The Cheeky Monkey Media Blog
A few words from the apes, monkeys, and various primates that make up the Cheeky Monkey Super Squad.
Technology’s Impact on Tourism
The days are gone when people used to rely on the services of travel agencies to plan their trips. Technology has revolutionized the way people make decisions about their travels, and user experience trends have evolved exponentially due to the pandemic.
According to a Google Travel study, “74% of travelers plan their trips on the Internet.” Our generation’s ever-growing presence in the digital sphere has urged companies to make the traveling experience more interactive and exciting. All the big players in the travel industry are well aware of this shift and are always in search of innovative ways in which they can deliver the best possible service to their customers.
It’s because of these tech tools that the tourism industry has been somewhat resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the sector hard due to lasting travel restrictions. Innovative tech solutions enable people to have minimal human interaction while traveling, and therefore enable businesses to more easily comply with newly devised rules, regulations, and SOPs.
The Real Benefits to Your Business
It has also enabled companies to move from tired manual processes to more automated ones. This not only can make your business more efficient but can also shrink your labor costs. This then allows companies to invest that time and money in more innovative ideas to deliver superior services to their customers. In short, the Tourism sector has embraced this digital transformation as OECD (2019f) indicates that “on average 77% of the accommodation and food and beverage service businesses in OECD countries have a website or homepage and 70% use social media.”
As companies are updating their business model in alignment with the ever-changing digital world, let’s look at some of the latest game-changing technologies that are currently prevailing in the industry.
With smartphones, customers walk around with the information bank right in their pockets that contain all the details of their trip. According to TripAdvisor, “45% of users use their smartphone for everything having to do with their vacations.” Widespread access to high-speed internet through the introduction of 4G and 5G technologies has ballooned the use of mobile phones for finding travel destinations, making booking arrangements, and processing payments in no time. So if that’s not a call to action for making mobile your #1 priority for your site, we don’t know what is.
Through mobile technologies, it has become easier for businesses to expand their outreach at a global scale. Mobile devices also act as a carrier for other latest market trends we discuss ahead. Not only that, it has also triggered the use of innovative mobile app platforms and increased use of social media, which has made the customer/client interaction more convenient, direct, and less time-consuming.
Virtual Reality (VR)
In efforts to make the consumers buying experience richer and more interactive, the use of virtual reality has
emerged as an excellent enabler. The industry is witnessing more and more people using this VR recently as it virtually teleports them to faraway locations around the globe from the comfort of their homes.
It’s an amazing technology though, in which tourism businesses can exhibit the destinations they are promoting by providing consumers the simulated experience of different options available. Since it allows the consumers to have a teaser of their tour locations, accommodation, and related facilities being offered, it becomes easier and less risky to choose the desired products.
Data Analytics/Big Data
As more and more people use the internet and different social media platforms to search and purchase products, they leave their digital footprints behind which can be tracked and prove to be of immense value as it contains insights into their buying habits. The digital trail is there in the form of data which requires vigilant digging to extract patterns and behaviors. A peek into consumer behavior allows the companies to design and showcase their products in a more personalized way.
“According to Think with Google, 57% of travelers believe that companies should personalize their buying experience and base it on their behaviors, personal preferences, and past choices.” As businesses in the tourism industry are competing on superior services, the more tailor-made they are for consumers the more satisfied they will be which ultimately increases revenues.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Over the years humans have designed technologies that can improve themselves and become more intelligent with time. There are several AI tools that could be used to enhance customer service. For instance, using Chatbots to deal with the influx of questions asked by the customers is a very useful tool to have. It provides 24/7 availability so customers get a swift response and companies also save the costs of having customer service representatives around the clock. Another emerging technology under the same umbrella is the use of Virtual Assistants that can serve customers and learn from the interaction with them to improve services over time.
Due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation, there is a dire need for restricted human contact and social distancing. Technologies like self Check-ins can prove to be very handy here since they allow customers to avoid direct human contact. Some businesses are even using AI to provide room service to customers. Moreover, companies have also been combining AI with Augmented Reality to use Guidebots for giving tours to the customers.
Just the tip of the iceberg
This trend list could be much longer, but 1. These are what we’re seeing the most of, and 2. We don’t want to burn you out with tons more right now. We love the technology that’s emerging to help make the customer experience better during this pandemic, in the absence of real human connection. Knowing these trends and implementing them into your tourism business is your best bet for delighting your clients!