How to Unlock More Value from Digital Tourism Ecosystems

  • 2nd May,2024
  • 3 mins Read

CSM Tech

The tourist of today has the same wanderlust feel but s/he craves digitally curated immersive and hyper-personalized experiences. The days are passé when travel plans were guided by a clutch of cookie cutter brochures. Bespoke adventures have transformed the tourist experience like never before. You can explore exotic tours on your palms from the comfort of your couch. What has made the incredible possible? A connected, digital tourism ecosystem!

Connecting stakeholders across the tourism value chain

At its core, the digital tourism ecosystem combines various technological platforms – from mobile apps and social media to Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Each element works synergistically to create a network that offers travelers a seamless, intuitive, and engaging journey from the planning stage to the reminiscing phase post-trip. However, connecting a myriad of disparate players- hoteliers, restaurateurs and property developers, governments, tour operators, and airlines to create more value is no walk in the park. 

Aggregating an array of stakeholders isn't easy unless a government plays the anchor. Recently, the European Commission announced a common European Tourism Data face that will facilitate data-sharing from diverse sources, such as businesses, local authorities, and academia, bringing together the public and other relevant parties to shape the key features of the data space. 

In India, The National Digital Tourism Mission (NDTM) task force has mooted the creation of a Unified Tourism Interface (UTI) to enable the exchange of data among the various stakeholders of the tourism ecosystem, such as tourists, travel agents, accommodation providers, transport providers, food and beverage providers, and entertainment providers.

CSM Tech

Creating sticky digital experiences for tourists- the CSM way

With a proven track record spanning industries like mining, health, agriculture, and education, CSM Tech has pioneered seamless digital solutions and transformed the tourism landscape. From revitalizing the Odisha Tourism website to curating an all-encompassing digital hub for Varanasi, our expertise in crafting immersive User Experiences (UX) has set new standards in the industry. 

Odisha Tourism: The rebranding of Odisha Tourism with a single, consolidated website integrated all actors in the travel and tourism value chain had striking payoffs. The government's ownership of the website also instilled great trust in the stakeholders and democratized opportunities for all. The integrated website flattened the playing field, wherein even the wayside, unorganized tour guides in the remote hinterland got access to business opportunities. For tourists, this single portal offered all the stages of the travel funnel- discovery, planning, booking, and shopping without navigating to any external website. 

There are a string of other features that elevate the UX for tourists. The website features a travel aggregation portal for travel and tour operators to showcase their products and services, a contribution portal for bloggers and vloggers (video bloggers), a ready reckoner on 50+ tourist destinations in Odisha, and a trip planner. From a technology standpoint, the website uses analytics to influence travelers' purchase decisions and geographic targeting to promote specific tourist experiences to travelers of a particular geographic location.

Kashi (Unified portal for Varanasi): CSM Tech partnered with Varanasi Smart City Ltd to create a unified, one-stop portal for Varanasi, a confluence of culture, cuisine, religion, and civilization. Varanasi has been luring tourists of all stripes and, of late, has made quick strides in development, being the home constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, the millennial city needed a single web portal that could showcase the city's attractions. 

CSM Tech made a detailed system study to develop the exemplary solution architecture and had umpteen rounds of engagement and consultation with the clients and stakeholders. The outcome is Kashi – a single repository, a 360-degree window to Varanasi, showcasing the city's full splendor. Discovery, exploration, and an immersive experience- Kashi aggregates everything for you without the need to navigate to an external site. Over and above the legacy data, this portal is a repertoire of Varanasi's top attractions, events, the changing vibes of a resurgent Smart City, and a To-Do list for visitors.

What's next on the digital tourism highway?

As digital technology advances, the concept of a digital tourism ecosystem will expand and evolve. The potential integration of blockchain technology promising more secure and transparent transactions and the Internet of Things (IoT) providing even more personalized and automated services are just glimpses of the future. This digital transformation has the potential to make tourism more resilient, responsive, and, most importantly, more closely aligned with the needs of every traveler. As we continue to innovate, the journey only gets better—proving that in the world of digital tourism, the destination is indeed beautiful, but the digital journey is equally mesmerizing.

Jayajit Dash

Senior Manager- Corporate Communications (Marketing)

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