The pandemic negatively influenced different industries and the economy in general. The travel and tourism industries have suffered the most. In some counties, these industries significantly contribute to GDP. For example, the travel industry makes up 8,7% of GDP in Switzerland, 11.3% in China, 13.2 % in Italy, 21.2 % in Greece. In the US, travel constitutes 2.6 % of GDP.
Due to the coronavirus situation, the income of the tourism industry has not only decreased but incurred in debts. The scenario the touristic industry is following at the moment is not what was expected several years ago. The traveling industry had returned to the level 30 years ago with an approximate loss of $1.1 trillion. That is why many countries would have to find alternative ways of tourism industry development. One of them is digital tourism.
Digital tourism, the same as traditional, can be implemented before, during, and after the traveling process. The traveling period goes beyond the timeframe of leaving home. It starts when the traveler wants to buy a ticket, looks at the airline website or hotel’s Instagram, and finishes when the tourist is home writing a hotel review. That is why it is important to provide a quality tourism experience of all its stages, and technologies are here to help.
Digital technologies are favorable as never before in tourism, and there are some of its examples.
Mobile technologies have broadened the horizons of traveling. Starting with mobile versions for the booking services and contactless check-in, operating your traveling with mobile devices has become convenient and smarter. From the travel and hospitality business point of view, it became easier to collect, store, and analyze travel data to increase service quality. Moreover, mobile technologies allow selling and promoting tourism services via mobile advertisement, which is one of the most effective ways of digital marketing.
Internet of Things
Internet of things (IoT) is a concept, which allows the data collection transfer between physical objects, devices, vehicles, buildings, and other items. IoT brings a wonderful opportunity for the tourism sector to increase the quality of the traveling experience.
Contactless check-in, service reservation, resorts navigation and guests notification systems, sensor-based utilities – IoT makes traveling more convenient. All the data collected via IoT allows marketers to analyze customer behavior for future business improvements.
This technology seems to be very convenient both for customers and businesses. However, according to Gartner and Cisco, 99% of physical objects that can potentially join the network are still unconnected.
As it was before, traveling starts a long time before a tourist leaves home. The photos of the hotel on the official website or social media might not be enough. Perhaps, some people want to see all the services of the hotel and feel its vibe before booking a room. This can be achieved with virtual reality. A recent study has shown that virtual reality experience before arrival increases the enjoyment of the tourist stays in a hotel. The same study proved that with VR, the intention to visit a certain place is growing. Even though in the closest feature VR will not replace the real travel experience, it might be extremely helpful to promote destinations and improve customer experience. Adello, for one, offers a possibility of mobile advertisement with Virtual and Augment reality.
Location is crucial for travel and hospitality, not only for tourists but for business too. Observing the ever-changing travel behavior and movement, and creating patterns to improve your business in the future is essential. Thanks to location analytics, marketers can spot new travel interests, which can be a turning point in business development.
Location analytics provides the business different opportunities, for instance, helping to identify what drives tourism business, assessing new pricing strategy, analyzing the opportunity for customer acquisition and potential customers profile.
A great example of using location analytics happened in Geneva. Yoann Pahud Hernandez, the Director of Sales & Marketing at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, suggested changing the marketing strategy. They shifted focus to local non-business clients and analyzed their new interests. Later, the hotel management found out that people wanted to go to the restaurant, but everything was closed because of the pandemic. Knowing this,
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix created a new product for their guests: a suite that was transformed into a covid-safe private restaurant with ipads to order food, communicate with servers, and manage light and music. This is a great illustration of how location analytics can be used to save the business and improve the quality of service in difficult times.
Cloud computing and data analytics
Cloud computing is a model for providing convenient network access on-demand to a certain common fund of configurable computing resources, such as data networks, servers, storage devices, applications, and services. The main reason cloud computing gained popularity in tourism is data safety and improvement of Internet platform access, speed, and flexibility. Furthermore, data storage of the significant number of tourists became easier than ever before. In fact, cloud computing allowed businesses and customers to make the traveling process faster and more flexible.
AI provides different possibilities to the traveling industry. One of them is using the data for customer experience and acquisition improvements. Virtual assistants and chatbots bring customer communication to the next level. AI-driven marketing by Adello uses machine learning to increase the performance of mobile advertising campaigns.
The coronavirus pandemic, on the one hand, has limited people in many traveling opportunities, but on the other hand, it has opened new ones. Those businesses, which stayed flexible and could adapt to the new requirements, adopted new ways of work, invented new products, and enriched services. Digital tourism is one of them. This is a good example of how technologies make our lives smarter, faster, and more convenient. Try the new technologies tailored to tourism to improve the traveling experience and make a future impact on your business from a long-term perspective.