AI and Tourism Development: Enhancing Human Capital in the Caribbean

Human Capital Development Critical to Prepare Tourism Workers for New Age in Tourism with AI
L-R: Lee Hall, Founder of Clarity Media, Hon Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation for the Bahamas, Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett, and Hon Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports for the Cayman Islands.

NEW YORK – Artificial Intelligence (AI) was a major focus at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) Caribbean Week in New York. A Ministerial forum looked at leveraging AI for tourism development. During the discussions, Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett highlighted that this technology will be the new frontier for Caribbean tourism. In addition, it must be harnessed properly to enable more seamlessness within the industry.

Speaking at the Ministerial forum titled ‘Leveraging Artificial Intelligence’ at the Intercontinental Hotel in New York on Tuesday, the Minister said: “The human race has always created better ways of doing things and AI forms part of this era of doing things better through technological applications. We are at an exciting time in tourism’s history where if leveraged correctly, we will be able to improve our processes and ultimately make more targeted and strategic decisions.”

“Our tourism workers are at the core of our industry, and they must be at the forefront of driving change in what will become the new tourism landscape that will include artificial intelligence. They must be trained to understand the needs of the landscape to be able to adapt and respond,” added Minister Bartlett.

The Ministerial panel formed part of the programme for CTO Caribbean Week. It included Hon Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation for the Bahamas, Hon Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports for the Cayman Islands and Lee Hall, Founder of Clarity Media.

“AI is making you know before you go, which means our potential customers can experience destinations before they book. We therefore need to be ready, through training, to promote the integrity and uniqueness of our products and services in advance so when our visitors come, they get what we promised,” said Minister Bartlett.

The panel concurred that it is crucial for the Caribbean to explore methods to leverage AI for the advancement of the local industry. As tourism evolves into a more vibrant sector, AI can be employed to improve the region’s attractions. Plus, draw in a larger number of tourists.

“Already Jamaica has embraced new technologies to increase the efficiency of our tourism product with our website AI chat bots that respond to queries in real time, enabling destination content for the metaverse and looking at using media mix modelling,” added the Minister.

Minister Bartlett, along with his senior tourism executives are in the US on a multi-city marketing blitz. The marketing blitz covers New York, Chicago and Dallas. The engagement includes participation at CTO Caribbean Week, and meetings with airline partners. In addition, key media interviews.