Technology Used in Hospitality & Tourism
Technology plays an important role in the hospitality and tourism industry. Both customers and businesses can benefit from advances in communication, reservations and guest services systems. Technology allows continuous communication and streamlines the guest experience, from reservation to checkout.
The Internet has a powerful impact on hospitality and tourism. For many businesses and locations, the experience starts long before a traveller arrives–it begins with the first visit to the website when a person sees photos of the location and gets a sense of what to expect. In the hospitality and tourism business, the effective use of Internet technologies can improve revenue. Websites, blogs, online advertising, social media, online ordering and information repositories all help convince customers to choose a location or business.
Booking engines allow easy access by consumers and travel professionals; the systems enable individuals to make reservations and compare prices. Many, like Expedia and Orbitz, are available through online interfaces. Booking engines cut costs for travel businesses by reducing call volume and giving travellers more control over their purchasing process.
Because many tourism businesses are large and dispersed, they use computer systems to stay connected. Computer systems allow communication between branches and locations which makes it easier to streamline reservations and cross-company policies. They are also used internally to keep all of the staff on the same page and make it easier to access information that can improve the guest experience: guest preferences, housekeeping information and reservation details can all be kept on a single system.
Many travellers take some form of mobile communication device with them on the road, whether it is a tablet computer or a mobile phone. To keep customers advised of changes many tourism and hospitality businesses use mobile communication; they send delay notices, offer deals and sponsor location-based advertising. Depending on the type of business the communication might happen through emails, text messaging or GPS tagging, for example.
Today’s traveller carries numerous electronic devices, and reliable, wireless Internet connectivity ranks at the top of the list for customer needs. Some luxury hotels provide iPads or smartphones to the customers for use during their stay. Guests can use the hotel’s Web application to access room service options via an e-dining Internet site or use an interactive service that finds nearby restaurants, transportation or shopping.