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What digital disruption means for tourism in Australia [part 1]

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Picture this: your next customer logs onto your website and starts exploring via virtual reality the experiences they can access. By mixing and matching different options they put together a customised package that includes transport, guided tours and in-house services such as getting a massage, booking a vegan meal or downloading a jogging route app. Personalised travel is their priority and your online service offering had better be able to deliver.  

This is your customer of the very near future, next week probably. They are tech savvy and expect to easily locate your business digitally, accessible through mobile apps and offering the ability to instantly book and pay for a cluster of related services in a single transaction. Quite likely they will pay with blockchain currency. The question is, are you ready to meet their expectations?

According to a 2018 Expedia study80% of travellers find it useful to book all their trip components together, and for Gen Z that jumps to a massive 87%.

Airbnb, Uber, last minute hotel deals, the publicity – good and bad – generated by online reviews: digital disruption is having a huge impact on the tourism sector. And the tourism sector is… struggling to adapt, according to the Queensland Tourism Industry Council.

Get social

Less than 45% of hotels, bars and restaurants are engaging with social media users, but the party is going on without the remainder, with 71% of consumers making purchasing decisions based on social media discoveries and 53% preferring to interact with businesses on social media than by phone, Hootsuite reports.

Every 28 seconds an Australian hotel, bar or restaurant is tagged on Instagram – free advertising and endorsement in a single click!

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Tourism customers are researching, booking and paying online and communicating through smart phones, Skype, instant messaging and social media. This applies across the spectrum of tourism and hospitality offerings, from hotel chains to coffee bars. Even small operations with high digital engagement benefit from a 20% increase in revenues, Deloitte Access Economics reports

Stay safe

Open communications and greater connectivity can have a downside too. You may need to outsource some functions and enter into partnerships to facilitate others. Your digital operations must be supported by robust security measures, backed by regulatory controls and legislation.

Gallagher’s specialists can help tourism and hospitality businesses identify their operational exposures, advise on formulating a risk management plan and structure insurance cover to protect themselves against the fall-out from a customer data breach.

Read the second part of this blog series here

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