Advantages and Disadvantages of Technology in Tourism Industry
Introduction, background information, technology in the industry, benefits of technology in the tourism industry, negative impact of technology in tourism industry.
Examining all the possible advantages and disadvantages of technology in the tourism industry has become a topic of interest for numerous people in the field. It’s not a secret that the Internet and different information systems have transformed the hospitality sphere.
Were these changes welcomed and embraced? What is the negative impact of technology on the tourism industry? Does it exist at all?
Technology is paramount to the success of the industry. Yet, as it turns out, the Internet and other digital perks of the modern world have both benefits and flaws. In this essay, the advantages and disadvantages of technology in the hospitality industry are explored.
The hospitality and tourism industry is one of the best-performing industries, both at regional/domestic and international levels. According to the Tourism World Council (2004), the tourism industry contributes to around 10% of GDP in the world.
This rate is expected to increase by the year 2014 (World Travel and Tourism Council 2004). The force behind this rapid growth is the adoption of information technology in its management and operations.
Many businesses in hospitality and tourism incorporate information technology in their businesses, thus standing a good chance of reaping huge returns of the same (Garzotto et al. 2004).
Computerized reservation systems are an example of an information technology system used in this sector to reach the target customers.
Before the advancement of technology, it was very difficult for the tourist and hospitality industry to market its services to its customers. It was also very expensive because customers are always physically apart, miles away, for instance.
However, the coming of information technology has eased the transaction of business besides boosting the customer base. The fact that people are able to communicate and interact with one another in different regions has made it easier and cheap to market their products and services.
In the past, inter-organizational system, which connected organizations, was the most popular form of IT. However, because of high costs, many businesses could not meet the cost of using it (Chih-Yao 2011, p. 1986).
The emergence of global distribution systems allowed easy connection and communication across borders. This allowed a fast transfer of information that helped to boost the industry in terms of the number of bookings.
Global distribution was a form of inter-organizational system that emerged from computer reservation systems that helped to integrate information from the airline. These integrations boosted the tourism industry since customers were able to make their reservations at one common marketplace.
These systems were used in the 1960s, and their integration into the modern computer was impossible. The advancement of technology has seen the emergence of the Internet and the World Wide Web, which have transformed the way people interact and or do their businesses (Cristiana 2008, p. 345).
Businesses market their hospitality services and tourism products through the Internet. This platform has connected the world. It has turned it into a global village. People can interact in different locations in real-time.
They can share their views and opinions without having to meet physically. Technology has led to the development of different forms or platforms that enable interconnections.
Nowadays, social media such as MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and many others are sources of information that both the tourism and hospitality industry have used to reach customers across the globe leading to an influx of tourists hence boosting the level of their income (Alexis, & Buhalis 2007, p. 389).
Clayton and Criscuolo (2002) argue that technology through the Internet has brought about various changes in how people carry out their businesses.
The changes include providing an avenue through which ideas can be transformed into marketable innovation to be transmitted later to a wider market at low costs of accessing these markets and searching for buyers.
It allows easier access to the market offering new products. It has changed the way information is shared between individuals and organizations (p. 14). The benefits of technology in the hospitality and tourism industry are enormous.
The benefits of IT are manifested almost in every aspect of our lives. The Internet has become an important part of people’s lives. People are able to share information in their remote locations through personal computers, fax machines, cell phones, emails, and the Internet in real-time (Cristiana 2008, p. 346).
The capability that has come with technology has been manifested in major sectors of economies. The hospitality and tourism sector is one of the sectors that require adequate marketing across the globe.
With the Internet in place, this has been achieved with ease and at low costs. The business has hosted different sites that they use to advertise their products and services to the entire world. They are able to tailor the needs of the customers accordingly.
Another advantage of technology is that it has facilitated globalization. The world has been constricted into one small village. People are connected through Internet networks and social media. Information is transmitted at a faster rate with just one click of a mouse.
