New, digital technologies transform business processes, ways of working and thus have a direct or indirect influence on the overall guest experience. Accordingly, this digital transformation can also be seen as a cultural shift, which encourages us to challenge the status quo and rethink business models and processes. The vision for the future is to improve the tourism customer journey as regards quality, price and flexibility. Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, robotics and blockchain, could have a major impact on the tourism industry in the future. However, small-scale structures make it difficult to transfer technology from other sectors. The Institute for Tourism and Leisure (ITF) can support tourism service providers in implementing new technologies by calling on the technical expertise of bodies like the Department of Applied Future Technologies.
The ITF applies a service design thinking process to the human-centric development of digital applications in the tourism sector. In combination with an iterative development process, service design thinking shortens the development time and reduces the level of market and innovation risk through the continued involvement of relevant target groups and the testing of functions and prototypes at an early stage. The ITF analyses requirements and develops ideas for functionalities as part of ideation and prototyping workshops, thus ensuring that the applications developed satisfy the relevant needs. Data plays an important role in the digital transformation: data allows tourism companies to find out about guest behaviour and the market situation so that they can predict trends and ultimately gain competitive advantages. In cooperation with the Swiss Institute for Information Science and the Centre for Data Analytics, Visualisation and Simulation, the ITF provides support with data collection, management, analysis and visualisation and offers advice on how to use this data in the context of tourism.
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