How can a technology play role in sustainable tourism? TSHS_003

In the early fifties Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary where the first confirmed summiting of Mount Everest. 66 years later the peak has become so popular that there are lines of climbers waiting to reach the same peak. Climbers are taking risks while waiting, and this has not been without casualties even this year, during the wait to reach the famous peak.

In 2018 a TV series ¨Memories of Al Hambra ¨ was produced for the Korean TV, and it became a hit worldwide. With the popularity of the TV series Granada and Al Hambra has become a very popular destination for Asians to visit, a destination originally popular for historical tourism. Al Hambra Palace and Fortress in Granada, Andalusia was a place where artists and intellectuals had taken refuge as the Reconquista by Spanish Christians won victories over Al Andalus. The Alhambra integrates natural site qualities with constructed structures and gardens, and is a testament to Moorish culture in Spain and the skills of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian artisans, craftsmen, and builders of their era. Why am I highlighting this?

Tourism arrivals to Europe has grown from 391M in 2000 to 619M in 2018. There are several factors that are contributing to this growth of arrivals. People have more time and money to spend on travel, enjoying to tick off their travel bucket list. Of course the impressive growth of Chinese travel has had a positive impact on the overall growth. We can even feel it here in the Northern Europe, as first stop to Europe from Asia.

It is easier to book flights, hotels and tours via internet and especially mobile generated bookings are taking over. It is easy to find places with Google Map and get a wealth of information about the place we like to visit.

There is a downside of travel visiting world heritage sites and popular destinations are feeling the impact congestion externalities, an expression popularised by economists. You arrive with high exceptions and enthusiasm what was used to be known as a ¨hidden gem ¨. However when you arrive it is overcrowded, and not how you thought it would be.

There are several pieces in this puzzle missing, which begs the question. When is the best time to visit so I do not arrive to an overcrowded place? The question is also how can Emerging Technology support responsible tourism? What role can emerging technologies play in shaping the tourism and travel patterns?

In my chat with Jayanth Kolla my go to expert in emerging technologies, we talk about three key strategies that partly could be the answer to this burning question.