The Role of Technology in the Tourism Industry

Critically discuss how innovation in the digital technologies shaping contemporary tourism industry:

Technology plays important roles in each business sector with improving than business dealing process, level of communication and interaction between clients and owners. As mentioned by gonáalves et al. (2018), in 21st century, the tourism industry becomes one of the most preferred and highly profitable industry across the world, with large numbers of travellers, investors, clients and marketers. Evidence-based reports have suggested that, technological revolution plays important roles in posing positive impact on overall business process and decision-making processes in the tourism industry. On the contrary, Ivanov (2020) argued that, technology although assist the contemporary tourism industry to develop its business operation and economic growth, improper use of technology can bring market risk for this industry, who needs to be considered by marketers while implementing digital technologies in their work process. Technological advancement is associated with making the business operation in the tourism industry faster than earlier in which the mode of communication becomes online who assists the clients and marketers to make easy communication as well as interaction with each other in effective manner within seconds. As stated by Fereidouni and Kawa (2019), technology brings about innovation as well as creativity in the business strategies and decisions in the tourism industry which not only assist marketers to improve the overall service of tourism industry, but also assist the clients as well as customers to grab opportunities in selecting the high-quality services among different tourism services. One of the important impacts of innovating of digital technologies is online mode of communication and interaction process that assisted both the marketers and customers to interact with each other in effective manner. As mentioned by Watkins et al. (2018), through using online communication channels as email, social media and official websites of the companies, marketers and owners of tourism company are able to communicate not only with their customers as well as clients but also with their investors, suppliers, dealers and investors. The high level of economic growth in contemporary tourism sector is not only associated with increasing number of clients and customers in tourism industry, but also with innovation of digital communication by using technological advancement, which assisted the marketers as well as the proprietors of tourism companies to make effective communication with international investors as well as clients in terms of understanding exact demand of customers. In this context, Buhalis (2019) argued that, sometimes online communication using digital technologies in tourism sector can create conflict and miscommunication between the marketers and dealers in the contemporary tourism sectors. This is the reason, why many of the tourism companies still prefer face-to-face communication with their customers, dealers, suppliers and investors in terms of maintaining transparent information delivery process, which assist the marketers of tourism company to understand the actual issues and preferences of their stakeholders. Some evidence-based studies have suggested that, using digital communication process in the tourism sector assist the marketers to not only interact with the customers and the investors but also with the international business leaders in tourism industry who can assist the marketers to get proper marketing ideas and approaches that can be relevant with the contemporary business operation and marketing framework in the tourism industry. As stated by Navío-Marco et al. (2018), through using online technologies the tourism companies are able to maintain strong communicational with their interaction as well as domestic customers that assist them to collect feedback from customers regarding the tourism services provided to them. This feedback process is highly helpful in the tourism industry which assists marketers to improve their overall business strategies and marketing tactics in terms of providing quality services to customers. In this context Cai et al. (2019) argued that, sometimes online feedback process in the contemporary tourism sectors is not all-time genuine and transparent as customers and clients can make any random feedback in the official website of tourism company, which can interfere with the transparency of communication and information delivery system. Therefore, it is important for the marketers as well as organisational leaders in tourism industry to use digital technology to record the feedback of their customers through using online call recording system so that they can use the recording when they need it in terms of improving the overall service and decision making process in the tourism industry. On the other hand, digital technologies in maintaining communication with the suppliers and dealers, the marketers of tourism business can easily transfer information regarding transaction of important resources that are associated with improving the service quality in the contemporary tourism services.

