Mobile Technology is Transforming Tourism industry. How do you Retain the Lead and Grow?
Transformation in the Tourism Industry
There are several factors that have transformed the tourism industry. One such factor is, of course, that of technology which is common to all the other factors that include the ease of transportation, the ease of booking, the Internet of course and the mobile devices. It is the digital transformation brought on by the challenge from the mobile devices that has totally changed the way we look at the tourism and travel sector today.
What makes this last factor unique is that this is not an option. If you wish to remain competitive it is imperative that you embrace this technology. Today everyone is a traveller, whether he/she is a millennial or a pensioner. While the millennial will look for adventure sports, the pensioner will look for cruises. But, everyone is now using the digital device for accessing all forms of information prior to the trip, while comparing different offers, checking out the opinions offered by previous travellers as well as carrying out activities related to the reservation of tickets and hotels. They will also book tickets for various shows, museums and theatres.
When the trip is over, reviews will be added so that other travellers will make use of them before their trip. In a majority of cases, a mobile device will have been used to do all the above. For someone in the travel and tourism sector, one can either be proactive or reactive. Therefore, one can either offer new possibilities that have not been thought of before or incorporate newer technologies that help cater to the needs of the customer. Owing to this, tourism as well as hotel companies are not only putting all their web functions in the mobile format but are today willing to create new experiences that have been designed especially for users of mobile devices.
The Digitization Challenge
The digitization challenge has changed the rules of the game. The customer is central to the theme in every phase of activity as he moves up from surfing the net to finally booking the tickets or the reservation for the hotel.
- While seeking information prior to the trip most users will check the Internet before reserving the trip or booking the hotel room. This demands that the site is designed to be responsive to the needs of the customer. It is also imperative that all the content is easily accessible to mobile devices. Recommendations are also checked in a like manner.
- Checking in or out of the hotel or a flight is a process that irks most travellers. This is yet another area where an online facility can save both time and the paperwork besides helping in improving the internal management of the company. It is also true that in some cases an online checking in will save you an additional cost.
- There is considerable anxiety to ensure security in personal and financial data. It is, therefore, a challenge to offer a highly secure solution that is also effective both in cases of online reservation or purchase.
- Today many apps have been thrown up in respect of tours and hotels. It is now feasible for the user to have customised mobile services as per one’s preferences.
- We are now evolving to the concept of smart cities wherein beacons give out information related to tourism and hotels, weather and culture or transportation among other services.
- Free mobile connectivity may now be available throughout the city or at least in central areas, hotels, airports and restaurants.
- There are chains that offer devices such as smartphones or tablets to their customers during their stay either for a small fee or free of any charge.
- There are apps that are focused on specific sectors such as the entertainment or the tourism sector and in cases narrower sectors that may include hiking or scuba diving or even ornithology and a family based tourism with kids.
Mobile technology and Technologies like tour management software is fast transforming the tourism and hotel industry. It is necessary for all those in this segment to use the mobile device for expanding their business and retaining leadership.
*/ Preethi Vagadia is a business architect. She has worked in Mortgage and Finance software department with top-notch companies and has over 8 years of experience in Mortgage Technology, Mortgage lending software management etc. She has also worked on several process improvement projects involving multi-national teams for global customers in warranty management and mortgage. /*