One of the few industries that is always changing and evolving is tourism. The travel experience today is completely different from what it was 10 or even 5 years ago, and of course, due to the pandemic, there will probably be even more changes the day before. Thus, innovation in the field of tourism is essential for all professionals in this field.
The speed of development of the industry is due to the fact that it can not function without technological progress. Although travel agencies used to play an important role in selling and promoting travel destinations, today the sales strategy involves less investment with a very convenient return in terms of brand positioning around the world.
In addition to marketing, the introduction of mobile applications, new private placement platforms, global search engines (metasearch mechanisms) and artificial intelligence has forced the entire industry to undergo a constant process of innovation.
What is innovation
But what exactly is “innovation in tourism”? How can we innovate in an industry that seems to be going faster than us? Why are innovations so relevant for tourism?
Innovation is the constant creation of ideas and solutions that turn into monetized goods, services or business practices. Why is innovation so important? Because it is the key to making the tourism business sustainable.
Offering new, improved products and / or services adapted to modern needs with the help of available technologies, allows your brand to stand out from the competition. This approach leads to an increase in the number of customers, loyalty and, in the long run, to greater financial results.
Better public image
The more innovative the company, the better it will position itself in its own sector; and the stronger the reputation, the more coverage it will have in its market. An innovative company will become a standard to follow, so transforming your company into a leader in innovation will not only lead to new and better customers, but also attract high-quality human resources.
Technological innovations in tourism
There is no better time to talk about technological innovation in tourism than during a pandemic. The crisis caused by COVID-19 has severely affected hotels, restaurants and the tourism business, as travel restrictions, blockades and the duration of the pandemic have resulted in millions in losses without a clear recovery scenario. Innovation is the cornerstone for adding added and differentiated value that not only attracts customers but also retains them.
Internet of Things
Internet of Things (IoT) means a connection that can be established between users and objects / devices. A good example of IoT used in tourism is one of the Hilton hotels: the network is now developing a mobile application that allows all guests to manage the details of their stay, from check-in to room service.
Just as you can use IoT to your advantage, it is also important to consider design thinking when developing tools for clients. What is the purpose? Get a design from a multidisciplinary team that takes into account the actual needs and challenges of users.
Video mapping in restaurants
Somewhat original, but the idea of designing 3D-animation on restaurant tables in order to make the wait more enjoyable attracted the attention of visitors. Will it increase sales? At first, they will undoubtedly enjoy unforgettable impressions, which they will share with their acquaintances, which can later turn into more customers in the medium or long term.
The user experience is about designing and planning products or services, thinking about the feelings you want to awaken in users.
Innovation also means attention to detail
Small details make the difference between a good product or service and an excellent one, and the travel industry confirms that: coffee served with homemade vegetable milk, a hotel that uses Alexa or Google as a host, accommodation that communicates with customers through messaging programs to avoid contact with people (very convenient during a pandemic); There are many ideas, and their implementation allows us to remain competitive.
Another innovative strategy with proven results is gamification. It is about incorporating game dynamics into applications or products to make the user experience more enjoyable, simple and memorable.
Finally, keep in mind that when it comes to innovation, there is no magic formula. We know that by striving for improvement through change and improvement, companies can stand out from the rest and be able to move forward even in times of crisis.