Technological integration into people’s daily lives has brought numerous benefits that make day to day tasks and activities easier and more convenient. Moreover, these advancements have also changed the way we communicate, share news and information, entertain ourselves, and today, it has even affected the way we study and do business.
Technology has also become an essential part of numerous industries, not only helping them boost their productivity and production, but also improving the quality of their products and services and helping them attract more customers through the power of digital marketing.
While many argue that some of these changes are becoming excessive and unnecessary, others welcome them with open arms and consider them to have an extremely positive impact.
So how exactly does the hospitality and tourism industry benefit from such technologies? Let’s take a look.
1. Management Software
Manually dealing with administrative tasks or taking reservations via the phone is a thing of the past.
Online booking systems have become essential in the digital age, not only because they automate and manage bookings and save customer’s time, but also because people expect high levels of transparency, something that can be found on the internet.
Utilizing an internet booking engine provides this by offering additional information such as the prices, availability, special deals, and offers, as well as reviews, at the same time allowing companies to collect consumer information that can be used for marketing.
Although such software is costly, it is a worthy investment that is efficient, effective, and that saves time.
2. Collecting and Utilizing Big Data
They are very big sets of data that can be used to analyze associations, patterns, and trends of human interactions and behavior. Data visualization technology like Maptive allows businesses to take, for example, a collection of coordinate data in excel and transform it into geographical heat maps. This enables knowing and understanding the consumer’s expectations, needs, habits, and trends, allowing companies to create optimal products and services that will cater to that, subsequently attracting more customers.
In fact, big data is now one of the main tools of most business models, especially for creating a more personalized unique experience, something that has become a major trend in recent years.
3. Smartphones and Apps
Today, almost 50% of all travelers use their smartphones for booking services. Furthermore, tourists use an average of 13 apps per trip, showing just how important smartphones and mobile applications are. Online payment systems carry the same significance in many places, so it is also something businesses have had to adjust to over the years.
Since the internet is the main medium of decision making and budgeting for many, it has become a necessity for services in the industry to market their products online, as well as offer apps to further the consumer’s experiences.
4. Easier Access
People’s lifestyles have become extremely fast-paced and it is something that has reflected on the tourism industry as well. This is especially visible at airports where services such as self-check-in, paperless border passes, and automatic passenger control are available in many places.
Additionally, electronic documents are becoming increasingly popular as well with many countries implementing biometric passports while some are introducing e-visas as well. While e-passports increase security, e-visas offer travelers a faster, more convenient way of visa processing.
Currently, 24 countries accept e-visas such as Armenia, Georgia, Singapore, Myanmar, Turkey, Malaysia, Kenya, and more. For example, Kenya requires only three things for your visa application which is a return ticket, valid passport, and a minimum of one blank page on it. If you would like to look more into it, you can visit evisa-kenya website.
5. The Power of Social Media
Traveler’s needs and habits are constantly changing and today, many prefer to avoid overly touristy activities, seeking something more unique, personal, unforgettable, and experiential. At the same time, people have grown weary of trusting brand messages and instead opt for doing their own research to determine a product’s or service’s quality and value.
As such, reviews, ratings, and social media have become a powerhouse in marketing, having a lot of influence on consumer’s decisions and choices, and tourism has not been excluded from this trend.
6. Sharing Services
Peer-to-peer sharing and matchmaking have taken over the industry, becoming especially popular with younger generations. Now, it is not only possible to share accommodation or rides, but also find affordable vacation rentals, room cleaning and repair services, home cooks all around the world, luxury sharing, and much more.
7. Virtual and Augmented Reality
Creating quality content to enhance user experience and influence customer behavior is something that can be done using VR and AR. Virtual tours, 360-degree videos, interactive guides, walkthroughs all enrich traveler’s experiences and get them excited about using particular services as well.
Utilizing these tools as a part of a marketing strategy will also help businesses connect with younger audiences, especially generations that are constantly looking for something new, different, and exciting and ones that are becoming more and more independent.
8. Enhanced Customer Service
The quality of customer service can often greatly influence a company’s reputation. Poor customer service will result in negative reviews and ratings, automatically reducing the number of possible clients. However, chatbots have become the primary tool of communication with users since they are extremely reliable, fast, and they improve efficiency while being cost-effective in the process too.
9. The Internet of Things
Incorporating internet-connected sensors into physical objects such as vehicles, devices, appliances, suitcases, and buildings is another step towards further personalization of traveler’s experiences. We can already see this in certain hotels that allow guests to control various devices in the room such as the TV or thermostat via their smartphone and an app.
Implementing such technology in suitcases will allow tourists to track it at all times, eliminating the possibility of losing one’s luggage at airports and any other place too.
These are some of the biggest advantages the hospitality and tourism industries have gained from integrating IT services into their businesses.
However, as technology continues to grow, expand, and further advance, it will be interesting to see what else will be brought to the market and how this will impact and change these industries in the future.