One of the biggest changes that has hit modern tourism is the way that digital technologies have afforded the global tourist a greater amount of convenience to pursue an array of activities that range from booking flights to researching restaurants.
The Internet provides a powerful environment for the creation of virtual representations of tourism destinations allowing indirect experience that greatly surpasses the possibilities of traditional travel agents.
Google have done much to pioneer the 21st century holiday experience with a search engine option to quickly check the prices on airfares, hotels and a range of other holiday packages. And the 360° street view feature also allows consumers the chance to research a potential destination with a previously unimaginable level of realism - particularly useful to make sure that a prospective hotel isn’t next to a building site.
The brand has also used their powerful algorithms to help users find relevant local services such as restaurants, coffee shops and famous attractions thanks to their Explore Nearby feature that offers a constantly updated range of tips that won’t go out of date, unlike the traditional guidebook.
A big part of how Google have helped the modern traveler is through the degree of democratization that it has allowed many businesses and services. The phenomenal rises of Airbnb and Uber as P2P resources offering a wider range of accommodation and travel options are just some of the latest generation of products that seek to harness the creative entrepreneurial opportunities of the internet in the tourism domain.
Whilst the tourist entertainment realm has also been significantly streamlined through digital innovation with holidaymakers being able to digitally prebook a slot at a museum and cut waiting times.
Another tourism segment; casino tourism has another example. The casino industry generates high revenues. Global land-based casinos expected a gross win of around US$357 billion from gamblers in 2015. Social casinos gamers are also on the rise – the internet casino market was forecasted to grow to US$3.4 billion in 2015, from 2.2 billion just two years earlier.
Gamblers now no need to travel from one city to another or fly internationally just to play blackjack, poker and even slots, now they can play online at any online gaming sites such as Royal Vegas Casino who offer games of roulette, craps, blackjack, slots and even video poker. Now they can play conveniently from any digital devices such as smartphones or tablets which many of them have become an essential part of the 21st century.
According to HOSPA in 2013 there was one device connected to the internet per person on earth. They forecast that by 2020, this number will increase to 9 devices per person. Currently, 80 'things' connect to the internet every second but we will see this figure rise to more than 250 'things' connected to the internet every second in just the next few years. This trend will have a huge impact on the travel and hotel industry, which are already major beneficiaries of new and future 'connected' innovations.
With the increasing use of digital gadgets it is very clear that tourism will continue to shape and enhance days and needs of travelers worldwide.