The Internet of Things for Tourism – João Pronto Opinion
In this opinion article, João Pronto, professor at the Estoril Higher School of Hospitality and Tourism, tells us about the Internet of Things, in the perspective of permanent collection of data, whether inside or outside tourism companies.
The Internet of Things for Tourism
At Turisver, April 2003, I wrote my first article in Trade magazine. This article was titled “IT is good for the health of travel agencies” and ended with the question “Who said that computers, the Internet and e-commerce do not do well for the health of travel agencies?”.
After 13 years, the rhetorical question then formulated sounds a bit provocative! Of course, in the contemporary society in which we live, and in which the tourist industry is clearly integrated, IT in general, as well as the online components, are indispensable in the tourism sector, at a local and global scale, regardless of the size of the companies. Technology is omnipresent!
This contemporary society in which we live, too habituated to real-time answers, decision-making “on the spot”, has provoked in tourist companies new needs and growing challenges:
- Of constant collection of increasing amounts of data originated by the behavior of several clusters: of customers, of perceived competition; Of the organization itself; Suppliers and even the business partners themselves; Not forgetting the collection of data from internal investigations and complaints, as well as surveys and complaints from social networks and even from competition;
- Of incessant storage of the collected data, in own servers and / or the famous cloud;
- Of processing the same data collected so that decision makers make more and better decisions, supported by the informed knowledge that these data enable;
- Protection of data and systems for collecting, storing and processing the company’s information systems;
In this article, we will pay close attention to the innovative methods of permanent collection of data inside and outside tourist companies. I am referring to the Internet of Things, also known as IdC or even in the Anglo-Saxon name Internet of Things – IoT.
So, what exactly is IdC?
I will illustrate the answer from a practical example and complete with one of the possible answers.
At the Hotel Estorilix pens are placed on the bedside table of all hotel rooms. The Director General intends to understand the countries and if possible, the cities where guests carry hotel pens. Objective: better understand brand penetration at the global, regional and local level. By placing a chip in the pens that has the ability to be georeferenced, a Hotel server can collect in real time the georeferenced information of each of the pens, providing a supported graph, for example by Google Maps, informing not only the Countries where there are pens of the Hotel, but also the number of pens per country, and drill-down, being able to know, in real time, how many pens are in each city of each country. Note: procedure preceded by the prior approval of the National Data Protection Commission and with the consent of the Guests.
In the example below, we can easily conclude that the country with the greatest number of pens at Hotel Estorilix is Portugal, as it has a darker spot, and we also have the notion that the African continent is the continent where the Hotel Has a lower penetration rate, and that the USA is clearly the country with the greatest number of “online” pens in the American continent, and so on
In this way, when doing, for example, Adds campaigns (advertising online in search engines like Google or Sapo, or in social networks like Facebook or Linkedin) you must consult this “online Atlas” in advance by form To select the countries, regions and cities where we will spend the online investment.
Thus, IdC can be understood as a method by which we collect data in real time, regardless of where the “thing” is, via the Internet, through the communication networks provided by the Telecommunications Operators, for computer systems, more or Less powerful, with more or less analytical capacity over the collected data, and preferably with all possible security.