Tech Expert Offers Suggestions On Growing WNY Tourism Industry During NU Lecture
Smart technology presents a major opportunity to bolster economic development in Western New York, according to a prolific urbanist and technology expert who spoke at Niagara University on Nov. 19.
Dr. Anthony Townsend, the author of SMART CITIES: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for A New Utopia, offered the idea during the first of what is set to become an annual lecture series at NU that is sponsored by the Maid of the Mist.
The public event was hosted by NU’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management.
During Dr. Townsend’s 45-minute presentation, he explained how technology is being leveraged by several forward-thinking cities – San Francisco, Chattanooga and Philadelphia, to name a few – to complement and, in some instances, revitalize stagnant tourism industries.
Niagara Falls, home to one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions, has seen hotel occupancy rates continuously increase in recent years. However, as Dr. Townsend noted, even tourist-friendly regions that embrace “untethered” technology, social media sentiment analysis and open data will be well positioned for sustained growth in the tourism and hospitality industries, as well as in cluster development.