Digital Tourism Fast Forward

The biggest realization that we learned in COVID19 the hard way is that time will not wait for us to adjust to take care of our health, our environment and how digital transactions can truly save both our lives and economy.

E-commerce has been steadily growing but the drastic measures have been skipping traditional or conservative practices as more businesses are taking technology aggressively. Tourism has been affected due to limiting travels particularly from foreign tourists. This is an indication to focus on locals and prioritize slow travel by featuring more experiential activities with respect to the environment and the immediate communities.

Travels, either for business or leisure, will be more personalized and practical. Social gatherings will be more intimate and scheduled while the tourism workforce will be professionalized further to execute amazing experiences like showcasing gourmet and traditional menu distinctions per region. Is there a favorite treat you want to taste like a rare fruit or cocktail? This will be served right in your doorstep and the hotelier will be very precise in listening to your requests. Data mining will be more extensive to provide exceptional services.

Social Media accounts will be more captivating, the emphasis of experience should be captured either in video or images from real guest experience. Influencer marketing is critical for success provided that the stakeholder should be creative and respectful of social norms, environment, and culture.

Workforce will favor the younger, well-informed, inquisitive, technology savvy professionals who could read data without disturbing the privacy of the guests. In 2019, we have observed unconventional travel apps who have included other lifestyle perks to complement the travel experience, we will see more value-offering website apps to dominate. 

Emphasis on health related travels will be in demand and a dependable internet service are key factors for others to travel further away from cities as they enjoy nature.

As some iconic hotel brands are endangered for closure, it also paves opportunities to the Mavericks who are looking at various opportunities to differentiate themselves from the competition and still be able to implement the new safer travel protocols.

Virtual tours, augmented reality events, and well curated personalized services will be trailblazing trends in hospitality and tourism. Get the clue on how Amazon is challenging e-commerce and logistics, Paymaya and Gcash versus banks, Netflix versus cinemas and production houses. 

Change will not wait for us, the faster we can adapt then it gives us more time to take the lead and dictate trends. #ThinkSmarter

Jeoff Solas has been in the tourism industry since 2009, taking charge of digital assets of both global hotel chain brands with focus on local tourism. He is Chair for Tourism and Regional Partnership of the Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and an entrepreneur. Visit his website

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