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Topic:

Technological Change in Tourism and Hospitality Industries (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

The task was about exploring the technological changes that have occurred in the tourism and hospitality sector in the recent past. this sample therefore seeks to explain some of the technological changes that tourism and hospitality sector has already witnessed in the recent past.

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Content:

TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE IN TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRIES
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TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE IN TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRIES
Introduction
Technology is an all encompassing term that is used to refer to all techniques, methods, processes, skills among others used in the production of goods and services through a combination of both scientific and artistic functionalities of the human knowledge on earth. The tourism and hospitality sector has seen a lot of technological changes in the recent past due to the fact that man on the globe has been working towards making his life easier. A lot of resources have been channeled into the tourism and hospitality industry to make sure that the returns gotten from the sector are increased and the comfort of tourists is increased (Brotherton, 2012). This paper looks at some of the strategic trends that have been happening in the recent decades in line with the technological advancements in the tourism and hospitality sector. It is however important to note here that the technological change in the tourism and hospitality sector has been geared towards making the lives of tourists comfortable, making the various operations in tourisms easier and less expensive, reducing the side effects of tourism and increasing the likelihood of tourists visiting areas of interest (Jayawardena et al, 2013).
Strategic Technological Changes and Issues in Tourism and Hospitality Industries
As argued by Aldehayyat (2011), research has shown that thousands of companies dealing with technological issues provide software as well as applications to the hotels to enable them to be able to easily manage their operations and provide better services and goods to their clients, the tourists and guests. Hotels are a very important and integral part of the tourism sector in any nation due to the fact that the accommodation for the periods that a tourist is in a certain destination is offered by hotels. Even though tourists visit destinations with purposes different from enjoying the comfort of the hotels, the fact remains that without the appropriate hotels in the destination, the number of tourists will surely get reduced so much.
Among the technological issues that are having and will continue to have a strategic impact to the tourism and hospitality industries especially to hotels and hotel companies is the Payment Card Industry Compliance also abbreviated as PCI (Berezina, 2010). With the current electronic cards that can be used to pay for goods and services in multiple locations all over the world, the hotel industry has to keep their systems updated to make sure that the financial details of their guests are kept the same at all levels in the hotel. This however also comes with the challenge of making sure that the information of their clients is kept safely to ensure that the hackers do not get the exact figures of the card numbers of the guests of these hotels. It therefore requires stringent software security measures that will ensure that all thieves are kept aloof and the data of the clients of the hotels is kept safely and remains safely during and even after their visit. The payment of the services and products are currently being done through electronic cards such as Visa and MasterCard. These cards have increased the security of the tourists’ money since it saves them the trouble of carrying hard cash with them which attracts theft. This technological advancement has been of benefit to the tourism and hospitality sector but has also presented a challenge to the hotels to ensure that this kind of payment is possible. This has led to the issue of PCI compliance in the hotel and hotel management as an integral part of making sure that the data of the guest that is elicited during payment of the services and goods is kept safe and free from hacking.
The trend has seen companies come up with swiping machines which only need to be fed with the amount of money that needs to be deducted from the account number of the card and the operator does not even get access of the finer details of the real digits of the card. This technological change has gone a long way in making sure that the hotels remains compliant with the regulations that require them secure an remain responsible of the security of the financial data of their clients which they get access to during the service o their guests in their hotels (Camisón &Monfort-Mir, 2012).
It is clear that most hotels that are operating on a world class hotel are keen on expanding their services across nations. The hotels therefore tend to have their unique customers in all the destinations in which they operate. A KFC customer in South Africa, for example is likely to look for the same hotel the UK if he or she visits the UK because of the trust that he has in the products and services of the Kentucky Fried Chicken. This being the case, it is therefore needful for the hotel and the hotel industry to make sure that there is a unique global identification for their customers so as to make it easy to run their promotions targeting their loyal customers (Bharwani & Butt, 2012). The global unique identification is enabled by the system which keeps the data that pertains a particular customer and the data is made available to all the branches of that particular hotel all over the world so that the customer does not have to start afresh in each and every destination he or she visits. This has been very difficult for hotels to do but it has also helped to provide a base for hotel research concerning issues such as customer satisfaction and because the loyal customers can be easily retrieved from the park and therefore give credible and reliable data during surveys and interviews. This technological change has strategic impact on the hospitality industry because the data helps in improving the services and products of the hotels and therefore helping them to unleash their growth potential.
The other technological change issue that has being of great interest to the hotel industry as an integral segment in the tourism and hospitality industry is the support for guests with disabilities. Hjalager (2010) argues that, across Europe and the United States of America, hotel management companies and hotels have started incorporating the services for disabled people so as to make sure that their hotels are compliant with the regulations that require them to have special provisions for customers who have certain disabilities. This has seen technological changes in terms of construction of the structures and various facilities in hotels change to get modified to accommodate even those guests with special needs and disabilities. The facilities such as the swimming pools have been constructed in a manner to ensure that even those with disabilities can use them. These technological changes geared towards accommodating the guests with disabilities in major hotels have a strategic effect and significance to the tourism and hospitality industry because it will continue to tap the potential that lies in the formerly neglected market segment of the disabled guests and tourists. This will therefore go a long way in increasing the market base for many hotels in the hospitality sector.
As the technological changes continue to advance all over the world, internet connection is becoming increasingly important to the guests and tourists who visit hotels. Hoteliers have therefore been faced with a challenge of providing internet connection that is secure and affordable to their guests in their hotels (Ip, Leung & Law, 2011). The greatest challenge has however been for these hotels to refresh their technical infrastructure and develop well managed internet connections that are secure for their customers. The WI-Fi internet connection has therefore been on increased demand in the hospitality sectors given its importance to the guests and the tourists that visit various hotels. As Law, Qi, & Buhalis (2010) put it, the internet connection enables guest to access various information regardless of where there are and this is key in ensuring that the guests in the hotels choose and prefer the hotel in question. However, the challenge that this has come with has been the hacking of the Wi-Fi connections into the guests financial accounts by thieves who have utilized cyber crime to rob many hotel guests millions of money. Hotels have therefore continuously made sure that their systems that give the guest internet connection are competently managed and protected against online theft through hacking of the internet connections of their guest that can lead to bad reputation of their hotels and reduce the number of guest the hotels receive.
In connection with the internet connection, the trend of many hospitality facilities such as hotels has been to make sure that information about them is available to customers online all over the world (Leung et al, 2013). In tourist destinations such as ports and beaches, the hotels in such localities and even in major towns and centers such as the Meeting, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibition (MICE) Centers, have engaged in making sure that all the information about their products and services as well as the payments for their services and products is easily accessible by many people in the world. This is what determines the number of guests that such hotels can receive. Therefore, many of these hotels have engaged in designing and development of their websites where every interested party can access the vital information needed before making a decision on whether or not to choose that particular hotel. This has come hand in hand with the online booking that has been made possible by the availability of the websites that provide all the information reg...
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