Digitization of tourism will make life easier for everyone.

Digitization of tourism will make life easier for everyone.

How to do it, was said at workshop

HomeDigitization of tourism will make life easier for everyone.
How digitization can facilitate travelling and everything related to it. That was explained in detail, including examples of good practice from abroad, at workshop organized by the Czech Tourism Authority - CzechTourism. A comprehensive technological solution was discussed. It connects and complements information and communication systems for collection of accommodation fees, travel services and experiences as well as destination/tourist cards. It is a common interest of entities that operate in the tourist industry.
Currently, various digital systems exist or are being prepared, due to which tourism should be better administrated, managed and coordinated. One of them is e-Tourist, which involves a collection of local accommodation fees. Another software (application) GDS is intended to concentrate and catalogue the offer of services and experiences related to travelling in one place. And finally, digital (electronic) tourist/destination cards, which also exist in physical form. Various benefits, discounts, entrances at a reduced price, free public transport, loyalty points for longer or repeated stays, etc. are provided to visitors by tourist areas, whether they are cities, municipalities or regions.
 
"There was a big interest in our workshop on digitization of tourism, almost a hundred people from all over Czechia took part in it, but colleagues from Austria too. Representatives of Feratel and local organization Ötztal Turism presented a complex solution of digital services in the tourist industry, by which we could be inspired," says Director of the Czech Tourism Authority - CzechTourism Jan Herget and adds: "If we implemented the tested model, of course taking into account domestic specifics, in the Czech Republic, it would make life easier for all entities involved in the tourist industry. From tourists to entrepreneurs, the academic and public sector, i.e., the state, cities, municipalities and regions. At the same time, "The earlier, the better" applies, timely and reasonable digitization is certainly a competitive advantage. So, it´s in the interest of the Czech Republic to introduce connected digital services in tourism in the next few years."
 
The aim of the work meeting was to present the difficulties of implementing connected digital services as well. So that, if possible, the Czech Republic would avoid them or at least be prepared for them and would be able to solve them quickly.
 
"Digitization, which involves connection of robust information and communication systems, is always more complicated. Moreover, when some connecting applications are already widely used, and many entities are working with them. Therefore, everything needs to be prepared in detail and implemented gradually so that, what works is not lost, and as soon as possible additional superstructures and functions that make life easier for users are acquired," says Head of the Web Portals Content and Development Department of the Czech Tourism Authority - CzechTourism Petr Moc and adds: "For instance, our currently prepared GDS system will help not only the visitors themselves, but also the professionals in the tourist industry and the sector as such. Just like the tourist/destination cards, which are already available in many places in Czechia, which are very appreciated by all tourists."
 
Tourist/destination cards were created in the 1990s after the pattern of discount and club cards in retail. They offer the visitor various benefits, discounts, accommodation at a reduced price, experiences, food, free public transport, etc. All this with the goal to make people stay in the area as long as possible, enjoy it as much as possible, to make them maximally satisfied, to form a relationship with the destination and that they would like to return.
 
"Tourist/destination cards are of course of great importance also for entities which provide services in this way. Not only that, thanks to them, they let people know about what they offer and thus they´re gaining more guests or clients. At the same time, they will learn more about travellers, they will obtain data regarding arrivals, length of stay, etc. That means, information due to which they can adjust the offer, i.e., services and products adapt better to current demand," says Director of Product Management and Regional Cooperation Department of the Czech Tourism Authority - CzechTourism Veronika Janečková and adds: "Our experience shows that when introducing cards, it´s necessary to think about a long-term strategy, and above all, to not let the card disappear. That could lead to a loss of stakeholders´ trust.”
 
In connection with tourist/destination cards, CzechTourism also recommends thinking early about the digital connection with local accommodation fees. As well to the fact, that it is convenient to give and accept the card in both digital (electronic) and physical form. At the same time, it is necessary to focus not only on visitors, but also on residents of the given location. In practice, this means providing a guest card, same as a citizen card.