World Tourism Day: Impact of Digitalization on Luxury Travel Industry
World Tourism Day is celebrated worldwide every year on September 27 with an aim to promote awareness towards the potential of responsible traveling leading towards the sustainable development of the industry. The theme of 2018 is Tourism & The Digital Transformation. This theme is quite apt in today date as there is no segment left untouched in the travel and tourism ecosystem that is not influenced by digitalization. Today’s tourism is highly driven by technology and accordingly, the industry is taking the revolutionary steps to adapt to this new techno scenario. World Tourism Day 2018 theme is quite apt in that sense and a much-needed step for the sustainable development.
Celebration of World Tourism Day
Plotting the dots of artificial intelligence, big data, technological updates on the travel industry map and connecting the same on digital platforms, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will be celebrating World Tourism Day 2018 in Budapest, Hungary on September 27. Hungary has been chosen by UNWTO as the country has been experiencing a steady growth in tourism, complemented by digitalization and policy support.
The celebration aims at leveraging the impacts and implementation of digital advancement in every aspect to increase the potential of the sector while securing the future of travel and tourism. Every day the travelers across the globe are producing trillions of data through their travel interests, inquiries, flight reservations, hotel bookings, itinerary searches, tariff rates, reviews and so on. These data are highly valuable for industry leaders to forecast their business development and annual target. Big data analytics is reforming the travel industry.
On the other hand, the international tourism organization, European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) has selected the theme for World Tourism Day 2018 as Tourism and Cultural Protection. Contrasting to UNWTO theme, but ‘Cultural Protection’ is indeed the need of the hour in the travel industry to safeguard the future. As per their norms, ECTT will be celebrating this day in the capital of the nation, winning the title of ‘World Best Tourist Destination of the Year’. The winner of 2018 is Cambodia and accordingly the celebration by ECTT will be hosted in Phnom Penh from September 27, 2018 to October 4, 2018. The event will be highlighting how Cambodia tourism preserves their cultural heritage and their revolutionary activities and awareness towards cultural protection.
Cambodia is one of the iconic examples that has succeeded in evolving through its recent dreadful past with a remarkable resurgence. The country not only treasures the heritage of the world’s largest religious monument but also boasts of its colonial towns, deep-rooted traditions, and bygone imperial glory. Cambodia tours are getting increasingly popular all across the world, but most significantly in the western world. However, with the swelling figures in the yearly footfalls of foreign tourists, Ministry of Tourism Cambodia has developed consistent policies and regulations to ensure cultural protection leading towards sustainable as well as economic development of the country.
Pham Ha, the Founder CEO of Luxury Travel Vietnam and a pioneering leader of the luxury travel industry once described Cambodia as “Luxe Cambodia is on the rise, with new luxury hotels and resorts opening regularly. Song Saa Private Island in Sihanoukville and Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra in Phnom Penh have just been opened recently, so high-end travelers have choices for their comfort and accommodation. Teeming with history, marvelous architecture and awash in natural beauty, the largest religious monument ever built, Angkor Wat ranks at the top of every globetrotting luxury traveler’s must-see list”, when CNN listed Koh Rong Beach in Cambodia as one of ‘World’s 100 Best Beaches’.
Digitalization- Driving Economy of Luxury Travel Industry
Digital applications and platforms are acting as a catalyst to create a huge explosion in the travel industry, especially in the luxury travel niche. Owing to the blessings of digital technology, the entire world is now connected with clicks and touches. So travelers can enjoy easy access to localized services in their next holiday destination sitting miles away at their home. This has aggravated the need for the skillful and precise performance level of the industry leaders to a great extent as new entrants are disrupting the customs by redefining trendy differentiation and innovation.
According to Forbes, the travel and hospitality industry is one of the few sectors that has been highly influenced by digitalization in recent years. Based on chatbots, mobile integration, artificial intelligence, online reputation management, virtual tours and infinite data all over the web world, the industry has stepped into a new era with the travelers who have developed a customized world of their own filled with all out of the box travel desires and ideas. The luxury travel sector is the only streamlined niche that can compete with today’s trendy travelers as they are always on the move to identify opportunities to make an extra distinguished step to outsmart the competition.
David Scowsill, President & CEO of World Travel & Tourism Council said “The travel and tourism industry is extraordinarily robust and resilient. If you look back over time at hotels or airline businesses, car rental or cruise businesses. All of these sectors and companies have found ways of either pivoting their business model or reinventing and repositioning themselves as very different entities.”
Facts & Figures
Survey reports say that the situation and competition are getting tougher with the increased prevalence of mobile technologies. 88% smartphone using travelers will look for other travel websites or mobile applications if they are not satisfied with the interface or easy navigation on one website. So besides content, technological integration and the regular update has become an integral part of the travel industry to stay in touch with the travelers. Average session duration is gradually decreasing but the number of conversions is increasing on websites or apps with easy and fast access to information and customer support.
Digital penetration for the travel industry is now 44%. According to Google, one in every five online hotel booking is done through mobile. If consumers have a negative experience on mobile, 62% of the users will never return to that website or app in future whereas if they are satisfied, 59% of users are likely to recommend the brand and become returning visitors to the website or app.
How Luxury Travel Vietnam is creating a Difference in Business Model through Digitalization
The theme of World Tourism Day is undeniably one of the important aspects of Luxury Travel Vietnam. As the consumer expectations are changing, Luxury Travel Vietnam is also repositioning its business model, exploring new opportunities that can attract the travelers. The company understands that digital readiness is the greatest strength in today’s date. So it has streamlined its activities through all possible channels to be in touch with the business partners and travelers 24/7. Moreover, besides the travelers, the business partners of Luxury Travel Vietnam are one of its biggest assets and digitalization has a great impact on this B2B segment as well.
Customer reviews are one of the most important aspects of this digital world. It is equally important for Luxury Travel Vietnam and its business partners and hence the company always encourages its clients to share their feedback. This is a driving force for travel business. 81% of travelers read customer reviews and check ratings before booking a tour with a local operator whereas 88% of users rely on online reviews.
Sharing Economy through Digitalization – A Tribute to World Tourism Day 2018
Digital revolution has brought the people and destinations closer. These connections are essentially important to develop the community. There is an ample number of service providers across Southeast Asia. Luxury Travel Vietnam has the partnership with the best of best after experiencing them personally before offering the same to the clients. But sharing economy through digitalization flows much beyond Southeast Asia for Luxury Travel Vietnam when they join hands with the valued partners from all across the globe with a motive of sharing economy while growing the businesses together.
The industry stakeholders redefine the 100% customized private tourism business for the company by adding further insights into unmet customer needs and developing businesses while solving the issues. Through simplified digital integrations for easy interactions, improved transparency, and flexibility, Luxury Travel Vietnam is developing its network with its business partners, based on reliability and trust. The business model is transforming in little bits through a strategic approach that seeks the collaboration and support of stakeholders to develop business innovation and expansion.