, they've gone to electric scooters, and vertical takeoff device equipment, so you're seeing that they're taking a platform approach into expanding out like Amazon did,” Waddell said.
When it comes to the cities of tomorrow in Saudi Arabia and worldwide, the primary driver revolving around the use of technology will tackle how to leverage the infrastructure and use these technologies to be able to further develop experiences within the cities, he added.
What makes a city great is its cultural identity and shared humanity, according to President and CEO of Diriyah Gate Development Authority Jerry Inzerillo, who was also speaking during the same panel.
“All the great cities of the world have one thing in common and that is the celebration that we may not share the same ideology, but we share the same biology,” Inzerillo said.
Moreover, designing with purpose is key to a fruitful city as it is not only about building buildings vertically and making sure that the box fits, said Global CEO of JLL Hotels and Hospitality Gilda Perez-Alvarado during the panel discussion.
Integrating nature within those cities is vital, since this allows for interaction, connectivity, and collaboration and allows for simple activities for residents such as going for a walk in the fresh air, she revealed.
“Let’s design with purpose. It’s not just about efficiency, as efficiency can be very wasteful in the long run,” Perez-Alvarado said.
In addition to designing with purpose, it’s important to keep an eye on transportation since it is a basic infrastructure that can make or break a city, she added, saying that some European cities provide free transportation making them more efficient and more environmentally-conscious.
When developing cities of tomorrow, it is vital for cities around the world to share a clear and concise narrative of why somebody should come to your city and that unlocks in terms of experiences and opportunities, the Managing Director of Tourism for Western Australia Carolyn Turnbull said during the panel discussion.
“The vision that exists here in Riyadh has been extraordinary. I came to this event with a clear vision for Western Australia but I’m going home to ensure that we are thinking as big as Riyadh is,” Turnbull added.