How is technology changing trends in tourism?
Information and communication technology (ICT) is one of the most dynamic drivers of global processes, while tourism is considered one of the most significant and fastest-growing economic sectors. The implementation of new innovative technologies and ICT solutions contributes to adapting to modern trends, as well as personalized user demands, making tourism products and services functional and the overall offering much more attractive.
Existing solutions in the form of applications are consistently developed and upgraded, and the number of new solutions is constantly increasing. Despite the exceptional potential that tourism achieves in Croatia, it still does not rely sufficiently on the application of new technologies.
Tourism, Travel & Tech – 3T Conference
For this reason, the sixth edition of the 3T Conference, which brings together two important sectors of the Croatian economy – technology and tourism, was held on March 15, 2023, at the Kaptol Center in Zagreb. The main theme of the conference was the impact of artificial intelligence on the future of tourism.
The conference, organized by the technological portal Bug.hr under the patronage of Hrvatski Telekom, Mastercard, PwC, and Megatrend Business Solutions, was opened with a welcome speech by Oleg Maštruko, the director of the 3T Conference. In his speech, he addressed the topics that would be discussed at the conference, including the use of technology in attracting new guests and filling job positions, maximizing the effects of joining the Schengen and eurozone, and the sustainability of tourism in Croatia.
The official part of the conference started with Zoran Pejović, a consultant from the All Things Hospitality agency, who spoke about the future of tourism and artificial intelligence. Mihovil Vilajtović, the IT manager of the Marina21 Group, and Krešimir Jusup, the ICT evangelist of Hrvatski Telekom, testified about the collaboration between tourism and technology companies through the use of digital services.
Robert Sedlar, a tourism expert from Interzero Croatia, initiated the discussion on the sustainability of tourism in Croatia. The discussion on the same topic continued in a panel titled “Do luxury and sustainability go hand in hand in tourism and travel?”
The second part of the conference began with Igor Marušić, the Product Manager of Hrvatski Telekom, discussing the topic of Chatbots in the hotel industry, while Antoaneta Šimunović, the owner and director of the Luxury Living Croatia brand, spoke about luxury tourism in Croatia.
Marin Frčko and Daniel Šaškin discussed the impact of sports events, specifically the WRC rally, on tourism in Croatia, while Stjepan Bedić, a pilot and CEO of ETF Airways, elaborated about the impact of the pandemic on travel. Fran Kauzlarić, a travel tech expert and co-founder of the company Turneo, presented on the topic of introducing tourist destinations to the digital era, while Paul Bradbury and Oleg Maštruko concluded the conference with a discussion on Croatia’s position in the modern tourism world.
Megatrend Business Solutions at the Conference
Tina Knežević, a development engineer from Megatrend Business Solutions, in her speech titled “Elevating Guest Satisfaction to a Higher Level,” presented the Hospitality Insights platform. The platform aims to enable hoteliers and other hospitality providers to deliver a superior experience to their guests. Tina focused on addressing the challenge of transforming negative experiences into positive reviews, emphasizing the AI functionalities that can facilitate this.
The speech showcased a case study on the analysis of textual guest comments and how AI functionalities such as automatic translation, sentiment analysis, and classification enhance the possibilities of comment analysis and insights generation.
The conference can serve as a conclusion that today’s tourists are a kind of consumers, or users, who are truly shaping the structure of tourism needs with their emerging needs (new lifestyle, values, and behavior patterns). This does not necessarily imply only the development of new products and services but also an innovative approach to existing ones. Encouraging and effectively managing development is one of our values, and we have developed the Hospitality Insights platform, which guarantees a unique experience and quality for both hospitality providers and guests.