Tuesday 31 March, 2020

Panel at UNWTO Conference to explore big data, data management

Ron McKay, Co-Founder and CEO of Consolidated Tourism Intelligence (“CTI”) will moderate a panel titled, "Big Data, Best Data and Data Analytics In Tourism.”

Ron McKay, Co-Founder and CEO of Consolidated Tourism Intelligence (“CTI”) will moderate a panel titled, "Big Data, Best Data and Data Analytics In Tourism.”

Representatives of some of the world’s most influential companies will participate this week in a panel discussion on the role of data within tourism at a major UNWTO Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

With the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set to go into effect in May 25, 2018; the need to understand its impact on the tourism industry is vital and time sensitive. But equally important is the role of data in revenue growth and smarter marketing. The panel will address both imperatives.

The conference is part of the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, and extends for three days: November 27th-29th, at the Montego Bay Convention Center. Featured Speakers include the  Andrew Holness - Prime Minister of Jamaica, Edmund Bartlett - Minister of Tourism for Jamaica and Chairman of the UNWTO Affiliates Members Board, Danilo Medina - President of Dominican Republic, Luis Almagro - Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Taleb Rifai, the UNWTO Secretary General, and Brianda Lopez, Head of Programmes, Standards and Sustainability at Hostelling International.

The Data Panel, scheduled for 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on the second day of the Conference -  November 28, is titled: “Big Data, Best Data and Data Analytics In Tourism.” It will be moderated by Ron McKay, Co-Founder and CEO of Consolidated Tourism Intelligence (“CTI”), a data-enrichment and marketing support BPO company based in Montego Bay specializing in intel-solutions for the Tourism and Hospitality Industries for both these Private and Public Sectors. CTI is the only Member of the UNWTO Affiliates from Jamaica and just one of two Member Companies in the entire Caribbean. 

The discussion will center on how to manage and activate the large volumes of data that companies gather on customer behavior. Special focus will be on applying Big Data in the tourism sector, including how the revolution in data-analytics technologies are changing the travel and tourism industries. This specifically impacts segmentation, loyalty programs, data protection, as well as supply-chain compliance with GDPR and other privacy regulations. The session will also cover the massive growth opportunities for early adopters.

GDPR in particular is a hot button, because compliance is required not just of companies with a physical presence in the EU/UK, but all of their global operations and subsidiaries, plus their supply-chain partners, plus companies around the world with customers based in the EU/UK and/or marketing into the EU/UK. It also affects the Public Sector such as Tourist Boards and Government Agencies.  Most importantly, GDPR does not allow existing databases with personal identifiable information to be used after next May 25th without being fully compliant under the new regulations, meaning new personal affirmative consent must be acquired before then. Fines for non-compliance are potentially crippling.


In addition to McKay, panelists will include:

  • Michelle M. Kelsey, IBM Watson Technical Solutions Expert;
  • Daniel Krittman, Principal at PWC Forensic Technology, Data Analytics, PricewaterhouseCoopers;
  • Donavon White, Vice President, C&W Business, FLOW;
  • Ative Ennis, Head of Business Innovation, Digicel;
  • Steve Hood, Senior Vice President of Research, STR, Founding Director of the SHARE Center




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