The hospitality industry and tourism have used this opportunity to share ideas on various businesses. It has also helped to bring together people separated by geographical location and those from different cultures.
Since this industry depends on information, this technology has added a boost because people are able to access information about the locations that they can visit and spend their leisure time and holidays relaxing.
According to Cristiana (2008), many people in the USA use the Internet to book their trips to various destinations (p. 344). The rate is increasing every day. For instance, it is estimated that more than 75 million people who travel across the globe use the Internet to get information on their destinations.
They, therefore, use the Internet to book, check and compare prices, and schedule their traveling to various tourist destinations. Many people who travel across their borders spend their time and or are accommodated by the hospitality industry. Therefore, they contribute a lot to the industry.
Some travel for leisure. They, therefore, pay the host country foreign exchange for them to be hosted or to travel across the country visiting any area of attraction like game reserves and game parks. The number of bookings increased to double digits between 1996 and 2006.
The growth was high in 2001 at 58% and 25% in 2002 (Cristiana 2008, p. 344). Many online travelers say that they use the Internet to get updates or information on their destinations and any other logistics about their traveling (Cristiana 2008, p. 344).
Therefore, they transact their businesses through the Internet. For instance, they book the places of visit upon landing at their destination in advance. This shows how technology has transformed the industry.
In the past, it was very difficult and costly to travel because of the numerous tedious paperwork processes that people went through. When they reach their destinations, they do not have to look for accommodation.
Therefore, technology has taken this a notch higher, as everything is done in the comfort of the houses (Dis 2010, p. 9).
A study carried out on online travelers showed that the majority of people traveling did so for pleasure, vacation/holiday, personal purposes, and business (Cristiana 2008, p. 347).
Technology has enabled people to search for their directions, maps for directions, accommodation/hospitality facilities, schedules, airfare, and the amount of money to be spent for a tour. These logistics are available on the Internet. It has become an essential medium of budgeting and choice-making.
This is with regard to the places or locations that a person wants to visit. The availability of this information on the Internet, for example, tourist attractions sites, tourist attraction scenes, and features, create a platform for persuading people to travel and experience them.
Therefore, the Internet has contributed to the increased booking and tourist visits, explaining the increase in the industry’s gross domestic product (Cristiana 2008, p. 344).
Technology has evolved at a faster rate making it even possible to access the Internet through cell phones. People across the globe are able to access information on their phones, even to the extent of communicating with one another. This platform has enabled the hospitability industry and tourist industry to market their products on the Internet.
People traveling for leisure or any other reason are always in touch with their family members and friends. This has contributed to the increased travel across borders by many people (Cristiana 2008, p. 348).
According to Jungsun and Hardin (2010), social media, Facebook and MySpace host many users (p. 735). It is estimated that around 360 million people visited and used the media in 2007 for their interaction and other purposes (Jungsun & Hardin 2010, p. 735).
The media is used for sharing ideas and keeping in touch with people across the country. Therefore, they provide a good platform for businesses to market their products and services. The hospitality and tourism industry has the potential to use such media to reach out to many potential visitors.
People will get information about tourist destinations and some of the hospitality services provided through such media. Therefore, they can contribute greatly to the success of the hospitality and tourism industry. However, technology has had a negative impact on this industry.
Technology has some challenges. According to Jungsun and Hardin (2010), the virtual world presents challenges of maintenance and follow-up (p. 735). It requires a lot of investment in Internet use in terms of updating the links and responding to many blogs that are sent.
People or potential visitors may change their minds or plan to travel to a particular destination if their queries are not answered on time (Jungsun & Hardin 2010, p. 735). Another challenge is the increased risk of cybercrime and hacking.
Some people may gain entrance to a system hosted on the Internet to gain access to any information that may be confidential. Such individuals may falsify the information hence leading to misrepresentation and loss of customers.
Furthermore, the number of visitors that visit the website may not be enough as expected. This causes a huge loss since the company may not be able to raise enough revenue hence affecting the level of income of the company.
