Digital tourism..so that we do not miss the ride

Eng. Adel Al-Khawaldeh *

Tourism is one of the areas that has seen increasing interest in recent times, especially after the Corona pandemic; As it is one of the comprehensive development resources, especially economic and social, as the tourism market is a promising market. Investment in it, its development and continuity forms an inexhaustible resource other than investment in natural resources.
Amid the rapid developments of information and communication technology, especially the digital transformation and spread of digital technologies, the Jordanian tourism sector, with its institutions and companies, is facing major challenges, which necessitate it to rethink its strategy. . and systems to keep pace with these developments, not only to increase its competitiveness, but to ensure its continued existence and continuity in the market.
From this point of view, the concept of digital tourism or the so-called “e-tourism” has emerged in recent years, which includes the use of modern digital technologies for all tourism activities through the promotion and marketing of tourism products and the provision of related services on digital platforms, various websites and applications The tourist searches these platforms and websites and chooses his tourist destination and accommodation, as well as the choice of transport, travel means and any other services he needs as part of his tourist trip.
In the near future, digital tourism will make up a large part of the financial returns for the tourism sector, the information and communication technology sector, the transport sector, the commercial sector and the rest of the other sectors in the Kingdom if properly utilized. Where it will work on:

  • Allow international and local tourism to learn about new and diverse tourist areas that they have not known or visited before.
  • Increase the percentage of demand for the different tourist areas and to get to know all their benefits and all the services in it.
  • Definition and marketing of various tourism products such as recreational, medical, religious, scientific and cultural tourism, as well as desert tourism.
  • Stimulating the services and products of other sectors, which are an integral part of the tourism production cycle.
  • Improving and improving the quality of tourist services through feedback (suggestions / criticism) from tourists.
    In this regard, it is necessary to address the key strategic elements, without which no access to digital tourism is possible:
  • Management and business environment through the regulatory and legislative framework.
  • ICT infrastructure.
  • The extent to which information and communication technologies are used by government and business sectors and their trust in platforms, websites and digital services.
  • The extent of digital transformation in other sectors that support the tourism sector.
  • The presence of qualified abilities and frameworks in the world of information and communication technology, such as content management, artificial intelligence, deep learning, virtual and augmented reality … etc.
    The omission or delay in giving up the aspect of digital tourism and studying its challenges will have a significant impact on the difficulty of the ability of tourism in Jordan to compete with international tourism, especially regionally, if we know that a number of neighboring countries are developing digital tourism strategies related to a number of objectives and are starting to implement many projects that achieve those objectives; In addition, the diversity of tourism products and the work of adding new tourism products that meet the desire of tourists in neighboring countries outweigh our tourism products and attract the largest segment of tourists.
    The development of a digital tourism strategy will help to enrich efforts to rebuild and revive the tourism sector in the Kingdom, and will enable Jordan to be among the most important tourist destinations in the world, in addition to providing more jobs. and stimulate other economic sectors.
    In this aspect, I am reminded of the key axes of digital tourism strategies that some countries have begun to implement, including:
  • The digital travel and tourism industry by providing digital solutions and facilities to simplify all travel procedures until return.
  • Convenience to provide tourism products by launching unified platforms that connect all tourism service providers and their applications.
  • Digital travel with the support of augmented reality applications for tourism such as virtual reality and augmented reality.
  • The digital tourist: benefits from the promotion and marketing of tourist sites by amateurs and those interested in using social networking sites, such as the experience of Saudi amateurs in promoting Wadi Al-Naml in the north of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
  • Make informed decisions based on data collection and analysis for the tourism sector by gaining access to the world of deep learning.
  • Shed light on the investment opportunities available in the field of tourism and try to gain support from international organizations and technical companies in this field.
  • Encouraging initiatives and entrepreneurship and creating an interactive environment that unleashes entrepreneurs and innovators by offering digital tourism solutions and products.
  • The encouragement and involvement of educational and governmental institutions involved in the provision of studies, ideas and solutions for digital tourism and the enrichment of the content of tourism products.
  • Take advantage of the services that will be implemented for smart cities.
    Finally, it is necessary to combine all efforts of all sectors, not just the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, to upgrade tourism products and services, especially digital tourism, with the need to establish a department dedicated to digital tourism specialize and develop digital tourism strategies with a roadmap to implement them before it is too late.
  • IT expert

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