Technology has transformed the lives of many people based on the way it has changed their way of doing things. The hospitality and tourism industry is one of the sectors that have witnessed greater changes brought about by technology. It is not surprising that this industry is ranked among the best performing industry around the world. Technology has contributed a lot towards this success. Technology is paramount in the success of the hospitality and tourism industry regardless of having some flaws as evidenced in the paper Background Information Hospitality and tourism industry is one of the best performing industries, both at regional/domestic and international level.
According to the Tourism World Council, the tourism industry contributes to around 10% of GDP in the world. This rate is expected to increase by the year 2014, World Travel and Tourism Council 2004. The force behind this rapid growth is the adoption of information technology in its management and operations. Many businesses in hospitality and tourism incorporate information technology in their businesses thus standing a good chance of reaping huge returns of the same.
Computerized traveling Industry (ITS)
Computerized reservation systems are an example of an information technology system used in this sector to reach the target customers. Technology in the industry before the advancement of technology was very difficult for the tourist and hospitality industry to market its services to its customers. It was also very expensive because customers are always physically apart, miles away, for instance. However, the coming of information technology has eased the transaction of business besides boosting the customer base. The fact that people can communicate and interact with one another in different regions has made it easier and cheap to market their products and services.
Global Distribution System in Tourism & Hospitality
The emergence of global distribution systems allowed easy connection and communication across borders. This allowed the fast transfer of information that helped to boost the industry in terms of the number of bookings. Global distribution was a form of inter-organizational system that emerged from computer reservation systems that helped to integrate information from the airline. These integrations boosted the tourism industry since customers were able to make their reservations at one common marketplace.
Benefits of Technology in Travel
The benefits of technology on the hospitality and tourism industry are enormous. The capability of sharing information has come with technology has been manifested in major sectors of economies. The hospitality and tourism sector is one of the sectors that require adequate marketing across the globe. With the internet in place, this has been achieved with ease and at low costs.
The hospitality industry and tourism have used this opportunity to share ideas on various businesses. It has also helped to bring together people separated by geographical locations, as well as those from different cultures. Many online travelers said that they use the internet to get updates or information on their destinations and any other logistics about their traveling.
Technology has enabled people to search for directions, maps for directions, accommodation/hospitality facilities, schedules, airfare, and the amount of money to be spent for a tour. The availability of this information on the internet, for example, tourist attraction sites, tourist attraction scenes, and features create a platform for persuading people to travel and experience them.
Challenges/disadvantages of Technology: Technology has some challenges.
According to Jungian and Hardin, the virtual world presents challenges of maintenance and follow-up. It requires a lot of investment in internet use in terms of updating the links and responding to many blogs that are sent. People or potential visitors may change their minds or plan to travel to a particular destination if their queries are not answered on time. Another challenge is the increased risk of cybercrime and hacking.
One of the disadvantages that technology has brought to the industry is that it has caused unemployment. Many people who worked in the hotels as managers, waiters, and cooks, as well as those in the tourist industry such as tour guides, lost their jobs to cut the cost and by utilizing the internet. The creation of jobs in these industries has also reduced because most of the marketing and advertising is done through the internet. Privacy has also been affected by the coming up of the internet.
People have improvised ways of hacking or gaining into the websites of organizations to steal important information. This exposes the company to risk. This is a challenge especially to small and medium tourist enterprises that possess inadequate skills and knowledge in website efficiency.
Technology has contributed greatly to the success of the hospitality and tourism industry across the globe. Countries that have positively embraced technology in their operations have benefited in terms of increased revenue. The potential of this technology is exorbitant. However, it requires people who have vast knowledge and expertise on how it operates to manage it well and to reap from its overwhelming potentials. On the other hand, technology has rendered many people jobless. This has affected their living standards since they depend on their jobs as their source of livelihood. However, its benefits surpass the negatives as revealed in the paper.