One of the disadvantages that technology has brought to the industry is that it has caused unemployment. Many people who worked in the hotels as managers, waiters, and cooks, as well as those in the tourist industry, such as tour guides, lost their jobs to cut the cost and by utilizing the Internet.
The creation of jobs in these industries has also reduced because most of the marketing and advertising is done through the Internet. Privacy has also been affected by the coming up of the Internet.
People have improvised ways of hacking or gaining into the websites of organizations to steal important information. This exposes the company to risk (Zipf 2002, p. 57).
Proliferation has increased on the Internet. Many tourist websites are available on the Internet. This is a challenge, especially for small and medium tourist enterprises that possess inadequate skills and knowledge in website efficiency.
This proliferation is a sign that there is a lack of organization in the market that is already saturated. Many of these websites are not familiar to the clients. This becomes difficult for potential customers to locate them and even to have confidence in them to the extent of using them.
Intermediaries that are used to link customers to various businesses provide another challenge on the Internet. They are paid for their services hence leading to low profits, revenue, and homogeneity of the websites (Alexis & Buhalis 2007, p. 389).
Therefore, in conclusion, technology has contributed greatly to the success of the hospitality and tourism industry across the globe. Countries that have positively embraced technology in their operations have benefited in terms of increased revenue.
The potential of this technology is exorbitant. However, it requires people who have vast knowledge and expertise on how it operates to manage it well and to reap its overwhelming potential.
On the other hand, technology has rendered many people jobless. This has affected their living standards since they depend on their jobs as their source of livelihood. However, its benefits surpass the negatives, as revealed in the paper.
Alexis, P. & Buhalis, D. 2007, ‘ Exploring the information and communication technologies revolution and visioning the future of tourism, travel and hospitality industries, 6th e-tourism futures forum: ICT revolutionising tourism 26–27 March 2007 , Guildford’, International Journal of Tourism Research, vol. 9 I no.5, pp. 385-387.
Chih-Yao, L. 2011, ‘The Integration and Development of the Leisure and Hospitality Information System Module with the Embedded Technology,’ International Journal on Computer Science & Engineering , vol. 3 no. 5, pp. 1986-1994.
Cristiana, P. 2008, ‘The tourism industry and the use of internet’, Annals of the University of Oradea, Economic Science Series, vol. 17 no. 2, pp. 344-347.
Clayton, T. & Criscuolo, C. 2002, Electronic commerce and business change, National Statistics . Web.
Dis, T. 2010, ‘Information and Communication Technologies in the Hospitality Industry’, Hosteur , vol. 19 no. 1, pp. 9-11.
Garzotto, F. et al. 2004, Ubiquitous access to cultural tourism portals’, paper presented to Database and Expert Systems Applications, 15th International Workshop on (DEXA’04), Zaragoza, Spain.
Jungsun, K. & Hardin, A. 2010, ‘The Impact of Virtual Worlds on Word-of-Mouth: improving Social Networking and Services cape in the Hospitality Industry,’ Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management , vol. 19 no. 7, pp. 735-753.
World Travel and Tourism Council 2004, Progress and priorities 2004/2005, World Travel and Tourism Council . Web.
Zipf, A. 2002, ‘Adaptive context-aware mobility support for tourists,’ IEEE Intelligent Systems , vol. 17 no. 6, pp. 57-59.
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Home | Life | My Hobby | Traveling | Tourism
Technology in Tourism and Hotel Industries
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Table of Contents
Technology in tourism, components of tourism, accommodation, accessibility, technology for travel agents, technology in hotel industry.
Tourism is the activity where people choose a destination to travel for different purpose. It can be for leisure, education, and business or for any reason where there is a movement of people from one place to another. In the present world, the tourism industry is one of the biggest service industries. It is the industry that serves as largest economic generator for different developing and under developed countries like Nepal, Maldives , Cyprus, and Senegal etc. And also has a huge impact for the developed countries like Japan, America, France etc.
