|Type of paper:||Term paper|
|Categories:||Information technologies Tourism|
Hi-tech advancements in the travel industry have revolutionized the way people travel and move across the globe. In this overly digital world, technological advancements are easy to find, not only in the travel industry but also in all other sectors. To remain competitive in this kind of a modernized economy, travel and tourism industries have had to embrace various technological advancements. This has been marked by a fascinating uplift in the efficiency and quality of travel and tourism services globally. One specific technological advancement in the travel industry is the incorporation of mobile technology in the travel processes-from booking of tickets, the planning for traveling to the booking for accommodation services. The application of mobile technology in the travel industry is arguably the noblest invention in the planning and booking of travels, leading to the improvement of social and economic mobility globally.
Impact of Mobile Technology on the Travel Industry and Tourism
One of the key mobile technology applications in the travel industry is the invention of smartphone applications that can be used for the booking and the planning of travel arrangements. Based on the today's advanced computing technology, the smartphone has become vital in the digitization of the travel and tourism industries (Dan, 85). The transport networks and tourism sector have all seen a great uplift in the efficiency and quality of services, thanks to the development of smartphone applications, which has also acted as a link between tourism and travel. Today, in one mobile application, one can book a travel ticket and also book for accommodation services globally. This has not only made the tourism industry more competitive, but it has also provided an interactive medium for the tourist departments with potential tourists.
The society today has become more and more connected to the internet. One particular electronic device that is found in nearly all homesteads is a smartphone. These digital mobile devices have undergone a tremendous transformation, and today, they can be used to perform many activities, not limited to planning and booking of travel services, banking, and other related activities. The rapid adoption of mobile technology, specifically the smartphone technology, has enabled people to travel from one place to another with increased fluidity. Also, the increase in awareness of the capabilities of a smartphone in the tourism and travel industry has led to an increase in its use in these two industries. Furthermore, the smartphone technology is evolving greatly with the addition of amazing features to already near perfect mobile devices. This, combined with the invention of more efficient text messaging services, the incorporation of GPS navigation software has had a great impact on the travel and tourism industry.
The use of mobile applications as guides to persons on possible destinations for their tours has been on the increase recently. This, combined with the improvement in the capabilities of smartphones has led to a remarkable transformation in the tourism industry. Smartphones host some downloadable applications that can assist in the identification of most suitable regions for tours, the financial requirements and the possible costs of accommodation services. Today, there are hundreds of applications available for use by smartphone users in the analysis of tour destinations to come up with the ideal choices. This provides a wide range of information to people on and hence enable them to make comparisons. Most importantly, these smartphone applications use beautiful infographics and presentations to woo potential travelers to tour selected areas. Overall, the tourism has received a major boost as the effects of M-travelling continue being realized.
Digital travel and smart travel would ideally not be very successful without the mobile technology. With today's advancements in mobile technology, tourists and travelers can track their locations and even the locations of social amenities around them at any given time during their travel (Barry 21). This is made simple and efficient by the development of smartphone applications capable of tracing the geographical position with nearly precise approximations of distances. This has in turn given tourist and travelers more freedom and flexibility during their travel. The biggest beneficiaries of this improvement of technology are the owners of tourist-related businesses who have reaped big and will continue to do so, thanks to the smartphone technology. However, this requires that all tourism-related businesses to recognize that the smartphone is the main trusted adviser to most tourists and hence the need to lobby for the design of more robust mobile applications to better their incomes.
Globally there is a growing trend of tourists and travelers to book for their travel without even minding to be assured of their accommodation at their destinations. This can be attributed to the development of smartphone applications to enable travelers and tourists to book for their accommodation while in their journeys or even on arrival at the destination (Kim et al., 11). It has been made possible by the widespread use and the availability of smartphones. According to a study conducted by UNESCO. At least 97% of travelers and tourists globally travel with smartphones (Dan 33). Also, the same study reveals that over 25% of global travelers book for their accommodation while on travel or on arrival at the destination (Dan 34). Therefore, mobile technology has impacted the travel and tourism industry greatly.
