The Travel and Tourism Industry Innovates through New Technology
The China Chamber of Tourism and the Macao government hosted a three-day forum with the main purpose of finding new collaborations in the travel and tourism industry to foster greater economic growth globally. Executives and officials are looking into all areas of the industry and checked out ways on how to foster its growth. They examine and evaluate areas of growth from searching new budding markets to setting up successful and productive big events. A panel discussion was sponsored by China Daily on September 11, 2012 focusing on the importance of using new technologies efficiently. The impact of technology in the industry is enormous. One example that contributed to the formulation of this forum was the boom of Lonely Planet’s apps all over the world. Lonely Planet, a simple travelling guide, is a 40-year old business that contains the founders’ trip experiences across Asia from the UK to Australia. This simple business turned into a big giant and a significant multimedia business. Lonely Planet is best known for their guidebooks but it also has websites, mobile applications, e-books, and television. The company even sells all kinds of things.
New Technology and media has changed the way of tourism. Travelers turn to the internet to research on potential destinations and do bookings online. They even include sharing their experiences of the trips they go to. The executive director of Ctrip.com said that consumers know more about the industry and travel businesses cannot make money from the information gap anymore. The past ten years has empowered consumers greatly. A great majority of travelers do their search online for bookings, travel guides and visas. According to John Liu, the executive vice-president and head of Greater China at Google, 85% of travelers do their research on the net and the average traveler does 55 online searches before a booking. Comparing and looking for information is very easy now and all kinds of information are available on the internet.
Another topic that was discussed in the panel was the impact of Global Positioning System (GPS) on how the airlines operate and on how easy traveling has become around an unfamiliar city. Millions of people around the world have benefited from this technology. What seems to be impossible in the past has become acceptable at present like travelling from one point to another by using a virtual boarding pass, self check-in of luggage and more. After this three-day forum, executives and officials hope to establish better ties among each other and implement their plans so that continuous economic growth in the travel and tourism industry will be achieved.