What is the impact of technology on the tourism and hospitality sector?

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  • How has technology affected tourism?
  • What are the main trends you have marked in tourism?
  • What are the main difficulties when implementing technological solutions
  • What new career opportunities does technology offer?
  • What does the future hold for tourism?

Aware of the importance that technology is having in the development of the tourism and hospitality sector, at Turijobs we continue to connect with professionals who have an expert vision of the future of the sector from the perspective of technology and innovation. Today we speak with Maryam Grigoryants, Director of the IEBS Master in Tourism and Digital Marketing.

How has technology affected tourism?

Technology has completely transformed the tourism industry and in all aspects. One of the main impacts is the empowerment of the traveler. Technology has allowed the traveler to be much more informed and take a proactive role in organizing the trip. Now the tourist is much more demanding, he has several options to choose from and he has the power to negotiate. But it has also become, not only a simple visitor, but a generator of content that it shares with other travelers. From platforms such as Tripadvisor that allow you to leave opinions and ratings, travel blogs in which they share their experiences and social networks in which both the good and the bad of the trip are published. This active participation of the traveler and their high expectations regarding the experience they want to live,

Apart from the traveler empowerment factor, the impact of technology in tourism goes further.

On the one hand, technology and the Internet have made it possible to expand distribution channels. A travel agency can currently offer its services to any Internet user who surfs the net. In the past, potential customers were those who passed in front of the travel agency.

On the other hand, the internal implementation of the technology allows tourism companies to be more efficient. They can make budgets almost immediately. They have access to many more products with less effort. And many processes have been simplified thanks to technology.

In addition, the digitalization of the files has facilitated the collection and analysis of data through Big Data strategies that allow us to better know the customer, close a sale and retain loyalty.

Another consequence of the implementation of technology in the tourism sector has been that those companies that have not been able to adapt or have not carried out the implementation optimally, have failed and in many cases have had to close. Since its lack of digitization has been an important brake on this highly competitive market.

What are the main trends you have marked in tourism?

Without a doubt, one of the great trends of the last decade, which has been possible thanks to technology, is discovering the destinations on your own. Organized packages have gone into the background, compared to dynamic packages that allow you to book individual services and combine them to suit the traveler.

In addition, access to more information has created the desire to know the destinations in a different way. Not being a mere observer, but living the experience and knowing the destination like a local. Avoiding the typical tourist activities, and looking for others more typical of the locals.

But of course this has not been the only trend born from technology. From booking App’s to domotized hotels or Smart Cities. The traveler organizes and manages all the phases of his trip through his smartphone.

Precisely the new trends in tourism and the technological solutions born from these trends we speak in our Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing and Tourism Management 4.0.

What are the main difficulties when implementing technological solutions

New business opportunities born thanks to technological advances have been exploited by digital entrepreneurs willing to modernize and digitize the tourism sector. But at first they found that within the distribution chain, there were large companies that managed a large part of the market, and that they were not prioritizing the implementation of the technology. We are talking about traditional companies, with long distances and complex structures that have taken time to reinvent themselves and innovate. Therefore, the new actors in the chain did not advance at the desired pace because other companies involved in the distribution chain did not have the necessary technology.

For example, for years online travel agencies could not integrate with certain tour operators because tour operators did not have the necessary technology.

Another brake has been ignorance. Within traditional companies, there is a lack of specialized profiles in technology that know the opportunities opened up by the internet and the digitization of the company. Therefore, there is also a lack of knowledge on how to carry out these processes.

Furthermore, it should not be forgotten that the years in which technology has experienced its greatest advances have coincided in part with the economic crisis that began in 2008. And tourism companies were severely affected by the crisis. His battle at that time was to survive. And many could not afford to make a cheap investment in technology. Therefore we can say that the economic cost of technological implementation has also been a brake.

These obstacles are currently being overcome. Professionals are training to face new challenges and learn to harmonize the essence of tourism and technology. Technological implementation in the tourism sector continues to advance and improve. Large companies have realized that without technology they will become obsolete and are betting on innovation with all that it entails. From the incorporation of new profiles, both technological and marketing, to hiring software development companies and the tools necessary to take full advantage of technological opportunities.

What new career opportunities does technology offer?

For professionals in the tourism sector, technology has provided great opportunities. Many digital tourism companies have been founded and led by technology experts but not tourism. Therefore there is a lack of knowledge of the sector within companies. Tourism professionals who know how a digital company works, or digital professionals who know the tourism industry, are a great claim.

On the other hand, the convenience of managing the different phases of the trip from the computer or smartphone, have created opportunities for many companies to reach the traveler through apps.

The desire to approach the local culture of the countries that I mentioned before has created new opportunities for companies and professionals to offer services that were previously not in demand.

And the opportunities continue. New trends generate new needs. Professionals have to be alert and informed to take advantage of the moment and cover these new needs with innovative ideas.

And this is precisely our role in the industry. We train professionals who know and master current traveler profiles and new trends, while knowing how to use and implement technology in tourism companies.

What does the future hold for tourism?

I wish we knew for sure. But the sector continues to evolve and stabilize. What is clear is that the future in tourism goes hand in hand with technology. From a business point of view, we see that traditional companies adapted to new trends will coexist in the market, and digital companies that have been born with a technological DNA. From the tourist’s point of view, we see that good value for money, comfort and speed are sought. Therefore companies have to satisfy these needs, and they will do so through technology. Technology allows us to be in constant contact with the client, to better understand their tastes and preferences and to offer them personalized solutions quickly.

 

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