Driving Place Based Innovation podcast

4. Can Technology Shape Better Places?

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The fourth episode shows how technology can shape better places by prioritising inclusion and ensuring that tourism is accessible to everyone. You’ll learn about the importance of accessible tourism, the need to understand the specific sensitivities of disabled travellers and why you should forget your preconceptions about this market. Hear how technology can improve communication and create personalised experiences that take into account the unique needs of disabled visitors through better customer service interactions, which builds their trust and confidence in the travel sector.

Technological development goes further than just app development and should consider all aspects of how the user journey can be improved, such as digital accessibility in terms of website design or virtual reality experiences. With Millennials and Generation Z growing up with an acute awareness of the benefits of technology, it has become a fundamental element of destination management.

In this episode, we’ll be joined by:

  • lan Thomas, Director of Leisure Tourism and Research, NewcastleGateshead Initiative
  • Gavin Neate, Founder, WelcoMe
  • Neha Arora, Founder, Planet Abled

In this episode, we learn that technology is an enabler for destination transformation and can improve visitor experiences. Technology can be used for inspiring visitors prior to arrival, augmenting their in-destination visitor experiences and also monitoring and engaging with past visitors to encourage repeat visits.

Increased diversity is needed in leadership positions so that accessible technologies can be developed for all types of disabilities and solve actual consumer needs. Destinations should work together to ensure equitable travel and champion their solutions so that they can be replicated globally.

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The podcast is part of the Hospitality Innovation Tourism Supply (HITS) programme which provides targeted support, learning resources and grant funding to businesses in Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside to help make their ideas a reality. The programme is funded by North of Tyne Combined Authority and delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Food and Drink North East and NBSL.

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