POSTED ON July 19, 2022

Smart tourism hits the road of digital tourism


With technology capabilities, smart tourism has impacted the tourism sector to a specific destination. Explore smart tourism in the era of digital nomads. 

With technological developments, smart tourism has been a big problem in tourism and travel research. The popularity of the Internet, networking, and mobile communication have forced the technology era. As urban construction and lifestyle, smart tourism has emerged in the tourism and travel industry. Technology in tourism has brought benefits to all tourism and travel operators. 

As a new buzzword, smart tourism describes the increase of tourism destinations, industries, and travelers in the forms of technology in tourism. It helps transform massive amounts of data into value propositions. Moreover, the smart tourism concept defines the accessibility to tourism products, services, and experiences via ICT tools. People focus more on smart tourism concepts to enhance the tourist experience in the digital era. Read to know more about smart tourism and smart tourism examples. 

What is smart tourism or Digital tourism? 

The European Union defines Smart Tourism as a destination that facilitates access to tourism and hospitality products, services, spaces, and experiences through the use of ICT-based (Information and Communication Technology) tools.

Here are four versions concluded from the smart tourism theory. First, smart tourism applies advanced technologies: the Internet of Things, cloud computing, high-speed wireless communication, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. Second, smart tourism concepts serve travelers and work for enterprises, government departments, and residents. 

Third, smart tourism systems provide real-time information and intelligent services in tourism. Last but not least, smart tourism destinations will be systematic and intensive. 

A recent report defines a new smart tourism concept. Since smart tourism features advanced information technology, it should use cutting-edge technologies to offer excellent travel experiences for visitors. With a focus on the latest technologies, tourism and travel sectors work with outsourcing software development services to develop mobile apps for their operations. 

Smart Tourism: Why Should We Care? 

The goal of smart tourism: the efficiency boost 

Smart tourism aims to boost the efficiency of the tourism sector. The goal of smart tourism includes four aspects: linked, fully integrated, collaboratively operated, and sharply developed. Regarding tourism firms, smart tourism aims to offer better services, improve tourist experiences, change tourism management systems, and expand business scales. Furthermore, the smart tourism concept tries to provide more efficient information-providing platforms and more profitable strategies for tourism companies. 

For government organizations, the goal of smart tourism is to obtain the integration and promotion of service and administration. For travelers, the smart tourism concept increases customization, interaction, and satisfaction. To enhance travel satisfaction and tourism experiences, offshore development teams cooperate with travel companies to boost smart tourism destinations. 


Smart tourism concept and insights for the digital era 

The smart tourism concept leads to four elements: smart technologies, smart consumers, smart businesses, and smart tourism destinations. 

Smart tourism technology: creating value for travelers 

Smart technologies generate value for tourists and enable tourism businesses to share knowledge and understand needs. Thus, it is more efficient and competitive. For example, people use artificial intelligence in the tourism industry for holiday planning and mobile concierge services. 

Smart consumers: how to behave in the digital era 

Information technologies have integrated into everyday life; therefore, they influence the behaviors of tourists. The smart tourism concept predicts that travelers are smart in terms of having a super-connected experience. Thus, offshore development teams have worked with tourism companies to apply advanced technologies to custom apps. Moreover, smart tourists are well-informed travelers interested in sustainability and responsibility. Smart consumers share data and innovations through smart devices; therefore, they co-create their tourism experiences. 

Smart businesses: fostering cooperation and resources among businesses

The smart tourism concept helps foster cooperation and share resources among business sectors such as airlines, transportation, etc. Smart businesses incorporate data and modern technologies to support marketing, profitability, and competitiveness. Smart businesses fully integrate internal and external data from the cloud and get real-time data from internal sensors. 

For example, smart businesses have operated various software applications such as property management systems (PMS), point of sale systems (POS), customer relationship management systems (CRM), etc. Moreover, hospitality operators also get data from hotel rooms, restaurants, lobbies, and temperature and light sensors to provide customer insights. 

Smart tourism destinations: boosting competitiveness for places 

With the available data, smart tourism destinations help local governments and tourism businesses to make real-time decisions, adapting to dynamic environments. So they work with outsourcing software development services to develop custom apps with outstanding features to provide better customer service. 

The concept of smart tourism destinations is from smart city concepts in which people integrate with mobility, living, people, government, and economy. Executing the smart tourism concept in a destination is crucial since tourists interact with destinations. It leads to the demand for co-creating products and value for all tourists. Smart tourism destinations refer to innovative tourism attractions built on state-of-the-art technology infrastructure and facilities. Thus, it facilitates the interaction and experiences of tourists. 

Technology in tourism: 5 technologies for travel in the era of digital 

Contactless Technology: a rise of travel tech post the covid-19 era 

Regarding technology in tourism, contactless service is one of the most popular trends that acquired its value during the covid-19 pandemic. Hospitality operators have adopted sensors, facial recognition, and modern biometric technologies in airports and travel hubs. It helps make sure better safety and take control of traffic. 

Before the covid-19 pandemic, hoteliers invested more in voice-controlled elevators, smart hotel rooms, and digital room keys. They want to provide better service and convenience for tourists. Nowadays, touchless technology is on the rise since it will ensure the confidence and security of guests, employees, and property management. Therefore, many outsourcing software development services consider contactless technology while developing mobile applications for various projects. 

Digital IDs: a new solution for the covid-19 context 

Covid-19 has defined a situation for the tourism and travel industry. Immunity and vaccine passports are under consideration for tourists all over the world. For example, Etihad Airways uses digital IDs. Another digital tourism example is IBM recently launched a blockchain-based digital health pass for various cases. 

Travel management platforms: enhance the flexibility and secure plan for traveling 

Hospitality business operators have introduced many travel management platforms in the market. Those travel management platforms promise to offer tourists a set of tools for efficient and fully-customized travel plans. They can be itinerary planners, booking/reservation apps, tourist attraction guidelines, etc. The platforms are resourceful and interactive when discovering tourism attractions, routes, tourist experiences, and reservation options. Moreover, they feature dynamic route maps, drag-and-drop tools, easy-to-use-and-see forms, and great visualizations. 

Robots: provide better safety and control in the different tourist experiences 

Robotics is something that provides better tourist experiences. For instance, Munich Airport (2018) introduced Josie Pepper, a humanoid robot fully-equipped with AI. It helps welcome tourists, communicate with them in English, and answer questions about directions, departure gates, flights, restaurants, shops, etc. 

Self-driving cars: apply mobility to guest experiences 

Technology in travel aims to improve mobility in every aspect of a guest’s journey. Take Brussels Airport as a digital tourism example, it has introduced self-driving electric shuttle buses. It helps cut costs and save time for the airport. 

The Bottom Line 

Smart tourism is on the rise. The concept of smart tourism leads to better fulfilling tourist expectations by providing customized products and services. Hospitality business operators combine information technology in travel, enhancing tourism destinations and competitive advantages. Besides, the help of technology brings a better tourist experience and well-being, leading to overall competitive sustainability. 

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