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Contemporary tourism sector uses digital technologies in no only forming effective as well as a faster communication process, but also developing et leadership skill in organisation leaders and managers who lead the entire workforces towards achieving common goals of company. As mentioned by Bourliataux-Lajoinie et al. (2019), through using online process, organisational leaders in the tourism companies will be able to develop their professional as well as persona skills by undertaking online training and development programmes. In addition to this, though using social media, which is one of the integral part of todays’ business world. The organisational leaders in the tourism sectors can conduct market research on the strategies and decision that are taken by the interactional business leaders in tourism industry, in terms of improving their own skills and abilities. In this context Egger et al. (2020) argued that, although involving digital technologies in the tourism sectors assist leaders to develop their skills and efficiencies, it cannot provide the comprehensive knowledge to the organisational leaders about the different type of leadership skills and leadership processes that can be used in the workplace. The author also stated that, if organisational leaders in tourism sector want to maintain the sustainability of quality of service and economic growth in this sector, they need to attend self-assessment programmes and training and leadership develop program in the workplace which will enhance their practical knowledge on how they communicate with different types of customers in the international market and deal with their travel needs. Although there are criticisms reading using digital technologies in leadership developing in contemporary tourism sectors, it is acknowledged that digital technology plays important roles in improving the overall work process customers dealing process into tourism sector by developing skills and professional abilities in et organisational leaders of this sectors. As mentioned by Li et al. (2018), organisational leaders can use social media such as youtube, Google+ and Twitter in terms of gathering knowledge on different leadership skills and process that are needed to be used in the tourism sectors to deal with the ever-changing customers demand and changing market trend. On the other hand, contemporary tourism sectors need to focus on developing leadership styles and marketing strategies in terms of determining psychology of the modern customers and investors, which can be possible only by making highly-skilled leaders in the organisation within short times. In this context Bourliataux-Lajoinie et al. (2019) mentioned that, through using digital media, organisational leaders in tourism companies can join various online leadership development programmes which assist them to understand what types of leadership approaches they will apply in their works place to grab proper economic growth and maintain sustainability of economic growth in the sector. On the contrary Dickinson et al. (2016) argued that, organisational leaders need to make survey and interview of respondent physically that is important for developing their ability to analyse perception and preferences of modern customers which can assist the contemporary tourism sector to take new tactics as well as marketing strategies to grab high number of customers in the domestic as well as in international market.

In this context Lajoinie et al. (2019) mentioned that, not only in the leadership development, the innovation of digital technology has shaped the way of working, thinking and business dealing in the contemporary tourism sectors. Through using digital technologies in the transaction process, today's tourism companies can make payments easily with their customers, which makes their customers as well as clients to be free from any type of harassment. Through using online payment methods, the tourism companies can assure their customers to use debit or credit card payment, Paytm and phone transfer process, while paying money for the service. Online payment process saves the times as well as physical effort of both the customers as well as of marketers of tourism company. In this context Bourliataux-Lajoinie et al. (2019) argued that, sometimes the online payment system can cause high risk of online data hacking, in which personal information and account details of customers can be hacked by unauthorised persons , which not only spoil the trustworthy relationship between tourism companies and customers also damage the brand reputation of the company in international market. Innovation of digital technologies also assists the contemporary tourism sectors in conducting propped research on current market trend, which assist organisational leaders as well as manager to track the changes in buying perception of customers, changing market environment and altering social perception that impact on overall marketing behaviour of a customer in tourism industry.

From the above-mentioned critical discussion it can be stated that, innovation of digital technologies plays important roles in shaping the process, policies, and decision-making in tourism industry, that not only assist the marketers to use better strategies in dealing with the current market trend but also makes strong connection with customers, clients, investors and dealers in the domestic as well as in international market.

Critically evaluate the process of dealing with over-tourism issues in heritage cities and towns