The present century is the world of technology. Technology has made a world as a global village. Even though people are living in different geography, technology has bounded them as one circle. Every individual is connected to different person from around the world. There are different product and service industry, which has direct impact of technology
People sit in one corner of world and run their business in different location that can be both inbound and outbound, it has been possible through the use of technology. Some of the examples of multinational industries where the technology affects are beverages industries, automobiles, different franchises of reputed food industries etc. They all control their businesses sitting in one corner of world that is from head office of the companies.
One of the direct and biggest impacts of technology is in tourism industry. In this modern era we cannot think about tourism deeply if there was no technology. Tourism and technology can be said as the two sides of a coin. If there was no technology then the development of tourism sector would be at lowest possibilities. In past people used to travel in search of food. Later when there was development of infrastructure and superstructure the culture of proper tourism started.
But people from the past didn’t have much access and facilities like the todays world have. So there was less traveller comparing to present time. The main reason for the past is technology was not developed like todays rapid pace. There were less recreational facilities like we have today. The search for information was not easily available. People used to be more dependable on word of mouth rather then searching by them like we do today using web and Internet.
This is the direct impact of technology in tourism. We can analyze with the data provided by” the United Nation of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), estimates that in 1950 the numbers of total international travellers were just 25 million but in the present day the number has increased by more then 1.3 billion international arrivals per year.”(1). The movement from one place to another is easier only through the product of technology. So, we cannot ignore technology while talking about tourism.
There are mainly 4A’s of tourism. They are accommodation, accessibilities, attraction and amenities. These four components are compiled together to form a proper tourism package. And these components have major impact of technology.
And the customer consumes these combined packages or tourist buys a tour package for journey. But firstly, before buying a tour package a potential tourist first makes plan for the whole journey and to make a plan people first search in the Internet. Any tourists choose the destination surfing through different websites, which is the most prior step to make trip possible. According to the time and cost of traveller, they make plan where to go from different alternatives and choose the most suitable for them.
What if there was no technology? Or there was no Internet? How can any potential tourist make plan without knowing about any destination? They can neither choose the best option nor they can get full information about the place where they are visiting. Even if they make a movement towards the destination only by knowing the name they may encounter a lot of problem such as in calculation of cost because they will not get full information about pricing, they must pay for the package according to the tour agents, they may face cultural shock because they don’t have proper knowledge and information about the place.
So, these all problem can be solved through getting enough information using today’s technology. Even the traveller can do alone without buying any tour package from travel agency. There are lots of people travelling alone from around the world and the websites like lonely planet can be very useful for self-guided tours. And talking about all the components of tourism technology has played major role in development, which are as follows:
Accommodation is one of the major component of tourism, which plays a vital role to create travel package. When tourist travels they need a place to rest, which can be few hours, few days or can be more than that. If there is no accommodation then the tour package is incomplete and cannot be made. There are different kinds of accommodation as per requirement of tourist.
Tourists are different and their choices are different too. They can be classified according to the types and purpose of travel. They may be business traveller or may be backpackers; they all have their own choice of place to stay while travelling. They all decide before reaching at the destination where will they stay. They use Internet to choose the hotels, motels, resorts, guesthouses according to price and length of stay.
In modern days there are different kind of application and websites to search the type of stay to rest. Some of the famous sites and application are “hotelscombined.com, trivago, booking.com, expedia, agoda, orbitz, hotel tonight etc.”(2) These all are 2018 famous sites, which are used by potential tourist while choosing the accommodation. Also in the development of hotel, technology has played important role, there are different types of hotel with different number of room. And there are hotels in the world that have more than thousand of room.
The construction of those skyscrapers was possible only through the use of hi-tech. some of the biggest hotels which have more then 5000 rooms are Izmailovo which is located in Moscow which has 7500 rooms, MGM grand and signature located in Las Vegas with 6772 rooms, First world hotel of Malaysia contains 6118 rooms, Disney all star resort has 5658 rooms etc.
