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Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

Taking the globe digital – Digitising the business of tourism

The business of tourism has been a hot commodity for years. Anything from a once-in-a-lifetime tailor made safari to a trip to dive the Great Barrier Reef is on offer, and travellers are finding themselves immersed, quite literally, in a world of exciting travel opportunities. Additionally, those in the business of tourism – such as hotels, car hire companies, and travel agencies – are finding that the business is being vastly improved in recent years, making it easier than ever for travellers to book their dream experiences and vacations. Ultimately, this makes the job of those who work in the travel business easier as well. With new platforms such as internet-based flight and package deal booking availability, the travel sector has never been so revolutionary. At the helm of this exciting transition is digitisation.

Digitisation has changed industries the world over, with the tourism business being one of the more recent sectors to be given the universal revitalisation. Travel agencies can plan trips that incorporate hidden gems and off-the-beaten-track jewels as well as the iconic landmarks and sites that have traditionally been so infamous. They can do this by accessing the internet, social media, or recommendations from eager travellers themselves during their appointment, essentially crafting the perfect, tailor made travel experience for every client. We have seen the revolution of technological improvements such as online check in, the machines that print plane tickets and bag tags at airports, and the on-board entertainment. Each of these seemingly small evolutions have made the journey itself from A to B more convenient, efficient, and easy to use than ever before. Online accommodation and car hire platforms like Jucy Hire, Airbnb, and Tripadvisor allow users to simply enter dates and get an automatic list of possible accommodations and vehicles for the duration of their stay. For every kind of traveller, there are now digital systems that aim to make their experience, and the process of securing that experience, easier than ever before.

Technology has been instrumental in pioneering the rise of tourism experiences around the world. Before technology’s grasp on the tourism business, travel agencies worked hard to forge the perfect travel experiences for their clients. While this fundamental aspect of their job has not changed, what has is the tools and accessibility available to them. Digitisation has breathed new life into the travel business. We are amid a world that is transitioning from one era into the next, and digitisation and subsequent technologies are the driving forces to making businesses like travel so successful, going into the future and beyond. Historically, the travel business has required much time, effort, and money to organise dream vacations around the world, but these days the entire process is easier – regardless of if travellers want to organise their trips themselves, or entrust the process to travel agents. Either way, getting from A to B has become a far easier, more enjoyable business than it has been in the past. Even organising travel documents like passports or travel insurance can be done with the help of partial or complete digitisation and technologies.

As well as making it easier than ever for travellers to book in their big trips, and the companies that work to help book such adventures, the travel business is changing at its core. Traditionally, most people worked to afford their vacations, having to sacrifice either money to be on holiday, or holidays to earn money. One of the newest innovations in the travel industry, however, allows individuals the opportunity to weld the two together, in the form of digital nomadism. The tips and tricks that holiday-goers spend months, even years, dreaming of, are readily available to those who have successfully had their professional life and their life of adventure, collide. Travelling to exotic destinations has never been easier, and the entire travel business has been reshaped and designed to reflect this concept. Individuals can now make travelling their business, ultimately taking advantage of the industry’s shifting collaboration and reliance on digitisation and using it to their advantage. This is a world that favours convenience, and the travel business is just one of countless others that has taken that realisation on board, integrating it into the everyday of the business and forging a stronger future for it.

The travel business has been slowly grasping the concept and ideals of technology and digitisation for years, but the global disruption has only taken place in the last two years or so. The business has never been so convenient, efficient, and easy to navigate, and both travellers and those who work in the industry are not only thankful for the innovation, but decidedly reliant on it in the short time it has come to fruition. The travel sector has been given new life, and digitisation is the soul of that new life. As time goes on, further innovations in travel technologies will further encapsulate this ideal, making the business virtually – and literally – seamless in all its intricacy.

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