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Needless to say, the extent to which the pandemic has brutally wounded the tourism industry. We often tend to look at the magnitude of the negative impact caused by the pandemic more seriously, meanwhile, there are positive things to look at as well. Technology has always been growing at a significant pace, but, especially during the pandemic technology has grown at an unimaginable rate, and, what’s more, remarkable is that some developing countries also have contributed towards this cause.
Technology has improved drastically during this phase mainly because of the changes in consumer and business behaviour. Both consumers and businesses have adopted a digital approach in everything they do. This digital approach has given birth to new technologies, and, at the same time, it has tremendously enhanced technologies that have shown signs of promise over the recent past.
A few of these promising technologies are Virtual Reality (VR), big data and robotics. These technologies have helped to change the entire landscape of the tourism industry in a big way. Currently, the pandemic situation has eased up a bit and businesses can resume business operations but not to their full capacity.
Businesses cannot carry out business operations like the way they used to due to strict health guidelines. Also, apart from the above reason, there is another reason, which is that people are more concerned about their overall safety regardless of the health regulations. This type of mindset is the exact reason why there are significant changes in consumer habits. With the mentioned technologies tourism companies will be able to guarantee a safe environment for their customers, and, in return tourism operators can maximise their income.
It can be guaranteed that Oculus is the first thing that comes into most of our minds when talking about Virtual Reality (VR). Apart from gaming, it is a valuable business tool for tourism operators as well. With health restrictions in place travellers find it difficult to roam about freely as they want to, but, with this technology tourism operators can provide a simulated realistic experience showcasing every inch of their hotels along with the amenities they offer. Not only that, they can use VR to show the surrounding environment as well.
The best way to use VR to its full capacity is by showing a teaser of your accommodation, location and the services which you offer. Definitely, this move will create a lot of buzz among your customers and your potential customers. You may think that VR is used rarely, but, that’s not the case because an increasing number of companies are using it, and, one known instance is British Columbia’s travel bureau, Destination BC which makes full use of VR to show viewers places such as the ice cave in Whistler.
The tourism industry collects vast amounts of data and this data helps to provide clear insight regarding the way consumers think and what their purchasing habits are. More often than not tourism companies use this data for personalisation so that they can make specific adjustments to the services they offer.
Undoubtedly, big data is one of the best tools to improve your revenue significantly if used correctly and cleverly. Internal data like occupancy in the past and current bookings combined with external data like information relating to local events and holidays can help to forecast the demand efficiently, hence allowing to adjust accordingly.
With big data, you can easily assess your strengths and weaknesses. Once again, the strengths and weaknesses can be combined with the feedback which has been derived internally, and, by closely observing the interactions of your customers online you can identify areas that require improvement with ease, and, simultaneously you will be able to identify what aspects of your business need to remain the same.
If you think that robots only exist in Sci-fi movies and in the manufacturing sector then that’s where you are wrong because robots exist in the tourism industry as well. Although this not approach is not commonly employed by many due to its high capital expenditure, however, it still has a steady increase in demand. This demand has mainly come from the large players in the industry.
One such company that firmly believes in using robots is Japan’s Henn-Na hotel. It is the only hotel in the world to have a staff full of robots. Throughout the hotel, robots are deployed to provide information, front desk services, storage services, as well as check-in and check-out services, with technology including voice and facial recognition.
Robots come in many forms from almost like human androids to chatbots. However, chatbots are the most popular type of robot that is been utilised by tourism businesses. You should consider chatbots as employees who work 24/7 and are able to carry out repetitive tasks like answering all the questions which travellers have in regards to their travel. While the chatbots carry out these monotonous tasks you can focus your attention on more important matters.
The use of chatbots will provide 24/7 customer support, encourage direct bookings, and can tailor the recommendation for your possible customer. The best way a chatbot can be used is by putting them on your website or your Facebook page.
As mentioned previously investing in real live robots can be extremely costly and this is an option which many small businesses back away from. Although the capital expenditure costs a fortune, it is a worthwhile investment that can massively boost customer satisfaction. Eventually, if your business picks up and start earning big bucks consistently then I would strongly suggest you invest in autonomous robots at least on a small scale because the efficiency and the effectiveness it brings to the table is unmeasurable.
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