The wave of digital transformation is now visible all over the world in different industries like healthcare, banking, media and entertainment. However the most effects are seen and felt in the tourism and hospitality industry which seems to have been turned topsy-turvy.
It is safe to say, the travel industry was one of the first to adopt digital transformation and its positive impact can be seen today. In this new digital environment, consumer expectations are not what they used to be. They are now set very high due to the innovative disruptions like virtual reality, artificial reality, Internet of things, mobile bookings and even online payments.
Digital Transformation Trends in Hospitality and Tourism
Tourism and technology have been going hand in hand for some time now providing many opportunities for innovation. This expanding footprint is not merely to plan holidays on the smartphone but also to make travel more affordable, frictionless and convenient. For example, apps provide different prices, deals and customised packages as per a customer’s budget. The customer reviews aide in finalizing hotels which is beneficial as the reviews are from fellow travellers.
According to the UNWTO, tourism is the world’s 5th fastest growing industry, with one billion international travellers, $1.53 trillion in global revenues and 5% growth globally per year. In 2018, Canada alone made $18.4 billion in revenue.
In the next few years, the world of hospitality and tourism will look different than it does today. Let us have a look at the digital trends affecting this industry:
Internet of Things (IoT)
We live in an era where things which were once science fiction are now a part of our daily lives. With the integration of IoT with internal circuits of a room, hotel rooms can be automated for example, heated or cooled when people leave and enter the room.
As more devices get connected to IoT, the tourism and hospitality industry can use the same to give the customer a higher sense of satisfaction. Knowing the customer’s preferences would also be beneficial as it helps the staff be proactive in anticipating guest’s needs.
- For example, a customer who has been regularly staying at a hotel and using the spa services, can be offered a complimentary or discount deal for the next service.
Customers have everything on their phone right from shopping to managing finances and even booking travel. Some brands have apps which make books more frictionless and pleasant. Changes become convenient and the customer also gets updates on the latest deals.
Without a mobile presence, does a booking company even exist? Interestingly, Asia and Middle East are ahead of North America and Europe in mobile bookings. Approximately 28% of bookings are done via the mobile in North America.
Forecasting plays an important role in all fields to help a business plan and strategize. In 2020, data science is sure to play a bigger role to help companies offer clients personalised deals thanks to predictive market analysis.
Data plays a huge part in this new era where customer data is used to determine their preferences and where they make their bookings. For example, instant booking features guarantee a reservation alleviating the customer’s concern and doubt.
Reviews and Ratings
As mentioned previously, customer reviews play a very critical role in converting a potential client. Customers do not make bookings without first reading and checking the ratings from previous customers. Worst case they can prepare for what is coming since the reviews are from the horses’ mouth directly.
This has pushed, and will continue to push, hotels and AirBnB hosts to up their games and provide the best and highest quality of customer service.
Once upon a time, hotels would have binders and pamphlets or brochures at the welcome desk to help customers with queries like:
- What to do in the area?
- Where to find particular cuisine?
- Specific activities?
- Closest shopping districts?
- How to get to a certain place?
Today all the information can be provided on AI powered apps and devices. Customers can access the information at any point with their smartphones. Voice activated chatbots help set alarms, open or close curtains and even order breakfast. Simple clerical tasks like reservation changes can be done without using human resources unless it is a delicate situation and a sensitive touch is needed.
Virtual reality tours have gained popularity in a big way. Clients can take a look without actually leaving their homes what they are booking and paying for. For example,
- Hotel room and facility tours
- Museum tours
- Tourist destination previews
A person does not get the full experience but they get a preview of what they can expect. This also offers the guests more confidence and peace of mind while making bookings.
Digital Future of Hospitality and Tourism Industry
In this world of digital interactions, travellers today are highly dependent on technology like their mobile applications and digital platforms to make bookings and plan trips. It is imperative for businesses to make digital innovation a part of the solution to help the growth continue in a sustainable manner.
Personalization is the key to success as it shows the customer, they are valued and the company is paying attention to and taking care of their needs. Personalization is expected to play a larger role as enhancing a customers’ experience takes precedence in most upcoming business models.
New trends of travel demand tailor-made offers beyond mass marketing and personalised solutions address these needs. Detailed information on consumers and their behaviour helps companies design such plans and target audiences accordingly, leading to a higher conversion rate.
If you have any queries or would like to discuss digitizing your business, you can contact the App Scoop mobile app development team on: https://www.app-scoop.com/contact-us.html