27 Jun 8 Benefits of ICTs in the tourism sector in Tenerife
At present, and with a view to the future, ICTs (information and communication technologies) are widespread in the tourism sector, becoming a key tool and a fundamental ally to be connected with the tourist before, during and after their trip.
Digital tourists are increasingly well informed and demanding, with a talent for influence, and have managed to transform the processes of the services and products available, as well as promote the creation of new market niches.
The tourism sector is a perfect example of transforming and adapting a business model to the digital era.
“Information and communication technologies respond to the needs of tourists and businesses in the sector”.
For a tourist destination such as Tenerife, ICTs are an essential element in the transformation of the island into a Smart Destination with sustainable and accessible development for all parties involved.
The importance of ICTs in the transformation of the destination
ICTs and software development are advancing by leaps and bounds, revolutionising the tourism sector to such an extent that they no longer only influence the way tourists travel, but they also affect how users choose a destination and what they will do before, during and after their holidays.
“According to studies carried out by Google Travel, 74% of travellers plan their trips on the Internet, and only 13% do it through travel agencies”.
In this aspect, the application and development of new technologies in the tourism sector is transforming a destination such as the Canary Islands, visited by more than 15 million tourists (in 2018), into a Smart Tourist Destination.
The particular characteristics of Tenerife, the largest and most mountainous of the islands with the greatest biological diversity, make it a unique enclave.
As a result, ICT development in the tourism sector is aimed at services that protect the environment. This has turned Tenerife into a leading destination in Europe since it is the island with the largest number of hotels bearing the international ecological stamp Travelife.
A solid ICT infrastructure helps to turn a destination into an innovative tourist destination, ensuring the quality of life of its residents and making the area accommodating, habitable, accessible and sustainable.
What benefits do ICTs bring to the tourism sector?
According to a study conducted by The Valley Digital Business School, the development of ICTs entails many benefits for the tourism sector:
- Universal accessibility: Without question, this is the most important benefit afforded by new technologies. Smart destinations, with innovative development, have fostered the emergence of accessible, satisfactory and personalised experiences for every client profile, including disabled people or people with mobility problems.
- Smart tourist destinations: There is an increasing number of destinations built on avant-garde technological infrastructures, guaranteeing sustainable development, accessibility, incorporation of the visitor into the environment, increased quality of life, and improved experience in the destination, etc.
Some examples of this are the installation of free Wi-Fi networks, video guides or mobile applications, self-guides, beacons that send tourist information according to the situation, interactive games, etc.
- Comfort, swiftness and immediate availability of information: Users can book their trip in just a few minutes, using different devices and comparing prices and opinions. They can also receive information in real time such as traffic, travel tips, weather reports, recommended restaurants in the area.
- Exclusive experiences and customised tourist services: One of the advantages of Big Data and smart data management has been the personalisation of the services according to the user’s profile, time of purchasing, consumption patterns and location.
Technology is key for this: mobile systems, IoT, augmented reality, wearables that facilitate leisure processes or activities…
- Interactivity and real-time connection with the customer: Connection with the traveller before, during and after their trip is one of the key features technology must facilitate: respond to their queries, establish a closer relationship with them, listen to their proposals or complaints, etc.
- Growth in the collaborative economy: ICTs have given rise to the creation of new models of collaborative business related with purchases or leisure, which have in turn led to a greater number of tourists and the use of underused elements.
- Global presence in the international tourism market: The Internet has no geographical barriers, which facilitates entry into foreign markets, increases the scope of potential clients and creates synergies and connections with other companies.
- Streamlining of processes and reduction of costs: Digitalisation and the emergence of wearable devices means that many accommodations now operate exclusively via software applications that automatize bookings and manage material, human resources and maintenance and quality control.
This has helped to facilitate processes, reduce management errors, increase productivity and improve brand positioning.
Digitalisation and the development of smart tourism are part of the future and Tenerife is receiving an increasing number of digitally-oriented tourists. As a result, ICTs and software development is a sector gaining in importance which presents endless opportunities for those who set out to innovate in a destination with great benefits and high expectations.