Technology For Tourism (T4T) program is a crucial driving force in the current information-driven society for tourism, It has provided new tools and enabled new distribution channels, thus creating a new business environment.
Information and Communications Technology is the most important aspect of today’s world. We cannot imagine our day to day life without Information and Communications Technology. Undeniably to a large extent, the success of any sector or organization today depends on the application and effectiveness of the Information and Communications Technology. Tourism is currently one of the fastest gowning industries across the world. It is primarily a service industry as it does not produce goods but renders services to various classes of people. It is a combination of various interrelated industries and trade like the food industry, the transport industry, etc. It is a complicated business because it involves multiple socio-economic activities like attracting people to a destination, transporting them, housing, feeding and entertaining, etc.
The use of Geospatial Information Technologies in recent years across the globe for varied purposes is popularly known and the Tourism industry has not been an exception in availing its advantages. The role of Information and Communications Technology tools in the industry for marketing, operation, and management of customer is widely known
But the question arises why Information and Communications Technology fails (especially in developing countries like Nepal). It is not limited but the main reasons are due to not compatible with all devices (from desktop to mobile), not able to give information about what people looking for. It is very difficult to find prices, availability, and tour times, not showing currency conversions or a link to do it. Most common cases are not updated frequently: out of date prices, discounts. Most of the sites are not accurate mapping: stick a pin in a map of their location, but GPS taking us far from it. Not good in a smartphone and mot recommended on social networks and travel networks. Sometimes, no instant contact method. If we consider these things I think your site will better readable for visitors.
In the past couple of decades, especially after the advent of smartphones, high-speed data services such as 3G / 4G and smartphones, the international tourism industry has undergone significant changes in international tourist patterns that, has resulted in the evolution of new tourism models. Today, the tourism industry is marketed by a combination of technologies such as new mobile applications that offer a wide range of opportunities and social networks are consolidating themselves within a more transparent market. The price comparison features are also making significant changes in the concept of the value chain and are leading to producing new business models. In short, change is becoming more obvious and constant, just like the opportunities that it is creating. The evolving technology has made most travelers much more technology-savvy than in the past.
The internet has had a major impact on tourism and travel, with the development of huge numbers of websites and applications including reservation systems, online travel agents and tour operators, and interactive product review sites. Also, with access to the vast pool of information available online, the number of travelers seeking information via the internet prior to making any travel decisions is increasing rapidly. Hence, it has become important for the tourism industry to adapt and uplift its practices and skills of the workforce within in to meet changing tourist behavior.
T4D Nepal will introduce the “Visit Nepal 2020” mobile application run on the hit platforms of iPhone, Blackberry, Android, and popular devices; such as iPad and iPod Touch. with coordination Tourism Board of Nepal
The Highlights of the mobile application are:
1. Various Contents – there are more than 10,000 pieces of information about tourism in Nepal mainly on the ‘New Destination’ and ‘Events’ menus. The destination menu highlights the top 10 destinations and shows another 100 destinations throughout each state. Each destination guide consists of how to get there, where to go, where to stay, where to eat, and shopping. The events section gives information about events and festivals in each state, ordered by month.
2. Geo-Localization Search – searching for the destination on a mobile map by using GPS technology in the smartphone in which tourists can search for nearby tourist attractions and the search results can be displayed on the map. Moreover, there is a ‘Search’ menu for tourists to search by using a keyword or Hashtag like Mt Everest, #Rara, #Api, #Badimalika, etc.
3. User Experience – tourists can share their travel experiences on mobile phones via social networks directly i.e. Facebook and Twitter or by e-mail. There is speculation that business travelers will be the first to use this application through smartphones and leisure travelers will increase their use of the service in the future. (Visit Nepal Mobile Application,). With the launch of a mobile application to reach the fastest-growing target audiences worldwide, especially young travelers and families, T4D Nepal has also developed aggressive online and digital marketing strategies to promote tourism via all forms of new media and across all devices; such as mobile phones, smartphones, and tablets. Social media networks are also playing an increasingly important role in the tourism sector by bringing consequent changes in consumers, both in terms of the way people buy their travel products, the destinations they choose, the amount of time they have to travel, and the amount of money they spend. Based on the regression results, it is obvious that Information and Communications Technology has an impact on the tourism industry.
T4D Nepal focuses on following Sectors to enhance tourism development of Nepal
1. T4d Nepal can emphasize the importance of Information and Communications Technology to its channel partners because many people are still following the traditional way of doing business in tourist areas.
2. T4DNepal and Government may provide training to the people of rural areas about Hospitality, channel partners, hygiene food & how to improve the usage and effectiveness of Information and Communications Technology.
3. Coordination with NTC, Ncell and other ISP T4D Nepal Provide high-speed internet connectivity services in the tourist areas & trekking destination to ensure the good connectivity for communication.
4. T4DNepal introduces M-application, but it can ensure sustainable development. Because Nepal is performing well in hospitality, due to lack of improvement in Information and Communications Technology, they are facing difficulties in attracting tourists from developed nations, those who are more tech-savvy.
5. T4DNepal can develop more Social events campaigns to attract tourists. The virtual tour about destinations should be free from server error when it is being played by tourists. Also, T4dNepal should develop more innovative practices in implementing Information and Communications Technology to increase profitability in the tourism industry.