In today’s tourism sector, most of the tourism companies operates their business in the heritage cities and town, in which there are huge chances of grabbing millions of customers that are important for economic growth of tourism companies. In this context Seraphin et al. (2018) argued that, although the tourism companies target the heritage town and cities in terms of operation successful business, it enhances the numbers of customers in such a manner that leads to over-tourism and over-crowding. Over-tourism is one of the most common issues in heritage places, in which in each year there are gathering of millions of tourists, that not only sometimes interfere with the beauty and peaceful environment of heritage places, but also enhance the rate of pollution in these places. As mentioned by Lak et al. (2019), over-tourism is one of the most considerable issues in modern era, which generally occurs in the heritage cities and town due to huge number of hotels, leisure companies , tourism companies are operating their business in these places which instigate millions of customers to visit the heritage places at a time and makes the over-crowding issues. In terms of dealing with over-tourism issues in heritage sites, the local and national government and the organisational leaders of the tourism industry need to make proper cooperation with each on there in setting proper strategies that will assist the sites to reduce the crowd of visitors in each year. One of the important strategies that can be used in this context is, spread the tourists out by developing more tourists' places in heritage cities and towns. As mentioned by Wallace (2019), government of the heritage cities can take initiatives in making more tourist places in the cities which will reduce the crowd in each place at a single time. The strategy is most effective strategies that can be recognised by the UNESCO, in which it is stated that government and tourism owners in a heritage city or town can cooperate with each other in terms of developing some new places in local regions, which will assist the tourist to divert their mind to go in these places rather than choosing only the main tourist place. However, there are many criticisms regarding this concept. Koens et al. (2018) argued that, in most of the times it is not easy for local as well as national government of the heritage places to make other tourists spots in cities and town, because it will not only enhance expenditure of the government that will impact on overall income of the government but also reduce the glamour and preferences of the main tourist spot in heritage cites. Several evidence based studies have stated that, for dealing with issues of over-tourism, making money tourist spots in the heritage places is not the better solution, as it will raise the economic burden of the concerned government of the heritage cities and towns, rather the government need to focus on maintaining proper mutualism with the customers as well as with tourism companies in terms of arranging the visits of tourist in alternative years. As mentioned by Dodds et al. (2019), tourism companies in this context support the decision of the local and national government in terms of conducting the travel schedule of fir each traveller in such a manner which will reduce the crowd in the heritage cuties and town as a time. In this context, tourism companies can contact with hotels and leisure companies in heritage sites to book rooms for certain number of tourists which can be permitted by the government of heritage cutes. One other hand, the local and national government need to communicate with tourism companies in terms of convincing the tourists to travel the heritage cities and town in definite times in which their will be low crowd in these places. On the contrary Goodwin (2017) argued that, sometimes it is not possible for the government of heritage cities to manage the times and schedule of tourists by communicating the concerned tourism companies, as reducing number of tourists at a times can reduce the income of the government which then leads to economic crisis in the country. In this context, it can be stated that, the government will first research on the overall economic and social situation of the countries in which the heritage sites and situated and then implement the strategy to reduce the number of tourists at a times by conducting proper mutualism with tourism leaders.

In this context Panayiotopoulos and Pisano (2019) argued that, rather than making another tourist site in heritage place or convincing the tourism companies to reduce the number of booking for tourists in each year, the government of the heritage town needs to focus on adjust pricing for the tourist. Although risings fares and prices in the tourist places pose negative impact on the overall reputation of the heritage sites, the price reduction strategy is one of the most effective strategy which assists the government to reduce the chances of overcrowding in the heritage sites. On the contrary Lak et al. (2019) argued that, price enhancement is not a good strategy in managing over-tourism in heritage town and cities, as there are many tourists who do not care about the money while it comes to visits an adventurous place. On supporting their viewpoint, many studies have suggested that, there are millions of customers who visit different World’s Heritage Sites, in spite of knowing that the cost of accommodation, hotel fares and the entertainment fares are raising day-by-day in these places. In this context Wallace (2019) mentioned that, by using market forces it can be possible for marketers to reduce the over-crowding in the heritage sites. In this context, many destinations can impose the tourist tax and introduce high destination fares which can reduce the number of tourists visiting the heritage places. In this context, many evidences base reports have argued that, majority of the people who love to travel belong to upper-middle and higher-class society, therefore, they can afford extra cost in heritage sites. There are many countries having heritage sites, has restricted the entry of tourist in a certain place up to a definite number of people, that makes it obligatory for the travel and tourism companies to receive bookings for certain number of visitors that are mentioned by the government od that country. This is proved to be one of the most scientific and modern process in the heritage sites in which each year there is limited number of tourists cannot make over-tourism. On the contrary Koens et al. (2018) argued that, the above strategy is justified for highly developed countries in which tourism is not the main business, but in case of tourism-based countries such as Nepal, Bhutan and Singapore, restriction in the number of tourists can reduce the sources of income in the country, that reduces the economic growth in the country. Many researchers have suggested that, destination can use knowledge development process for the tourists in terms of developing their understanding as well as perception regarding the adverse impact of the over-tourism on the overall economy, social values and reputation of heritage places. Through developing literacy among the tourist regarding the impact on over-tourism on the overall economic and social growth of the heritage sites, can convince the tourist to skip their visit to these places for a certain period in which there are high chances of over-crowding in heritage places. On the contrary Dodds et al. (2019), knowledge development for tourist can be sometimes risky, as tourists can come across the wrong information and database regarding the heritage sites on the internet that can mislead them and develop an adverse perception about the heritage sites. On supporting these viewpoints, evidence-based studies have stated that, sometimes the bovver rising competition among different heritage cities and towns can influence the database and information regarding one heritage sites, in which the heritage sites ca be presented in poor manner in front of the tourists in terms of reducing the attraction of these sites. In the context, the destination having heritage sites need to communicate directly with visitors through their official websites in terms developing the knowledge and understanding of the tourists regarding the times and duration of their visits in this place.

