In a recent article in the Southern African Tourism Update, Gillian Saunders from Grant Thornton International has made some interesting observations in terms of technology, apps and trends within a new hospitality environment.
In the item it is suggested that tourists and visitors can from their i phones do pre- check in, select a room or unit of their choice and even pre order their drinks and meals before they step foot into a hotel or hospitality property.
She reiterates the importance of using technology to provide meet precise customer need and demand without compromising the human element of hosting guests.
Technology also allows for businesses to glean a great detail of information about an existing and potential client so that one can present a tourism experience that suits the profile of the tourist.
In some instances guests can from afar pre programme their TV to a language of their choice and adjust the air conditioning to their comfort preferences- and the list goes on.
Evidently some 46% of what is termed “millennials” have indicated that use of a mobile phone to expedite a great service from a property will induce them to stay at the property again. The question thus arises- how techno tuned is our tourism sector at present?
It appears we in South Africa are lagging behind and that massive change in this sphere of service is looming. My opinion is that proactive tourism practitioners here on the South Coast have and will embrace this new wave of applications to enhance visitor satisfaction and their bottom line.
For this reason, Ugu South Coast Tourism’s marketing and communications personnel attend trade and consumer shows to identify possible new advances and opportunities that could be passed on to our members.
At Getaway Show 2014, our marketing coordinator attended a day workshop specifically dedicated to new technology in tourism.
We certainly will be checking out opportunities at Indaba 2015 (Durban) and World Travel Market Africa (Cape Town) both of which we will be attending.
Till then and being a child of the 50’s I’ll keep on sending messages home by pigeon post.
Have a great Sunny and Safe week in Paradise and remember that the rumble of bikes looms at the end of the month’s Africa Bike Week- and motor bikes are another impressive technology altogether!