Another important thing is how to reach the destination? What is the mode of transportation? Without transportation is the trip possible? To reach the destination proper mode of transport is necessary. There are different kinds of transportation such as airplane, ships, trains, bus, etc. these all are the invention of technology. Comparing from the past to present days modes of transportation has changed a lot.
Now there is use of modern hi-tech design in transportation, which has made transportation luxurious, faster and convenient according to time table for example bullet train; it is fastest mode of transportation in present era. People choose airplane or bullet train to save their time to travel long distance and can choose vehicles like bus, car etc. to travel short distance. In the whole tour package transportation cost may be the top expenses comparing to other components.
Nowadays there are different application and website from where potential tourist can get every detail about the costing, time, arrival and departure date, delay time, other facilities provided while travelling such as food, liquor, recreation facilities like WIFI and television etc. traveller can choose the most convenient one according to their budget, time and the facilities they want to consume. Some of the famous sites and application to find out the best transportation service are “kayak, openairplane, rome2rio, Google flights, kiwi.com etc. “(3)
Attraction is the main reason to travel for the tourist who is travelling for the leisure purpose. There are mainly two types of attraction the natural one and the manmade. Natural attractions are the type of attraction that already exists, which is not created by human being. But the important part is how they are preserved? While people visit a destination, the flow of people can affect the environment and nature.
The flow of tourist towards the destination and the protection of “environment and nature” must be managed parallel. With the use of technology we can put different types of GPS tracking system at destination to avoid the activities which can harm the nature, maintain the overcrowd problem by finding the total capacity of the place through data analysis of generated tourist using database models etc. these will help to preserve nature and resource can be passed to next generation.
Man-made attraction is another type of attraction, which attracts tourist to visit the place. There are various places made by people themselves, which attracts tourist more to visit that place. One of the best renowned destinations is Dubai. It was just a dessert before 30 years but now it has changed a lot and it is one of the happening tourist destinations for present days. Dubai is technologically developed place in UAE.
There are different kinds of ultramodern architecture and superstructure build by people using advance technology. Some of the famous tourism attraction are Palm Jumeirah, it is the manmade island and it looks like palm tree which was built within ten years. Ski Dubai is the indoor ski resort, Dubai Aquarium and underwater zoo is another famous manmade superstructure.
We cannot imagine artificial island and recreation facilities like ski in dessert, aquarium inside the ocean if there was no technology. Another attraction is Bruj Khalifa that is the tallest structure and building in the world. Some of other famous manmade attractions from the world are: Disneyland park complex in California, Disneyland in Hong Kong, Walt Disney world at Florida, Cosmopolitan in USA, Marina sand bay Singapore, etc.
Amenities are the facilities that tourist consumes while they are in the journey. Technology plays an important role in part of amenities or recreational facilities for tourist. While tourist travel from one place to another he/she needs different recreational facilities in the whole journey. Either it can be while moving in any mode of transport or in hotels they are staying in.
Different kind of amenities are WIFI facilities in guest room and public area, Telephone and fax service, various kind of product in room like air conditioner, cooler, Television, iron, beauty products like hair dryer, sauna and steam, swimming pool facilities with hot water etc. At the destination other entertainment facilities like cinema hall, music bar, disco, clubs. These all the facilities provided to tourist are created using the technology.
Technology is convenient for tourist as well as agent who sale travel packages. The travel agents who sell their tour product can do better marketing by using Internet. They can use digital marketing system so that their products can be viewed not only in the domestic market but also in the international market.
There are different website where they can do advertisement for their product and agency. They also have their own website. They can compare their product with different packages available in web. They can coordinate with different national and international holiday planners to make a package. They can get the bundle of data about potential tourist and can do demand forecast for the package they develop.
Travel agents can do the market segmentation according to the potential tourist from different geography, different status etc. They can target the group from which they will get maximum benefit.
