Travel with new technologies in the backpack

Travel with new technologies in the backpack

The next edition of FITUR, which will be held in Madrid between January 18 and 22, will be an excellent showcase to present new trends and the most innovative technologies in the tourism sector. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the number of tourists in 2016 will be around 1.2 billion and in Spain alone we will have received 74 million visitors this year. The new proposals go through hyperactive shop windows and the visualization of tourist products through immersive and augmented reality.

If David Livingstone, Joseph Conrad or Jack London, for not going back to Christopher Columbus or Marco Polo, raised their heads and saw the new tools that allow us to contemplate through virtual reality the natural scenarios of their dream expeditions and adventures, they would think that this Civilization has no choice. Or, also, that it is no longer possible to travel to unknown worlds. Today’s great travelers move through the Internet and social networks, without maps in the backpack.

Tourism accounts for 10% of world GDP and generates around two hundred million jobs, with a clear upward trend. The new communication systems have shortened the distances, have reduced prices and have made mass tourism become a great business and sometimes also a problem for the most demanded destinations, such as Venice.

In the next edition of Fitur there are 9,605 exhibitors and 164 countries will be represented in the pavilions of Ifema. It is, therefore, the ideal scenario to offer new products and new technologies. In the booths of Guestcentric, Piopeline Software or Tecnalia, you can find innovative systems for sales, marketing and management, as well as technological applications that allow the visualization of tourism products through augmented reality. Infotactile will expose devices in digital and audiovisual format, integrated in the mobile phone; Movilok will announce its interactive showcase during hotel stays; while Appyourself will show the tools that allow the creation of personalized web pages. Tourcards can also be seen, with routes that incorporate maps and audio guides or the new product of Formentera & E-Mehari, with 360-degree videos and virtual reality glasses that invite you to make an interesting dive through the island.

The technological transformation in the world of travel is already a reality, which affects different processes and services. The old guides are helpful, but the bedside book of people preparing a trip is now called the Internet. According to the surveys, an average of 22 web pages are consulted before someone packs. There are also demographic data that confirm the great influence of social networks in the decisions of potential travelers.

Not to mention the new business models, collaborative tourism and the emergence in the traditional market of the new tourist startups sector, which bring new experiences, important innovations and smart destinations.

The year 2017 has been declared by the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism with a highly recommended motto: “Travel, enjoy and respect”. It is the best way that we do not load the golden egg hen – especially in Spain – and that we get attractive offers, where technology already plays an important role.

Spain is the second country in the world with more goods declared World Heritage by UNESCO and tourism demand continues to grow. But this is not incompatible with the use of sensors to know in real time the weather of the place we are going to visit or to enjoy a virtual 3D recreation of our monuments. It is a matter of taste.

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