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Tourism Goes Tech

The Minister of Tourism, MK Yoel Razvozov, visited HIT in order to learn first-hand about the possibilities of advancing the emerging field of Travel Tech, in Israel and the globally, by tapping into HIT’s considerable R&D capabilities in computer sciences, design and instructional technologies.

From left to right: Prof. Yakubov, Minister Razvozov, Mr. Goldberg

From left to right: HIT's President, Prof. Eduard Yakubov, The Minister of Tourism, MK Yoel Razvozov, HIT's CEO, Mr. Shmuel Goldberg

The visit to the HIT campus culminated a series of earlier meetings between the Ministry Director General and his team and HIT leadership and faculty, during which HIT was duly recognized as a multidisciplinary institution with significant capabilities to develop the suitable technologies.

The President of HIT, Prof. Eduard Yakubov, spoke about the Institute's unique ability to contribute to the field of Travel Tech. He reviewed the current innovative activities carried out at HIT as well as the expansive collaborations with universities in various countries, including Eurasia, with which HIT offers study programs for completing bachelor's degree in computer science and applied mathematics and student exchanges.

Minister Razvozov pointed out that the Corona pandemic hit the world of tourism hard, and there are two major challenges that it is facing in order to recover: increasing the number of tourists and addressing the dearth of manpower – which could be addressed through the development of new tourism technologies.

President Yakubov noted that a key solution to reversing the devastating toll that Corona has had on tourism is "Travel Tech", which can help solve many of the problems which have have surfaced as a result. He further indicated that HIT would be honored to take part in the development of innovative technologies based on artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, use of data science and intelligent algorithms to advance the field.

The Minister affirmed that technological developments could provide accessible and practical solutions to the manpower crisis affecting the industry. In light of his in-depth site visit to campus, he recognizes the vast technological and research capabilities available at HIT, in terms of both infrastructure and academic knowhow of faculty and students. As such, he sees HIT as a partner in establishing a technological platform that will assist in finding feasible solutions for the world of tourism on both national and international levels.

Prof. Yakubov added that in light of its urgency, he put this matter on the agenda of meetings to be held in Tashkent this September with the Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, the Uzbek Minister of Tourism and the Rector of the University of Tourism in Samarkand. Discussions will be conducted within the framework of the major academic-scientific DSTEM2 Conference that will be held in Uzbekistan next month.

Minister Razvozov said that he sees the field of Travel Tech as the future of tourism and that he especially values the development of cooperative relationships with institutions around the world, including Eurasia. According to the Minister, these countries are “thirsty for knowledge and technological guidance,” and can serve as an anchor for tourism technology facilitated by HIT and the State of Israel.

The meeting was also attended by HIT's CEO, Mr. Shmuel Goldberg, Mrs. Toni Levy, in charge of the President’s External Relations, and Mr. Mickey Fishman, Advisor to the Minister of Tourism.

Posted: 14/08/2022