Technology has played important role in hotel industry. In reaching customer, to do marketing technology is very important. In hotel industry now there is online reservation system that benefits both customer and hotel. The cost of hotel is reduced; if customer directly book the room then hotel will save the commission that travel agent takes. “In a world there are renowned hotels, which have multiple chain around the world.
To communicate with all the branches and manage in a sustainable way computer system is mandatory. Through computer system communication is easier in between the entire department and it is all in one system.” (4)
“Konstantina Boutsioukou (travel and tourism Analyst at global data)- Use of technology gives rise to unique and local experience by connecting local with tourist. In 2017 there was growth in booking up to 125% for gastronomic experience in Barcelona. By the use of virtual reality technology in tourism that will enhances the experience of the tourist and persuades more tourists to book and reach at the destination.
Expedia is developing VR technique by which it offer stunning offer to customer while booking where tourist can see the room, feel the city and check distance. Developments of application like SKIPT that helps to save the time of the tourist In this application tourist can prior book vehicles, book restaurant tables, and pay before time. If tourist is busy then they can skip the line tour, which have ranked high in the list.” (5)
Tourism means to travel for different purpose it can be either for entertainment or for business purpose and can be both national and international. Technology plays vital role in tourism. It can be said that in the modern world tourism is fully dependent on technology. There are different component of tourism which together forms a tourism package and they are transportation, lodging, destination natural and cultural resources, facilities.
In every sector technology has higher contribution, without technology the development of tourism would not be rapid as now it is. Transportation was developed with the development of technology, which is a means to travel from one destination to another destination for traveller, and now there are fastest services in transportation sector for example; bullet train in which it takes minimum time to reach the destination.
By surfing Internet potential tourist can get every information regarding the booking, time, cost, all other needed information of transportation. To find out the place to stay while travelling people use different application to book the room according to their best alternative and hotel they use online reservation system to reserve a room, which helps them to reduce cost by directly contacting with guest.
The preservation and conservation of natural and cultural resource are very important because it is the asset of every country, which must be handover to next generation and technology helps in preserving all those resource. With the use of modern technology we can preserve heritage of the country, control overflow of crowd, preserve nature and environment.
The recreational facilities that are consumed by tourist to reach the destination and at the destination are the product of technology for example; WIFI, television, telephone and fax services, Air conditioner etc.
“Today, we don’t have doubt that technology plays a vital role in tourism and it has influenced and continue to shape the way of travelling: from the vacation destination we choose to the beginning of journey, the time of travel and even all the way back from the trip. It is so prevalent, that according to a Google Travel study, 74% of travelers plan their trips on the Internet, while only 13% still use travel agencies to prepare them.”(6)
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Home / Essay Samples / Information Science and Technology / Information Technology / The Role and Part of Information Technology in Tourism
The Role and Part of Information Technology in Tourism
- Category: Information Science and Technology
- Topic: Information Technology
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History of tourism, impact of it in tourism, information technology in tourism industry modules:.
- Transport Module: Few years back travellers or travel agent used to physically go and book tickets. But due to computerised booking system, anyone can book railway or airline tickets online. Potential traveller can online compare various transportation modes in terms of travel time, Price, Comfort etc., based on which he can choose and book tickets.
- Accommodation Module: Accommodation is one of the basic needs for any tourism activity. Travelers and tourists need lodging for rest, while they are on a tour. Now potential travellers or travel agents can view accommodation details, actual photographs, other travellers reviews etc. on internet to shortlist their accommodation. Even they can compare prices of various online booking services through one website. Accommodation in the form of low budget lodges/hotels to world class luxury hotels is available at all the major tourist destinations to provide the tourist a home away from home. These are establishments that provide a place for the tourist to stay i.e. lodging facilities which are paid for the duration of the stay by the tourist.
- Attraction Module: Potential Travellers can view places of attraction before finalising tourist destination. Based on traveller’s preferences he can choose historic places, places of adventure, holy places etc. One can find entry details, timing, transportation modes to reach places on internet. All this information enables traveller to choose right destination of his choice.
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