In general, the article is quite good, however, in some places we would like to object to the author Martijn Barten.
The increase in the number of independent trips – we absolutely agree, but would add that thanks to online dictionaries, online maps and automatic guides – independent trips are becoming more comfortable and affordable for everyone.
Ecotourism is certainly also an important trend, and here we can only add that tourists refusal from paper maps, dictionaries and guides will help to save about 1 million tons of paper per year.
Local experience is an extremely important trend, but there are problems with its implementation and communication with local residents. In some cases, the local population is unfriendly towards tourists because of the problems of overtourism and solving this problem would lead to an improvement in the loyalty of the destination.
In our opinion, correctly applied technologies can solve this problem. For example, electronic guides that will lead tourists from crowded places to lesser known places, evenly distributing the load on a destination.
Personalization is also a strong trend, but so far it does not move further than online advertising.
It means that a potential client gets an advertisement corresponding to his interests, but upon arrival he doesn’t get an experience corresponding to his expectations. In our opinion, DMOs and museums definitely have something to work on in this direction.
Business travel is also a very promising segment, but it is very simple: an employee goes on a trip at the expense of the company, he travels and works at the same time… It needs a more detailed study.
Robots and chat bots are also becoming popular, but, as it seems to us, they are not so smart and make quite a few mistakes. No one would want to stay on the street without a hotel reservation just because of a couple of incorrectly recognized phrases by the robot.
AI – yes, it works quite well in advertising, it is able to replace a driver, but whether it replaces a living speaking guide is very doubtful. This is already out of the realm of whether AI is capable of experiencing emotions, because it is impossible to transfer emotions to other people without experiencing them.
As for VR and AR in tourism, everything is very doubtful, because traveling is still about getting an absolutely unique experience but not about watching TV.
Although, we must say that many trends are indicated correctly and we recommend everyone interested in the development of smart tourism to have a look at the article and thank the author for the work.