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From above-mentioned discussion, it can be stated that, although over-tourism becomes one of the major issues in heritage town and cities, the destination itself, the concerned government and tourism company operating in these heritage sites need to cooperate with one another to set effective strategies to deal with the situation. They need to use better communication and interaction process which will assist them to solve the issues easily with using relevant tactics that are mentioned above.

Reference list:

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Buhalis, D., 2019. Technology in tourism-from information communication technologies to eTourism and smart tourism towards ambient intelligence tourism: a perspective article. Tourism Review.

Cai, W., Richter, S. and McKenna, B., 2019. Progress on technology use in tourism. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology.

Dickinson, J.E., Hibbert, J.F. and Filimonau, V., 2016. Mobile technology and the tourist experience:(Dis) connection at the campsite. Tourism management, 57, pp.193-201.

Dodds, R. and Butler, R. eds., 2019. Overtourism: Issues, realities and solutions (Vol. 1). De Gruyter Oldenbourg.

Egger, I., Lei, S.I. and Wassler, P., 2020. Digital free tourism–An exploratory study of tourist motivations. Tourism Management, 79, p.104098.

Fereidouni, M.A. and Kawa, A., 2019, April. Dark Side of Digital Transformation in Tourism. In Asian Conference on Intelligent Information and Database Systems (pp. 510-518). Springer, Cham.

Gan, S.W., Inversini, A. and Rega, I., 2018. Tourism, Development and Digital Technologies: Insights from Malaysian Homestays. In Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2018 (pp. 52-63). Springer, Cham.

GonÁalves, R., Jorge, F., Bessa, M., Martins, J.L., Teixeira, M.S. and Correia, R.J., 2018. A Conceptual Research Model Proposal of Digital Marketing Adoption and Impact on Low Density Tourism Regions.

Goodwin, H., 2017. The challenge of overtourism. Responsible Tourism Partnership.

Isa, N.F., Rosli, N.A., Hakim, F. and Akhir, I.M., 2017. Impact of web and digital experience on the stickiness of third party hotel website. Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts, 9(2), pp.399-410.

Ivanov, S., 2020. The impact of automation on tourism and hospitality jobs. Information Technology & Tourism, pp.1-11.

Koens, K., Postma, A. and Papp, B., 2018. Is overtourism overused? Understanding the impact of tourism in a city context. Sustainability, 10(12), p.4384.

Lak, A., Gheitasi, M. and Timothy, D.J., 2019. Urban regeneration through heritage tourism: cultural policies and strategic management. Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, pp.1-18.

Li, J., Pearce, P.L. and Low, D., 2018. Media representation of digital-free tourism: A critical discourse analysis. Tourism Management, 69, pp.317-329.

Navío-Marco, J., Ruiz-Gómez, L.M. and Sevilla-Sevilla, C., 2018. Progress in information technology and tourism management: 30 years on and 20 years after the internet-Revisiting Buhalis & Law's landmark study about eTourism. Tourism Management, 69, pp.460-470.

Panayiotopoulos, A. and Pisano, C., 2019. Overtourism dystopias and socialist utopias: Towards an urban armature for Dubrovnik. Tourism Planning & Development, 16(4), pp.393-410.

Seraphin, H., Sheeran, P. and Pilato, M., 2018. Over-tourism and the fall of Venice as a destination. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 9, pp.374-376.

Wallace, J., 2019. Struggle over Tourism, Sustainability & Heritage in the Colombian Archipelago of San Andrés.

Watkins, M., Ziyadin, S., Imatayeva, A., Kurmangalieva, A. and Blembayeva, A., 2018. Digital tourism as a key factor in the development of the economy. Economic annals-XXI, (169), pp.40-45.

Xiang, Z., 2018. From digitization to the age of acceleration: On information technology and tourism. Tourism management perspectives, 25, pp.147-150.

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