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John Brookmyre's Blog

Tourism and Technology - Virtual Tour of London and South Africa 2010

Living away from home makes you miss friends, family… and, perhaps oddly, the place. VR Web Design offer a service which gives a Virtual Tour of London and other cities which is very innovative and cool.


Note: the spheres are areas of focus / interest which can be clicked on to shift the focus to another part of the city.


This was another Matthew Harris find (thanks for the gems big show). It is especially relevant as I recently was interviewed for an article in the South African media regarding the impact of the Internet and how information can help the leisure and hotel industry in the South Africa in the lead up to the World Cup 2010 and beyond. Below are some of the thoughts I had on this and I would be really interested to know your thoughts:

The opportunities offered to hotel and leisure organisations by the internet and Web 2.0.

The routes to market for the hotel and leisure industry have dramatically changed over the last decade as well as the behavioural patterns of users – this is thanks to the Internet’s evolution (in terms of technology, the Internet’s reach and bandwidth improvements – the above is a perfect example) and revolution (with the dawning of social network sites) both contributing to the explosion of Internet users making the internet the norm for information gathering and importantly, sharing. No longer do people visit travel agents as their main research point for holiday travel or a simple website but rather they use a myriad of sources such as interactive maps – where a potential visitor can explore the services of the facility / area, or user generated content (previous visitors have shared comments along with pictures and movies) which gives the customer a much better appreciation of the experience of people with the same make up – the reputation of companies is now totally in the public domain.

CRM, ERP, BI and other operational systems – are they worth implementing?

IT is an enabler and can be used to give a competitive advantage in any industry; this is true of the hotel and leisure industry. Information and data which is held by a company is an asset and like all assets this should be fully utilised. The data held on customers (nationality, number of guests in the party, stay, frequency of stay, questionnaire responses, activities) should contribute to building up the picture of the types of people who should be targeted – this can assist with marketing campaigns, it can ensure continuous improvements to cater for the guests and also potentially show opportunities to highlight potential weaknesses or opportunities to partner. Planning for events should use the benefit of hindsight and therefore historic data so that effective planning can occur. The information you have should also be enriched with other data which is in the public domain – dates of games, weather, scheduled trips etc so that an effective looking glass is available to use what if analysis. The other facet of technology which may be utilised is collaboration – find out what your staff think, find out what your guests think while they are there, share ideas and thoughts with partner operators or even competitors.

Gearing up for 2010 – how IT can help.

Whether you are a small or large firm we are approaching a fantastically exciting time with 2010 for the hotel and leisure industry in South Africa - technology is here as an enabler and an accelerator - failure to use it is not asking to fail but it increases the risk of missing out on making the most of this opportunity – 2010 can be a spring board to an exciting future and technology will give a competitive advantage – the customers are using it shouldn’t you? As the old adage goes the customer is always right - with the explosion of user generated content the customer is now always right and if he is not happy he will tell the world and they are listening.

On this subject, I am in Seattle this week for a conference and have noticed that in the hotel lobby there are Surface devices to explore the local area and facilities which is quite cool although the people who were on them earlier where playing draughts / checkers – still collaboration, right?…

Would love to hear your thoughts,


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chennai hotels said:

Great work dude, u gave nice post to us. Thanks for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.

June 4, 2010 8:20 AM

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