Innovation Accelerated 2016 Conference

The next digital revolution is at our doorstep. What will be the impact and opportunities for Tourism and Hospitality? 

A team of high profile, expert speakers and panellists from across the globe came together for the first time to share their insights and experience with regards to the Internet of Things (IoT) and Tourism and Hospitality at Innovation Accelerated (IA) 2016. The theme of this year`s conference was: Internet of Things (IoT) and Tourism, an explosion of opportunities to create competitive advantage. 

IoT has been labelled as "the next Industrial Revolution" because of how it is changing the way people live, work and travel as well as how governments and businesses interact with the world. “IoT is now on everyone’s tongues. Given that the hospitality and travel industry is so important to Malta, we wanted to explore the subject of IoT and the impact on the Tourism and Hospitality industry in our 2016 conference.” said Robyn Pratt, Managing Director of Impact Consulting. “As a small island nation, we have an opportunity to capitalise on the change and innovations that IoT will bring about. An opportunity to be amongst the first to introduce new initiatives that will either allow us to improve our operational efficiency or enable us to provide a superior or unique customer experience. We cannot be left behind.”

The Keynote speech at IA 2016 was delivered by travel and tourism expert Doug Lansky, a seasoned travel writer, acclaimed Keynote Speaker, Industry Leader on Tourism Innovation, Trends, and Destination Development. During his visit here in Malta, Lansky was also commissioned to carry out a quality audit on tourism in Malta. Doug stated that Malta as a destination has loads of potential and can continue to attract quality tourists in years to come. Doug had many insights with one of his key recommendation was that the focus needs to be on revenues generated and not numbers. We need to continue to build on what makes us different and not become the same as so many other destinations around the world. 

According to Gartner, by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices. According to a Business Insiders Research Report, $6 Trillion will be spent on IoT solutions over the next 5 years; with an ROI of $13 trillion by 2025! With Tourism being a key contributor to our economic success here in Malta, the pertaining question put forward at this year`s conference was, can Malta afford to lag behind? 

Whether it’s monitoring the performance of airline engines or a hotel via an integrated energy efficient building management solution; enabling keyless entry to hotel rooms or beacons helping tourists find their way around cities, IoT is creating exciting opportunities for the travel and hospitality industry. Besides new opportunities and improving the traveller experience, IoT presents numerous opportunities for operational efficiency gains. By connecting smart devices, systems, processes and people in new ways, it is streamlining the back-end operations. The connectivity presents the industry with a new connected tourism and hospitality eco-system. Data from these connections is helping marketers deliver highly targeted and more personalised campaigns and enhanced traveller experiences. Simply put, the IoT is helping this highly competitive industry turn information into action.

Impact Consulting Ltd, based in Malta, was established 4 years ago by Robyn Pratt, a hospitality and innovation consultant and performance coach with over 35 years’ experience on an international level. Robyn launched Innovation Accelerated in Malta in 2015 and plans are being developed to take the conference overseas as from next year.  

The conference which took place at Corinthia, St Georges Bay Hotel, was organised by Impact Consulting Ltd. in partnership with the Malta Tourism Authority and Malta Communications Authority and was opened by the Dr. Gavin Gulia, Chairman of the Malta Tourism Authority. Event Sponsors included KPMG in Malta and Corinthia Hotel St. Georges Bay.