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Challenges And Solutions for Online Tourism

Tourism industry businesses face certain challenges, solutions to which should be provided both on short-term and long-term basis.
World Tourism Forum online tourism
5
Nov

Challenges And Solutions for Online Tourism

In today’s world industries are too interconnected with each other, which makes operations really challenging in any business, including tourism. Introduction of digital and online solutions was aimed to facilitate these operations, however, we witnessed, that these solutions have changed the whole business models, have made some existing businesses disappear and have led to the emergence of brand new market opportunities. The list of impacts of digital revolution on our lives can go to infinity, but to summarize, it changed and shaped literally everything we do.

Tourism industry businesses face certain challenges, solutions to which should be provided both on short-term and long-term basis. Although those challenges are specific to the country or region due to various factors, they can be broadly categorized as follows:

I. Online Communication Systems

Establishing communication channels include communication with customers as well as communication strategies within the tourism company itself.

➢ Available online solutions:

• Social media sites

Social media sites offer a great channel to interact with customers both for big corporations and for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the latest comprising the biggest portion of all tourism industry members and corporations, involved in travel industry.

Social media sites are easy to establish and manage and social media page management system should be developed by businesses for effective marketing activities.

Effective social media management can boost sales up to 400% without any budget allocation.

Some success cases on effective usage of social media sites include Air Asia, a low-cost Malaysian airline company; Taco Bell, American chain of fast-food restaurants and Maersk Line, container shipping company.

The most popular social media sites are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Vkontakte, Flickr, Vine, ask.fm, Youtube etc.

Online solutions for facilitation of communication between members within the company include online tools such as project management, task implementation and direct interaction (chat) tools.

II. Online Talent Identification and HR Management

Most of the tourism businesses face challenges of identifying new talented people to work with, as well as in training them in a way their specific industry requires. Human resources policy is at the core of any services industry business and it plays the major role in tourism.

➢ Available online solutions:

• Online Career Sites

Online career sites made it easier for tourism businesses to find new talents according to their needs.
The famous global career sites include the followings: LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, Xing, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder etc.

• Online Accreditation and Certification Programmes

IATA (International Air Transportation Association), which represents 86% of total air traffics with more than 260 airlines, offers online programs and courses, on completion of which the professionals in aviation industry are granted with certificates. The main areas of training are aviation management, travel and tourism, airport, cargo, travel agency, ground services and civil aviation authority.

III. Online Technology Infrastructure and Development

Online travel agencies, airline companies and hospitality institutions are in need for sustainable real-time technology systems, which they can use in line with their company goals and objectives to develop new methods and policies.

➢ Available online solutions:

There a lot various solutions offered by companies in form of:

  • Electronic ticketing systems
  • Interactive websites
  • Software as a Service (SaaS), such as TrekkSoft, Bytemark, Peek
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS), such as Trip4real, Flextrip
  • Global Distribution Systems (GDS), such as Amadeus
  • Reservation Systems, such as Oracle etc.

Technological solutions comprise wide range of solutions starting from flight reservation and ending with the latest app to order amenities in a hotel.

 

IV. Online Management and Administration

Many tourism businesses are in need of effective company management policies. Due to seasonality aspect, tourism industry should be managed in efficient way, taking into account periodical profitability up and downs. To facilitate tourism management, online solutions have been developed.

➢ Available online solutions:

• Big Data Online Analytics

To track and manage analysis of online sales of any travel agency, hotel or flight reservation website, various tools are offered, such as Google Analytics, Yahoo Web Analytics, Crazy Eggs, Compete, Optimizely, TripAdvisor’s New Destination Analytics Dashboard etc.

• Tourist Destination Web Monitor

It is a technological platform for the acquisition of tourist information through the Web presence of Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs). The system involves incorporation of a small code, that must be integrated to destination website. Tracking indicators include number of visits, bounce rates, average session duration and other metrics.

• Revenue Management Systems

Revenue Management Systems help tourism industry businesses, such as airlines companies, hotels and travel agencies to track and plan their revenue accordingly. The examples for such systems are iDEAS, RMS, Pros etc.

When considering online tourism industry from the perspective of these four types of categories of analysis, the businesses can easily identify their weak and strong sides and, thus, implement available online solutions offered today or create and develop their own solutions to meet challenges and market needs.

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