The digital transformation in tourism has been extreme for the past few years. This article discusses the top trends that shake the industry.
There was a time when people would visit a brick-and-mortar travel agent to book a trip. However, the ever-changing customer demands have paved the way for the digital transformation in tourism.
For instance, customers want to find a hotel that matches their preferences – and they want it the very moment they need it. Huge tourism players like AirBnb have enabled customers to achieve such a demand. Indeed, digital transformation in tourism is a combination of bigger customer demands and the technology to meet them.
Let’s take a look at the top trends that currently shape the tourism industry.
Customers have the ability to do practically anything on their phones, from checking in to ordering room service to unlocking the room door itself. In fact, a person can plan the whole trip without ever talking to a live human. Introverts who like to travel will certainly like that.
AI and Chatbots
All hotels used to have thick welcome binders on their desks. Those binders outline literally everything you need to know about the hotel. Today, many hotels said goodbye to those binders as they introduce AI-powered apps and technology. Guests may access all the information they need right from their phones. You can view such tools as your e-concierge.
The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas enables guests to text a robot named Rose at any time, 24/7. Rose will quickly find a way to fill your request. Meanwhile, Marriot has been using AI-powered chatbots to do things like reservation changes or checking account balances.
Just as guests can book instantly, they can also spread their opinions instantly on various social media platforms and other travel review websites. Hence, technology has pushed tourism players to focus even more on providing quality customer service.
Integration of the Internet of Things (IoT)
The number of IoT-enabled devices is growing rapidly. Thus, it only makes sense that the tourism industry would begin to leverage the power of analytics. Data helps tourism players to know more about their guests and as result, they can improve the customer experience.
Let’s say that you have visited a resort every year for the last three years. The IoT may automatically send a message asking if you want to make another booking this year. This is a win-win situation – you save a step and the resort gets a guaranteed booked room. All of this is possible without ever lifting a finger.
Focus on Data
As mentioned, data plays a huge part in the tourism industry. For instance, AirBnb once used customer data to determine the reason why guests chose not to book. The data found out that the guests were discouraged by hosts who failed to respond to inquiries.
AirBnb began offering an instant booking feature to guarantee their reservation. This move has attended to customers’ concerns. Hence, this just shows that data improves the bottom line, too.