Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tourism & Technology Trends for 2012 – A New Era of Travel

I was speaking with a friend about how much travel has changed over the past 10 years with the introduction of online reservations, access to information through mobile devices and social media. Many people are traveling with mobile devices like the iPad, iPhone and laptops and are moving away from purchasing guide books, buying maps, sending postcards and collecting brochures.

When I recently traveled to India I traveled with my laptop and trusty iPhone, which made booking flights, accommodations, researching information and posting stories on my blog stress free, extremely easy, and cost effective.

This supports the fact that one of the key messages for tourism businesses in 2012 is to embrace the technological trends in the tourism industry. This includes making it easy for people to access your information online and using innovative marketing techniques such as QR Codes, Mobile Apps and Social Media.

A study conducted by the Amadeus IT Group stated that travel will become a more collaborative process by enhancing the travel experience using technology. People will travel collaboratively by accessing information from each other and in turn, tourism businesses will work together with travellers to improve their products and services. This process will create a stress free experience for both the traveler and the tourism business by reducing uncertainty and chaos.

One example, detailed in an infographic created by the Amadeus IT Group, was that 51% of travelers are frustrated by not knowing where the best local restaurants, bars and venues are located. A solution would be to develop a mobile app with augmented reality features that displays information about the destination by combining the real world environment with computer generated input such as video, graphics and location-specific information. The mobile app will provide a traveler with accessible information about where the cultural and historical points of interest and the nearest restaurants and bars are.

Singapore Tourism Guide on your Mobile Phone

Travel has become a more socially-driven activity with the introduction of social media sites. Travelers are increasingly influenced by friends and even strangers’ recommendations on where and where not to go through blog postings, facebook, twitter, Trip Advisor, and other social media sites. This creates an opportunity for tourism businesses to join the conversation and establish relationships with their past, current and potential visitors.

It’s amazing that a whole new era of travel is on the horizon which creates unique opportunities for tourism businesses. There is still a value in developing physical marketing pieces such as brochures and hand-outs but it is important to note that this technological revolution is happening in the tourism industry. If you would like to learn how you can embrace the technological revolution, find out the latest trends, enhance your marketing tools and create a customized mobile app contact me at amanda@cesclients.com or 1-877-444-5550.


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