Tourism Workshop – James McGregor, EU Tourism Expert
Mr McGregor emphasised the need to apply innovations in digital technology to the tourism sector to capture new markets. Technology is influencing the ways the public is planning, booking and even experiencing destinations.
All trip planning by OCT visitors starts online through the use of a computer, tablet, smart phone or Smart Watch. It means that websites and mobile apps must be created with a view to inspiring and informing potential visitors, said Mr McGregor.
Reviews from other travellers, quality videos, information in digital travel trade journals, and blogs count. Travellers consume user-generated content including information and opinions from previous visitors and particularly those with similar interests.“Instagramability” is nowa prime factor in positioning a destination.
Digital technology has also changed visitor expectations. There is a need to create a distinguishing “sense of place”. Visitors expect to experience the direct and continuous interaction with local people and their environment.
To adapt to the new digital environment, his suggestions include
improvements to visitor experiences, environmental protection[biodiversity enhancement, coastal management and adaptation], improved information and educational opportunities for visitors and the adoption of new technologies into revenue management and maintenance and marketing systems.