Dubai Tourism launches 2019 edition of Futurism Programme

The third edition aims at bringing about a paradigm shift within the industry ecosystem to help create innovative tourism experiences


Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has announced the launch of the third edition of the Futurism Programme, an entrepreneurial platform for technology start-ups worldwide.

Aimed at bringing about a paradigm shift within the industry ecosystem to help create innovative tourism experiences, the third edition is in collaboration with leading professional services company, Accenture, further contributing to the success of the annual start-up programme, which has the ongoing support of industry partners and investors including Tajawal- Seera Group, Atlantis The Palm, Emaar Hospitality Group and the Emirates Group.

In advance of the launch of the 2019 edition of the Futurism Programme, Dubai Tourism hosted a workshop for key stakeholders to identify new travel and technology trends within the industry to establish the key themes that will drive the start-up programme. Among the partners who attended the industry workshop were the Emirates Group, Tajawal- Seera Group, Atlantis The Palm, Emaar Hospitality Group, Accor and Dubai Airports.

The 2019 Futurism Programme invites entrepreneurs to submit their applications by July 31. With the goal of contributing towards transforming tourism experiences, the start-ups will showcase technological innovation with solutions to help drive the following Futurism themes;

• Hyper personalisation – Using consumer insights through data analytics to personalise visitor experiences

• Connected travel – Offering end to end seamless traveller experiences by blurring the boundaries between aviation, hospitality and destination services

• Digitising operations – Using robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and machine learning to optimise industry operations such as inventory, payments, reservation, workforce management

• First choice destination – To engage travellers from around the world to make Dubai their destination of choice

• Conscious travel – Using technology and innovation to support sustainable travel as part of Dubai’s Sustainable Tourism Programme

• ‘Phygital’ experience – Technology that will see the convergence of the physical and digital touchpoints in the tourist journey to create unified experiences and improve customer engagement

A judging panel comprising leading technology experts, Dubai Tourism’s senior leadership and its partners across the industry, will select the top 10 start-ups from all entries submitted into the process. The shortlisted entrants will be put through a six-week accelerator programme during which the 10 finalists will each be given the opportunity to finalise a pilot project with the support of Dubai Tourism, Tajawal – Seera Group, Atlantis The Palm, Emaar Hospitality Group and the Emirates Group. The start-ups will pitch their unique concepts to a group of business owners, investors and venture capitalists at the Dubai Tourism stand at Gitex Future Stars, the Middle East and Africa’s largest start-up conference of global tech entrepreneurs, international investors and influential corporate buyers, which will be hosted later this year.

Dubai Tourism will announce the winning start-up and a runner-up, who stand to win a prize totalling Dh100,000 as the initial start-up capital. In addition to licensing, the winner will receive relevant visas in Dubai, office space and the opportunity to secure potential future funding.

Commenting on the launch of the 2019 Futurism Programme, Yousuf Lootah, executive director – Tourism Development & Investments, Dubai Tourism, said: “The Futurism Programme helps to cement the emirate’s position as the regional technology hub for start-ups looking to progress and succeed in their fields. Since the inception of the Futurism Programme in 2017, Dubai Tourism has helped shine a light on several pioneering start-up businesses from around the world, supporting them to become true success stories, as their solutions have led to impactful improvements to the travel and tourism sector."

"The launch of the third edition is testament to the programme’s ongoing success and the huge interest it has gained among Dubai Tourism’s partners, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and stakeholders within the start-up and tourism ecosystems. The Futurism Programme forms part of our ongoing efforts to drive Dubai’s tourism industry into the digital era, ensuring the city’s leading position as a global destination,” he said. - TradeArabia News Service

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