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Smart tourism: How technology is shaping tourism

In the modern day, more and more tourist destinations are utilising technology. From historical destinations to places of relaxation, let’s take a look at some of the ways smart tourism technology is shaping these experiences.

Interactivity and immersiveness

One of the most distinct examples of the impact of technology on tourism is the use of virtual reality (VR) technologies to provide ‘virtual tourism’ experiences – allowing digital travellers to visit places virtually, without having to physically go there. Virtual tourism is so popular, in fact, that the market size is expected to experience 30.2% CAGR over the next five years, jumping from $6.1 billion to $23.5 billion by 2028.

Whilst VR provides users with a completely new digital environment, augmented reality (AR) on the other hand incorporates digital features into existing reality. Similarly to VR, AR is also increasingly being used in tourism, particularly when it comes to places of historical significance. For places like the Colosseum in Rome, AR can be used to ‘rebuild’ the parts of the ruins that have collapsed, showing visitors what it would have looked like in its heyday. In doing so, this provides tourists with a broader immersive experience, and more opportunity to interact with their surroundings.

Source: Pixabay

Not only has technology served to make tourism itself more interactive and immersive, but it also allows people to explore the popular themes and motifs of tourist destinations through different modes of entertainment – from TV to films, and even online casino games. For example, when you play online casino games you’ll find many that are inspired by destinations, monuments, and historical places that are popular with tourists, such as Cleopatra Grand, Dawn of the Incas, Alohawaii, and 4 Corners of Rome. As these games explore the themes and motifs of popular tourist destinations like the Egyptian pyramids, South America, Hawaii, and the monuments of ancient Rome, this provides players with an authentic and realistic experience.

Instant information

As you can see, technology within tourism is not only about providing an immersive and interactive experience, but also imparting useful and accurate information along the way without disrupting or halting the flow. This is yet another area where smart tourism technology has benefited tourist destinations, particularly through the use of wearable devices, chatbots, and particularly QR codes. QR codes can easily be displayed in the hotel lobby without creating clutter, easily directing hotel guests to nearby attractions, restaurants, bus stops, and taxi ranks, which allows hotels the opportunity to keep their information and advice as up-to-date as possible.

Source: Unsplash

In addition to this, QR codes can be utilised by the attractions themselves. The average art gallery visitor spends an average of 21 seconds reading description labels – and museum visitors just 16 seconds. With this in mind, curators need to strike the right balance between people who briefly glance for two seconds, and those who read in-depth for a full minute. QR codes, then pose the opportunity for museums to have a brief summary within the display to satisfy those who only want the basics – then, those wanting more thorough descriptions can scan the QR code to access further information.

Of course, chatbots and wearable devices can serve a similar purpose as the QR codes, providing information on demand or automatically when you arrive at a specific spot. With all this smart tourism technology available – and further innovations almost certain to come in the future – tourism is being shaped for the better by technology.