Technology Impacts on Tourism
With 1.3 billon tourists in 2017, an increase of 7% compared to 2016, the tourism sector experiences its strongest growth since early 2010 and nobody could be happier than France. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), France is the most visited country in the world with more than 89 million travelers.
When tourism economy gains from digital economy.
More and more tourism platforms are developed and becoming popular on the internet. Either you have a blog to share your adventures, an Instagram account to capture your weekend getaways or just by posting a comment on Yelp or TripAdvisor about the last bar you went to … everyone is part of the tourism economy. This is no surprise, when for instance 77% of french people own a smartphone they can use to give advice online. Adding to that, Europe’s law to end roaming charges lets every European use their smartphone when traveling to another country in the EU, for example. Just like that, we start to get a glimpse at how technology is used for tourism.
Being able to book a hotel online, board a plane with your smartphone, turning a tablet into a tourist guide in a museum … even cryptocurrency is getting involved in tourism!
Airbnb’s and Tripadvisor’s influence on the tourism economy.
Just by looking at these two world-known companies we can see that technology is shaping the tourism sector.
Airbnb is the biggest accommodation-sharing website in the world. You can book a place to stay, wherever you desire to travel and most of the time for a more attractive price than the competition. But going so strong against the competition is what cost Airbnb some backlash, many professionals complained about the unfair advantage the website gave its customer, many of them didn’t have the required license to rent their home and others were doing tax evasion by not reporting how much money they were making through Airbnb. France took the matter in its hand to control the situation again by heavily reminding the website’s users of the law, some were even fined for their illegal renting. Technology makes getting into the tourism business pretty easy and we can see its impact needs to be regulated.
Concerning TripAdvisor, a recent article by Vice about fake reviews left us wondering how legit the website is. The platform lets users rate places such as restaurants and hotels and share their opinions and advice to other tourists. By writing fake reviews, many establishments could get an artificial popularity fooling any user. Even worse, you could make a fake restaurant the number one place to eat in London, all you need is a lot of fake positive reviews and add some mystery to place the seed. As the Vice article suggests, technology is a great way to get information, but is all of it legit? Sadly not.
You’d like to know everything you could do when you travel, but don’t want Google to track you? Then maybe it’s time to switch to aFabulousTrip. Using an algorithm to rank interest points based on their popularity on social media, the website provides a complete tour guide: hotels, restaurants, museums, activities … and for more than 50,000 cities in the world.
AfabulousTrip wants to give the essential travel information about a city, even if that city is not a popular destination for tourism. The long-term goal is to map out every location of interest in Europe, American and Australia, not matter how many inhabitants live in the city. You won’t need to search across different platforms to know where to eat or what to see during your next holiday in the country side.
Technology provides us with an ongoing flow of information and all economic sectors are impacted, whether it’s on a local or global scale. This is especially significant for tourism and we know the future will have a lot to offer and surprise us with a new way to travel.