The challenges of digitalisation in tourism
According to official figures, 2017 has been the best year ever for the tourism industry in Spain, and we haven’t even finished the year. This positive and rising trend in recent years must now face another challenge and adapt to new consumption models and technology, which is clearly a valuable ally to achieve this.
My intention here is to analyse the situation to create a list of tasks for 2018, and describe in brief the main challenges the tourism sector must address:
First of all, technology is going to be a key factor in the transformation of the sector. We have to change our way of thinking, and at this point be in no doubt that it’s the user who calls the shots. As business people, we must not only adapt but also pre-empt the interests of our customers. Traditional larger companies in the sector must contribute to this digital development by providing experience, technology companies must bring solid, intelligent resources, and startups must deliver new ideas to offer greater dynamism and flexibility. All of these are vital factors in adapting to the change.
Another relevant issue is hyperconnectivity. Everything must be connected, employees, rooms, reception, destinations, etc. The volume of information customers provide when staying at a hotel or destination is both vast and overwhelming. We have to be aware of the value of having this information recorded, analysing it and using it correctly. Knowing how to use Big Data is essential to make the information available and define a tailor-made, personalised offer that provides real added value to the customer.
Making life easier and reducing the time spent on processes and procedures, and creating a seamless experience, is another of the premises of new technology. Hotels of the future will cut and run from administrative processes like the traditional check-in and invest in other models more comfortable for customers like facial recognition, for example.
In the conclusion, within the digitalisation challenges in tourism, we must search for greater interaction with our customers, so we know full well what their needs are and be able to cover and exceed them. The sector must adapt its offer and personalise the experience to the maximum in line with what it wants to sell and what the consumer is demanding.