By Einat Paz-Frankel and Sigalit Lidai, Start-Up Nation Central

The travel, hospitality, and tourism industries were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and may continue to undergo dramatic changes following the global economic crisis. As international travel has not fully resumed, the unemployment rate continues to be high, and there are fewer conferences and business trips, what is the future of these industries? What would be their ‘new normal’? What should be the strategy for rebuilding these industries in the post-pandemic world? And what is the role of technology in doing so?

To address these questions and many more, Start-Up Nation Central will host an interactive online conference entitled “The New Digital Age: The Role of Technological Innovation in the Post-COVID-19 World,” where entrepreneurs, policymakers, corporate executives, and thought leaders will discuss the most urgent questions and attempt to answer some of the world’s greatest concerns these days.

One of the business leaders who will speak at our conference (see ad below for panel discussion details) is Ash Jokhoo, Chief Information and Data Officer at Virgin Atlantic. We sat down with him to speak about the innovative strategy of the British airline, and how Israeli technology could support and even drive its out-of-the-box vision.

Question: How do you plan to integrate technology into your business in the wake of COVID-19?

Answer: COVID-19 has accelerated our existing technology plans; we had to adapt quickly to the changing landscape. We’ve been adopting technologies faster, and partnering with various companies to innovate in the fields of service, payments, booking, etc.

We need to ensure customers are safe, make sure their data are safe, and give them control of their booking. We do that through innovative solutions.

Q: What is Israel’s role in your strategy?

A: We’re on the lookout for payment engines, pricing solutions, and decisioning technologies. Since we’re always looking for innovative ideas, we have viewed Israel as a strategic partner, even prior to COVID-19.

Israel is one of the innovation centers of the world, where there’s a wealth of startups and great minds that tackle real business problems; Israel is one of the most innovative places on the planet. We might launch a startup challenge in Israel, as we’re interested in partnering with Israeli companies and individuals, whom I look forward to seeing at the conference.

To hear more from Ash Jokhoo and other world-leading executives, register to attend our interactive online conference “The New Digital Age: The Role of Technological Innovation in the Post-COVID-19 World.”

Start-Up Nation Central is an independent nonprofit that builds bridges to Israeli innovation. We connect business, government, and NGO leaders from around the world with Israeli innovation, offering Israeli innovators access to high-potential and previously inaccessible markets, through highly customized business engagements, and through Start-Up Nation Finder – an easy-to-use, up-to-date, free online platform for discovering and connecting with thousands of relevant innovators.

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