CAN TECH FIX THE FUTURE OF TOURISM?
On September 19 2019, Group NAO CEO Signe Jungersted kicked off a workshop organized by the innovation project TourismX (co-led by Wonderful Copenhagen and Danish Coastal & Nature Tourism) at the big annual tech event in Copenhagen, TechBBQ.
Signe shared three overall observations in her presentation that was aimed at getting the participating startups and tourism professionals to rethink tourism and the role of tech in developing the future of tourism:
1) FREEDOM TO ROAM: Technology has made travellers more independent than ever, free to seek out exactly the travel experience, they want. New generations give travel very high priority and find inspiration through social media. For a deep dive into the travel preferences of Generation Z (years 16 – 24), check out Booking.com’s recent research on the topic) or Booking.com’s predictions for 2019 travel preferences.
2) SEA OF SAMENESS: …but, the way travellers use the technology has led to one big sea of sameness – just think avocado toast! Despite the amount of choice available, travellers are queuing for hours to get the right selfie at Trolltunga in Norway or with the Mona Lisa in Paris. Multiple apps are offered to make travel and localism more accessible, but data indicates that the usage of apps remain mostly one-time, except for a few big apps that claim our loyalty – in the end, most of us defer to the recognizable and familiar (“F*** it, I’ll just Google map it!”). Meanwhile, destinations like Vienna are encouraging digital detox, unhashtagging your holiday and unrating your holiday to rely on your own experience rather than that of online travel reviews.
Finally 3) HYBRID FUTURE: Destinations are increasingly offering hybrid experiences and tools – for travellers and locals alike, erasing the differentiation between the two. This is further supporting by our (us humans!) digital behavior. By sticking to apps, influencers, tools and subscriptions we use every day, we are in return affecting the development of these – hence creating and inspiring hybrid everyday-touristic practices and functionalities such as Tinder for travel dating (Tinder Tourism is indeed becoming a thing!)