Digital Transformation - The Key Driver for the Local Tourism Industry

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Technology has changed the way people travel, and that's why most major travel brands are making efforts to streamline the process and make it more convenient for themselves and their customers.  

Digital transformation changes a business's or organization's model and the way it runs by taking advantage of current digital technology to create new opportunities and values. 

The World Economic Forum's Digital Transformation Initiative (DTI) estimates that digitalization processes in the tourism industry will create up to $257 billion worth of opportunities between 2016 and 2025.

The way businesses operate is changing with the explosive growth of technology. Companies worldwide are digitizing their processes to stay up-to-date and competitive, and in so doing, they're seeking suppliers and partners who also have high levels of digitization.

As the tourism industry evolves, new digital technology innovations emerge on a regular basis. Technologies like AI writers or social media monitors are changing the business for the better.  


How Digital Transformation Is Changing the Tourism Industry

A lot of tourism industry players are now changing to adapt to new digital trends. To succeed in this shift, it's important to use innovative digital solutions.

The advancements in technology, such as AI, VR, IoT, and blockchain, have helped create new digital solutions and products for the tourism industry.

In the tourism industry, digital transformation can take many forms, such as the use of online travel agencies, mobile apps for booking and trip planning, virtual tours and experiences, and social media marketing.

The routine travel arrangements you used to make are now done with integrated software. Creating customized offers for your customers has never been easier, and no more paperwork is required.

Therefore, digital transformation is helping the tourism industry become more efficient, personalized, and accessible for customers. It is also helping the industry stay competitive in a world that is becoming more and more digital.


Examples of the Tourism Industry Going Digital 

Tourism is a hugely important sector for businesses, and one that needs to stay on top of the digital revolution. Here are six examples of digitization processes within the tourism sector:


1# Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

One example of digital transformation in the tourism industry is the use of virtual and augmented reality to offer immersive experiences to travelers. 

A tourism company could use virtual reality to allow customers to take virtual tours of destinations before they book a trip, or they could use augmented reality to offer interactive experiences at tourist attractions.


2# Data and Analytics

Another example is the use of data analytics to personalize the travel experience for individual customers.

By collecting data on customer preferences and past travel behaviour, a tourism company can make more informed decisions about which destinations, activities, and accommodations to recommend to individual travelers.

For example, a hotel might use data analytics to determine which amenities and services are most popular with guests and use this information to improve the guest experience.


3# Mobile Application Development

Mobile apps have become an essential tool for travelers, with many apps offering features such as trip planning, location-based recommendations, and language translation.

These apps are designed to offer a way for tourists to learn more about the place they're visiting while on the go. 

It's best suited for people who are not physically located near the thing they want to learn more about, such as those traveling for business or pleasure. 

To overcome potential issues, the tourism sector is now offering a more comprehensive digital experience with the introduction of several new apps designed to provide tourists with instant information, transactions and even additional services like bus clubs and other helpful tools.


4# Ratings and Reviews from Social Media

With the ease of posting opinions facilitated by the Internet, social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are becoming a prominent destination for travel service providers to showcase destinations. This allows them to better understand the needs of their customers and promote special deals. 


5# Digital Payment Transformation

Technology is constantly changing, and newer generations prefer to do most things online. This includes all the services you would need for a trip, like plane tickets, accommodations, vacation packages, multi-day travel experiences, or short getaways.

Digital payment systems are making it easier for tourists to pay for goods and services while or before traveling, reducing the need for cash and making the payment process more convenient.

When compared to visiting physical stores, making online purchases in the tourism industry is more convenient.

Travel/Tourism is essential for the B2C industry. It's imperative to give your customers lots of chances to find you online, for example, on a website with products or through OTA.


Challenges of Digital Transformation in the Travel and Tourism Industry

1. The need for a more agile workforce

Tourists today have higher expectations for their travel experiences, and businesses need to be able to respond to these changing expectations in order to stay competitive. A more agile workforce is better able to adapt to changing customer needs and preferences.

Besides that, in order to stay competitive in the tourism industry, it is important for businesses to adapt to changes in the market and respond quickly to new opportunities.


2. The need for new marketing strategies and technologies to compete with other tourism providers in their niche.

As the market evolves, it is important to reach new customers in order to maintain and grow your business. This may require using new marketing channels or technologies, such as social media, paid advertising or email marketing.

New technologies and trends can create new opportunities for businesses to reach and engage with customers. By staying up-to-date on these developments, you can position your business to take advantage of these opportunities.

A successful digital transformation strategy in the tourism sector should involve the following steps: 

1. Identify the areas in your business that can be improved through digital technologies, such as customer experience with travel agency, operations, and online marketing.

2. Set clear goals and objectives for your digital transformation efforts, such as increasing revenue or improving efficiency.

3. Research and evaluate the various technologies that could help you achieve your goals, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, marketing automation tools, and social media platforms.

4. Develop a plan to implement the technologies you have chosen, including training your agency staff on how to use them effectively.

5. Monitor and measure the results of your digital transformation efforts, and make adjustments as needed to ensure that you are meeting your goals.

6. Stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and trends in the tourism industry, and be open to integrating new tools and strategies into your digital transformation plan as needed.


Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. With the rapid evolution of technology and the Internet, it has been changing for the better. 

It is now easier for tourists to find information about different destinations, hotels, and attractions. Digital transformation provides a better customer experience and allows for a seamless journey.


Author Bio

Xiao Hui is a digital marketer at Exabytes Network who enjoys sharing her knowledge and insights through writing.     

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