30 Apr Our 3 guidelines to driving digital transformation in your tourism business
It’s now impossible for anyone to escape daily exposure to the full integration of the internet and new technologies. Much less tourists. As Darwin warned, you either adapt or disappear. To avoid the latter, here are three simple guidelines to keep in mind when improving digitalisation in your tourism business
The eCommerce Observatory says that more than 95% of today’s tourists use digital resources in the course of their journeys – before, during and even after the trip. There is no doubt that digitalisation is already part of people’s lives and the impacts can be seen and (even more importantly) measured. And while it is difficult to map the trends due to the constant changes in this volatile scenario, what remains consistent is the importance of focusing on the value proposition to visitors.
Meeting their needs, knowing their preferences and making life easy for them are actions that involve three factors: the expectations of the traveller, the talent of the person who looks after them and the technology that takes advantage of the data contributed by users. Digital transformation sits within this mix, which means that technological resources are only part of the equation. Real change and adaptation to the new digital scenario will only be achieved if opportunities arising from the newly available knowledge are interpreted, managed and exploited.
We’ve now reached the point at which it’s worth asking yourself: where do I start the digital transformation of my company? We at INNOVATUR offer you three guidelines to follow – whether you’re just starting on the path to digital transformation or want to check that you’re moving in the right direction.
- Put the customer at the centre of your decisions.
The customer no longer only chooses the solution to their requirements, but often also provides it. Tourists are active users who go through different phases during their travel experience. Through digitalisation, the tourism sector has the opportunity to provide value before, during and after a customer’s visit. Putting the customer at the centre of the decisions – also called the consumer centricity strategy – means asking your business or accommodation establishment a single question: how can I make the experience memorable for the tourist I’m talking to? This question was answered at the Talent for Tourism Conference which was held recently in Barcelona, where some key guidelines were proposed:
- Give priority to profitable customers.
- Make decisions based on your customers.
- Establish appropriate measurement indicators.
- Use segmentation to identify the different types of customer you want to target and customise your product based on the data you obtain about each segment.
- Prepare yourself and your team to understand that any commitment to non-technological innovation will be based on the user experience, talent management or creative development.
Although you can also enrol in INNOVATUR and have access to an expert who will offer you free, personalised advice.
- Create a totally digital platform, whether physical, online or mobile.
A coordinated multi-channel approach is essential. There are some travellers who expect to have more comforts than when they are at home and others who don’t need luxury experiences – but of course all of them expect the basics to be there… and technology is now one of those basics. Therefore, you need to be aware that your hotel or tourism business must:
- Incorporate new (or not so new) technologies in situ.
- Have an online presence: not only on your website, but also in social media to be able to listen actively, interact with the audiences you are targeting and manage your reputation.
- Have a commitment to mobile infrastructure: If the tourist is digital, the experience must be digital, which means also ensuring customers are satisfied when using their mobile devices.
- None of this works without talented people.
There’s no point in providing customers with all the necessary technological resources unless these are backed-up by a team of professional staff who can personally advise customers and ensure that each experience is unique. Machines are no replacement for people and – although technology helps – only employees can make the customer feel valued, which is the essence of a memorable visit. Therefore, what really makes the difference is the talent of the organisation’s people.
What does this mean?
It means that when the different perspectives to improve the organisation’s processes are incorporated into the business, ideas are generated to address the challenges. Creativity calls for innovation. The first creates something new and the second integrates this new idea into the company to create products and services that offer customers added value. Hence, although technology makes it possible to digitalise your commercial business or hotel establishment, it is the talent of your people that brings about the digital transformation.
What do we have to do to develop creativity?
- Know how to attract talented people.
- Retain them.
- Develop them.
- Reward them.
Your business has an exciting future vision. Now it’s time to stop feeling worried about digitalisation, define the roadmap and get on with achieving the digital transformation of your tourism or accommodation business.