Mobile technology has enabled the real-time communication between tourism entities. This is because, in the digital world of today, mobile devices can be used by travelers and tourists as multipurpose devices, both in the travel industry and in the tourism industry. Studies have shown that an increase in the efficiency of the tourism industry corresponds to a positive shift in the travel patterns. In many countries, tourism authorities and the communication departments work in tandem, with a common goal of revolutionizing both sectors. One device that makes this kind of collaboration possible is the smartphone. Without the smartphone, the potential tourists cannot connect efficiently with destinations in other countries. Similarly, the tourist industries cannot effectively collaborate with the potential tourists or travelers without the smartphone (Kim et al., 11).This is not to mean that there are no other avenues of collaboration between these sectors. Studies have shown that travelers and tourists prefer smart tourism, through mobile technology, allowing digital connectivity, and more civic engagement with their destinations of choice.
The use of tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices has empowered tourists and adventurers with new and flexible options for travel and more freedom to explore new places. The significance of smartphones and tablets is that they can be used at any stage in the pre-planning, planning and post-tour stages. A particular group of persons who were more likely to use mobile technology in their travel arrangements is the millennials. This is due to the popularity of the use of a smartphone by this group. According to a study by Trip Advisor, at least 42% of travelers use smartphones in their planning for travel of which, 60% of these are millennials. Out of these people, at least 80% of them use location-based mobile applications in their planning (Janet et al. 22). To respond to this surge in the usage of mobile technology in the planning of travel and adventurous tours, the companies in the tourism sector have realigned their services and even reformulated their business strategies with the aim of tapping into this business opportunity. With the current trend of global digitization, we can only expect a more competitive and robust tourism industry in the near future.
The advent of mobile technology in the travel industry has helped minimize the monopolistic effect in the industry where few global firms have traditionally had a near total industry control. Today, individual airports, train booking stations, and popular tourists destinations have developed their smartphone applications to enable their customers, and in general, all travelers have quick and efficient access to their services. This has been to the common good of the industry as its competitiveness and efficiency has continued to increase over the years. Furthermore, an increase in competition in the travel and tourism industries has led to an increase in the quality of services offered and also the robustness of the industry.
One important aspect of smartphones is the social media platforms available in smartphones. This is particularly important in the use of web content that is user-generated. Smartphone applications also referred to apps, can easily manage the uploading of photos, allow access to blogs and also recommend favorite travel sites. A good example is the volcanic ash crisis across Europe in 2010, where facebook, twitter, and Instagram took the lead in informing and alerting passengers and travelers on possible transport interruptions as a result of the volcanic ash (Ulrike et al. 22). These social media sites used user-generated content to deliver real-time updates on the places for users to visit and recommendations on all air transport aspects. In normal transport situations, the social media platforms, give updates on the routes to avoid due to crowding and congestion and also notify user transport incidences such as accidents. These inventions in the social media have subsequently made the tourism industry more marketable, efficient and focused on quality service delivery. Furthermore, through updates on possible dangerous occurrences on the various lines of transport, the social media applications available in the smartphones have led to an enhancement in the security of travelers.
Revolutionary inventions in the mobile technology have enabled the use of remote systems to generate user data on the existing travel patterns and the best travel opportunities available. There has been a surge in the number of projects launched with the aim of using the remote user data collected to generate useful models in the travel and tourism industries (Eden et al. 12). This data can be synonymously synched with other information to provide timely approximations on the number of possible travelers and tourists, and the favorite destinations to visit globally. However, there have been concerns over the privacy of data of smartphone in these technological applications. There have been accusations and counter accusations on the nature of risks that smartphone users expose to themselves as data firms generate there user based travel models(Dongwook et al. 10). This has led to intense lobbying by human rights groups and technology activists for governments and mobile application developers to reaffirm that the safety in the access of user data. Future mobility will primarily depend on how travellers and tourists manage technology to suit various needs while within the constraints of the right to privacy.
The development of mobile applications to help offer door to door services has tremendously transformed the tourism and travel industry. Some of these mobile applications include Uber, which is globally known for its taxi services. Using GPS based mobile application, the company can easily identify the location of a customer traveler and subsequently arrange for their workers to move in quickly and accord their services to their clients(Yan et al.10).
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