An intelligent tourist destination or Smart Destination synthesises an innovative tourist space accessible for everyone, established on a technological infrastructure, betting on a sustainable development of the territory, facilitating the interaction and integration of the visitor concerning the environs, and increasing the quality of his experience at the destination, and the quality of life of the residents.
Smart destinations focus on the relation between the tourist and the citizen, by the search for new paths to connect intelligent technology (using techniques like eye tracking) with these social actors’ concerns, in order to know their actual needs and to improve several aspects at certain tourist spaces.
Development of smart tourist destinations
Tourism boom has contributed to the progressive valuation of the visits, when modernisation urban projects are going to be developed. Currently, tourism must integrate technology into these projects as a way to improve the destination sustainability and competitiveness.
This leads to the intelligent tourist destinations. Organisations betting on the improvement of the tourists’ experience, always considering the impact on the residents. It is promoted the achievement of a balance between agents and groups of interest. To have in mind a series of measures concerning the energy, environmental, cultural and economic levels, in order to increase the quality of life of the locals, improve visitor experience, and protect the environment.
Current tourists are more ‘digital’, and that is the reason why they plan their trips before and after travelling: both when the trip is being organised and after having enjoyed it. Therefore, it is important that you pay attention to every single aspect of the tourism sector, and you choose facial emotions recognition.
The Spanish Secretary of State for Tourism has promoted the development of the concept Smart Tourist Destination (STD), together with the concept of smart city, Regulation UNE 178501 Management system of smart tourist destinations. Requirements to improve the management of Spanish tourist destinations by providing higher competitiveness, and improving their positioning on the national and international tourist map.
These tourist destinations are based on social, economic, cultural and environmental sustainability, as well as the above-mentioned axes. Artificial intelligence is the technology that makes the tourism to get adapted and reinvented. The destinations count on AI to analyse in real time the amount of data collected by different devices installed in the city, and transform them into a decision-making tool in order to improve the services of the place.
Among the various types of technologies betting on tourist destinations, we can find the machine learning, which allows for optimising the information to interpret it in real time and generate intelligent patterns about travellers. Thank to this technology, we can combine several factors as tourism seasonality, and improve the effectiveness of the marketing campaigns.
On the other hand, Big data make easy to distribute the attendance of visitors so that the impact on the residents’ quality of life is minor. All this providing more easiness to the tourists, who will enjoy interesting tourist sites upon arrival.
Data generated around us can be collected, interpreted and stored to make smarter decisions in the tourism sector. You can take advantage of the artificial intelligence, big data and new technologies to improve both tourist experience and optimisation of the destination management.
A few examples of intelligent tourism
We would like to mention one example of intelligent tourism: Tenerife in cooperation with the telecommunications company Orange. This operator collects positioning data from residents’ and tourists’ mobile phones to know their behaviour, their movements, and therefore optimising transport routes; all that during the tourists’ holidays.
Another example is the Anthropology National Museum: using AI, visitors’ experience has been improved, by promoting interaction with their great pre hispanic art collection. Visitors can enjoy in detail 11 iconic pieces of the museum, thanks to a smartphone app called ‘Voces de otro tiempo’ (ancient voices). While they are visiting the museum, they receive notifications about how close the interactive pieces are, and try to motivate them to ask questions.
Data collection enables us to anticipate to tourists’ needs, but mainly to bring them new experiences that make them choose this smart destination. That is why you must know the tourist before, during and after his stay; and this is now possible using the obtained data and transforming them into opportunities.
However, this is not only about data, this means to create new experiences, facial emotions recognition, eye tracking, and many more ways to attract tourists and consolidate tourism in these more and more intelligent tourist destinations.