If we had to highlight a sector that has demonstrated effectiveness, flexibility and adaptability to the digital environment, sure many would agree in pointing tourism and leisure. Almost without realizing it, we have forgotten the travel agency in our neighborhood, the culinary recommendations of the Sunday newspaper, the eternal waiting to buy tickets for a concert … and only a few nostalgic are betting on their inseparable guide books .
Seekers, comparators, social networks, geolocation apps … set a new scenario in which many companies have found a universe of opportunities. But this new scenario has also been a revolution for the consumer, whose control options have increased exponentially.
In Spain, tourism has managed to evolve and grow in the online channel especially significantly. However, there are certain elements that still need work, because do not forget that the digital world is always alive, is changing and, in this case, are increasingly actors involved in it.
The incorporation of new information and communications technology, business intelligence and the ability to obtain qualitative customer information to assist in making business decisions, are just some of the areas in which there is still long way to go.
We need to stop thinking and thinking volume as to achieve an innovative and sustainable tourism, in order to achieve greater competitiveness of the sector in our country.
Technology has a crucial role in the tourism sector
In this context, technology plays a crucial role and acts as promoter of some of the trends that will define the future of this activity, and that in the digital environment (we know) is present. What are these technologies? What impact will have on the strategy of companies in the sector? They are many and diverse scope, and its importance will depend on each specific case, but experience tells us that the agenda of the digital transformation, at least, we will have present 5 technologies and five trends:
5 Technologies in Online Tourism Industry
- Cloud Computing. Platforms based on the “cloud” have become the backbone of any organization and more tourism businesses, many of them international, with different venues and multichannel strategies.
- Big Data. The “gold of the digital age” is an invaluable asset precisely in this sector. The challenge now is not access to information, is knowing how to manage and interpret it to make strategic decisions.
- Social media. Communication channels that can be our best friend or our worst enemy become. In many cases the user feedback about a company or a destination is more effective than an ambitious advertising campaign. Personalization, immediacy and interactivity: social networks are here to stay.
- Mobile. Space where tourist and leisure services are an active demand. If the growth of e-commerce has been and is constant, m-commerce is and will be flashing. All at your fingertips, without limits of time, space and increasing payment alternatives. No barriers.
- Geolocation and virtual reality. Tools that improve service delivery, offering a new customer experience. But they also pose for companies with valuable information on the behavior of their audiences, their preferences … Integrated with big data, this technology has already positioned at the center of many strategies and talk about it more and more.
5 Trends in Online Tourism Industry
- We know our customer. Knowing the age, gender, where you live or the economic level of audience we are addressing is useful for tourism businesses. But what really interested them from now are your emotions, your expectations, what they love and what they cause rejection. This information is the one that really personalized and unique offering that is configured.
- Listen and active response. Monitor and track any comment or information about a company or brand was something that was already built into virtually all communication strategies. But this is only part, establish a feedback and real-time response is no longer a plus, it is almost an obligation.
- Unique experiences. It is increasingly difficult to surprise the consumer, which has the greatest number of experiences or has experienced firsthand or through third parties known (information flows). This causes, therefore, a higher level of demand and make it more difficult to meet expectations. Jut trends in this field as smart destinations, where the user is integrated with the surroundings and interact naturally with him; or the oft-mentioned “Internet of things”, which has opened up a vast range of services for tourism businesses relate to the customer.
- 360 service. Change the business model and, above all, the chance to grow, to offer complementary products, to create new lines … For tourism companies is not only an opportunity, it can also be a necessity because users expect from them, they expand on many cases, a service 360.
- Test in real time. Technology and the digital world allow testing, almost in real time, if we are doing things right. This is an advantage, but also a challenge. Consumers are familiar with the immediacy of the environment and that requires us to instant solutions to any errors or problems arising offered. How many tourist companies are really prepared for it?
The pioneering nature and positioning of tourism in the online world is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, already it has traveled much of the way and, a priori, the digital transformation is a fully internalized process. However, the starting point requires organizations to be more innovative and risky than other sectors that remains to be done. Therefore, keep the first output lines it is one of the best guarantees of success. What position do you find yourself?