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AI Awards 2024 – Best Use of AI for Not-For-Profit or Non-Commercial Purposes: Destination Canada 

Tourism was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and Destination Canada has been working to revitalize the entire tourism sector with its AI applications for good.
AI Awards 2024 - Best Use of AI for Not-For-Profit or Non-Commercial Purposes – Destination Canada 

Destination Canada’s Canadian Tourism Data Collective is a pioneering initiative using data and AI to revitalize the tourism sector post-pandemic and has been awarded Best Use of AI for Not-For-Profit or Non-Commercial Purposes at the 2024 DataIQ AI Awards. The project acts as a model for AI applications in the tourism sector, going far beyond a simple economic impact.  

Tourism was the first sector hit by the pandemic, the sector that was hardest hit, and the sector that took longest to recover. To counter this, Destination Canada set out to create an unmatched platform of data-driven actionable insights, transforming marketing, destination development, policy guidance, and accountability. The judges noted that the Canadian Tourism Data Collective showcases the power of AI for societal benefit and exemplifies how data can drive recovery and growth in vital sectors in every nation.  

“The initiative focuses on providing actionable insights to support destination development, policy guidance, and accountability, thereby contributing to the welfare of communities and the economic growth of Canada’s tourism industry. By addressing critical challenges faced by the sector, such as the impact of the pandemic, the project demonstrates a clear commitment to societal well-being and the advancement of Canada’s tourism sector.” – Judges’ comment. 

The pandemic brought unparalleled challenges to the tourism sector by impacting businesses, employees, and communities – including remote and indigenous communities. It ultimately revealed the limitations of existing tourism data systems and underscored the need for a more resilient approach to decision-making.  

The Canadian Tourism Data Collective emerged as a national, accessible platform, aiming to be the most extensive, useful, and visually intuitive library of tourism data in Canada. It equips industry stakeholders, communities, and governments with actionable intelligence embracing an insight-driven approach. The project uncovers the motivations behind people’s desire to travel, the factors influencing their travel decisions, and consumer behavior, helping craft tailored marketing campaigns that boost customer engagement and maximize investment returns. 

“By providing advanced analytics and predictive insights, the initiative empowers stakeholders to make informed decisions, optimize marketing strategies, and enhance destination development efforts. Furthermore, the project’s focus on economic, social, and environmental sustainability, as evidenced by the Wealth and Wellbeing Index, underscores its commitment to fostering long-term resilience and prosperity for communities nationwide.” – Judges’ comment.  

The deep dive done by the Canadian Tourism Data Collective shapes the wider strategy, guiding development and investment efforts to align with community aspirations. The Wealth and Wellbeing Index, serving as a strategic benchmarking tool, tracks the tourism industry’s progress in economic, social, and environmental sustainability and resilience at every level—from national to provincial, territorial, and, eventually, community levels. 

Central to the mission is a data exchange cloud platform. This data warehouse manages over 130 harmonized datasets and 2.4 billion rows of data covering more than 5,000 regions across Canada. AI and machine learning capabilities automate crucial tasks such as data discovery, governance, and quality control, ensuring the data’s reliability and usefulness. 

The platform ensures all data and content are available in both French and English. By integrating AI services like the Google Translate API with human verification, the Destination Canada team has streamlined the translation process, fostering swift and inclusive data sharing across languages, honoring the commitment to accessibility and inclusivity. 

“Through the integration of powerful analytics and AI-driven tools, the project offers comprehensive solutions tailored to the specific needs of the tourism industry, promoting accessibility and usability for stakeholders. The platform’s utilization of modern data warehouse technology and AI services, combined with its commitment to linguistic diversity and inclusivity, reflects a forward-thinking approach to data-driven decision-making in the non-profit sector.” – Judges’ comment. 

AI Awards 2024
Year: 2024
Category: Best Use of AI for Not-For-Profit or Non-Commercial Purposes

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