Traveling is one of the main causes the Coronavirus has spread across the world and, consequently, government restrictions on movement and tourist traffic became a general trend. In addition to the economic downturn, it is the reason why international tourism took a severe hit. Considering the fact that tourism is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries globally, a huge effort should be undertaken for tourism to reach back to its core capacities in the present situation. The situation needs to be strategically addressed with proactive measures for tourism to regain socio-economic stability after the pandemic. This industry includes air, sea and land transportation, food supply chain, accommodation sector, entertainment, recreation, etc. Consequently, there is a wide area of businesses proposing changes, and mostly because the post-COVID tourists will not be the same as pre-COVID ones. Innovative solutions regarding safety and hygiene measures, as well as the proximity of medical facilities, will be of key importance in meeting the public’s expectations.
A strategy to attract tourists includes safety innovations
During a global crisis, the tourism and hospitality industry usually takes the strongest punch, being one of the strong pillars of the modern socio-economic system. Especially now, when this industry is closely correlated to the origin of the crisis, we can expect an even greater downturn. The question that no one seems to have an answer to is how the changes in the industry are going to affect the rules of the game. Without a doubt, these changes will affect almost every aspect of the tourist’s travel and stay. The nature of the challenge this industry is facing can place greater emphasis on the safety of travelers. In response to this, tourism brands will inevitably have to move forward with bold, innovative ideas that include wider technology adoption. While major hotel brands already made significant progress in this area, others will have to follow too, not to underestimate the outcomes. It is certain that the future of tourism will strongly rely on digital and technological discoveries such as the use of chatbots to make reservations, mobility patterns to manage visitor flows, artificial intelligence, the IoT, 5G, service-oriented robotic, gamification methods for emotional monitoring, etc. These innovations are going to shape the new tourist experience. The good news is that technology innovations will have a shorter idea-to-market time since more and more industry leaders are turning to the assistance of innovation management software solutions. Several hotels are already replacing staff with robots used to deliver room service which in this situation represents the safer alternative.
New hygiene standards as rigorous as they can be
Tourists buy experience so every hotel must accommodate their spaces with special attention to the safety of their guests. If you are thirsty, you go to the store and buy a drink, but if you want to sit in front of a beautiful landscape on a breeze of the summer wind and drink something, you will most likely travel to some special place and pay for that experience. If this includes a potential horror disease experience, no one will be interested in buying. New standard requirements for cleaning accommodation facilities are going to be highly regulated. Elevator buttons, door handles, furniture, switches, remote controls, and other frequently touched objects must be adequately cleaned and sanitized after every use. Face masks, hand sanitizer and other hygiene equipment should always be available for guests in need. Innovations in the front desk experience are bringing us a new way of welcoming guests with contact-free receptions. It is more likely you will encounter an electronic device on your next trip instead of the kind receptionist.
Domestic travel is a new exotic destination
The proximity of medical facilities will make tourists rethink the distance they are willing to travel and, in most cases, affect the rising demand for domestic tourism. If the trend with closed international borders continues, it is possible that people will simply have no other choice. Outstanding opportunities lie in front of businesses truly listening to the customer voice and observing their behavior. It is important to send the right message to potential customers and use marketing tools to promote the value of domestic tourism. That should be conducted in a manner of reliving nostalgic moments or the excitement of discovering hidden beauties of their country.
Innovative features placed to increase health security and well being will undoubtedly be based on technological solutions. Aiming to anticipate people’s needs and make predictive models, machine learning can be very useful in marketing these destinations and targeting people who want to explore new places, or the places they have already visited a long time ago. The places already visited often evoke a feeling of serenity and confidence, and these attributes should be the most important ones communicated for travelers. As for facilities that usually host a large number of people such as museums, theme parks, theatres, and recreational centers, we’ve seen the use of augmented reality in practice and we are sure we will be seeing a lot of it in the future as well.
Business travel is still a thing?
We were hearing a lot about this. It is no wonder why a big portion of hotel industry revenues comes from the business segment, but that may be changing. Companies won’t risk sending their employees on business travel because of the risk of getting sick. The tourism industry will suffer from this negative impact for an indefinite period, but in order to organize their team’s communication and encourage collaboration in joint business projects, there are suitable technology alternatives. Re-imagining corporate travels will present quite a challenge for the tourism industry. It isn’t impossible though if they focus their efforts on creativity and innovation of main pain points such as major corporate events, conferences, and team-building activities. This is a situation where every idea counts as a contributing factor to reaching the goal of reviving business tourism.
Another important aspect of future tourism is flexibility. In this industry, flexibility is what businesses are going to highlight through cancellation policies, service rates, schedule modifications, etc. Also, new practices and policies are expected in nearly every aspect of the guest’s experience. We are super excited to see what awaits us in future travels. Stay innovative!