Tourism June 21, 2024 | 10:10 am

Puntacana Group explores AI’s significant impact on Tourism

Santo Domingo.- The tourism industry remains pivotal for the Dominican Republic’s economy, requiring adaptation to digitalization and the transformative impact of artificial intelligence (AI). Haydée Rainieri, board member of Puntacana Group, emphasized this during her presentation at the American Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon titled “The Tourism Industry and Artificial Intelligence.”

Rainieri highlighted projections from the World Tourism Organization foreseeing a rise to 1,800 million international tourists by 2030, with ongoing sector growth. She underscored the industry’s resilience, asserting that travel remains essential for humans despite digital changes.

The advent of AI marks a new era for tourism, exemplified by Puntacana Group’s use of “VELMA,” a virtual assistant at Tortuga Bay hotel, adept in 24 languages for customer interaction and recommendations.

While acknowledging AI’s benefits, Rainieri cautioned about potential job displacement, urging proactive measures to retrain workers. She stressed the need for updated university curricula and strategies to support small and medium enterprises lacking in AI investment capacity.

Improving digital infrastructure is crucial, with emphasis on enhancing network capabilities for data access, storage, and processing. Rainieri called for a national AI strategy in the hospitality sector, including robust data centers to drive local AI development.

In conclusion, she advocated for comprehensive AI strategies to sustain the Dominican Republic’s tourism leadership in the Caribbean and Central America, urging collaborative efforts across sectors to seize opportunities and address challenges.

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