An Academic View at Smart Tourism
In her opinion, smart tourism is the introduction of modern technologies for the optimal management of destinations resources. We agree with her, however, in our opinion, we should not forget the needs of ordinary tourists, because smart tourism should bring ease and seamless travel.
Dr. Hayley Stainton believes that China has achieved some success in smart tourism, but we think that China’s smart tourism has one significant drawback – all tourism technologies in China are not global, because services like Google maps, Google translator, Facebook etc. are blocked for the traveler. This is critically important, because most tourists in the world use these services. We believe that a tourist with a smartphone should have equal opportunities all over the world and receive information in the same ways. In this regard, the Chinese DMOs has something to work on in order to make China more open to the world.
And this is not only China’s problem. For example, 5G networks are being introduced in many countries, however, it is sometimes difficult and even impossible for a tourist to buy a SIM card in a foreign country. Or, online payments may be unavailable to non-residents of local banks. Moreover, a modern tourist can visit several countries during a trip – and there is no reason to register a SIM card, create a bank account, or download local apps. There is a problem of accessibility of local technologies for foreign visitors.
Dr. Hayley Stainton admits that there is not enough research on smart tourism in the world. We completely agree with this. Also, there is a lack of system knowledge and practical experience in using smart technologies. So academics and practitioners like us have something to think about. We hope that by joint creativity we will all solve this problem, according to the mood of a rapidly changing time.
In general, we would like to thank the expert for a fresh view at the problems of smart tourism.