Tourism is one of the sectors that has been more affected in the last 2 years due to the covid-19 pandemic. This has led many hotels, restaurants, and airlines to bankruptcy. We think it’s time to start implementing smart tourism with the help of the Internet of Things.
What is smart tourism?
Nowadays, wearables, phones, and other devices generate great amounts of information. However, a big part of this data is not used to improve a hit sector like tourism.
How can that be done? Through smart tourism. Not many cities in the world are adopting this approach, but it is something necessary to help the different economies recover through the digital transition.
According to GlobalData’s Q1 2021 Consumer Survey, “82% of consumers are either ‘somewhat’, ‘often’ or ‘always’ influenced by a service that is tailored towards their needs or personality.”
This means that hotels, travel agencies, museums, local attractions, parks, and other businesses involved in tourism can start creating plans that connect the tourists with their products or services.
IoT and tourism
The internet of Things brings the possibility to send personalized offers to a traveler once he gets to a new city or country.
Travel agencies can establish IoT smart tourism plans that guarantee the connectivity of the tourist along his trip with multiple services.
A traveler arrives at a hotel that has IoT technology in its rooms. According to the traveler’s behavior, the lights can turn on or off automatically when the sensors know he or she is gone. Then, the traveler goes to the restaurant in the same hotel. Since he enters the door, his wearable for smart tourism may advise the waiter what his favorite beer is, and so, bring it to the table in a short time.
The next day, the traveler has a plan to visit different attractions, but there is a lot of traffic. Thanks to the IoT smart tourism device, the traveler may get suggestions on new places he may visit according to the new time availability.
At night, the traveler returns to the hotel room, and he won’t have to adjust the thermostat again, since the IoT technology already knows what is his preferred temperature for the room. This kind of service makes smart tourism more attractive to any person that wants a personalized treatment.
Using Internet of Things inside hotels can help them boost income and be more competitive in the market.
Smart tourism and data privacy
If you want a special service on your trip, you need to provide information to the different parties involved. Of course, there must be a guarantee that sensible information like allergies, work schedules, or other personal information won’t be shared or posted online.
Smart tourism needs to be transparent. IoT devices must be secure so it makes the traveler feel comfortable with the data he is providing during his trip.
Benefits of IoT for Smart tourism
Monitoring the location of the tourist, if he gets lost in an unknown city, he can request help from the hotel to send a taxi. Restaurants that align with IoT tourism can notify the travelers in their own language what is the menu of the day, also, the restaurants can keep control of the capacity of the establishment, and thus, comply with biosecurity protocols associated with covid-19.
Other IoT applications in tourism are monitoring the availability of parking spaces, this saves a lot of time for the tourists.
Weather conditions can also be sent to the tourist and cross that information with his daily schedule, this enhances user experience in outdoor activities. Smart tourism helps travelers to make quick decisions as they go out to different places.
What about tourist attractions and historical places?
A city that wants to boost tourism needs to invest in IoT devices for historical places, museums, and attractions. This connectivity, along with the device or smart tourism app the traveler is using, provides useful information on special functions, prices, time spent on each place, or additional information the person wants to know before reaching a specific place of interest. Also, joining IoT with augmented reality devices and AI may create new experiences for the visitors.
IoT helps forecast the future
IoT devices gathers a lot of information from its users, and as long as smart tourism is working well in a city, travel agencies can use the collected data to create special offers according to the most visited hotels, restaurants, and natural parks.
Travelers will know when it is the best time to visit a new place, and travel agencies can act according to that information. Send notifications on trending cities, warnings around crowded destinations, and health risks.
Smart tourism may not be the right option for travelers who like to experience the adventure of getting lost, visiting unknown restaurants, or simply walking without a device that tells them what to do.
However, we are in an era where most people like to be informed, to investigate more, and to reach places without getting lost.