5 Ways Tourism Sector is Most Likely to Rebuild Itself Post Pandemic

The pandemic has hit us hard, and no industrial sector has remained unaffected. But things are gradually moving back to place, and most industries are back on their path to recovery. So today, we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, have brought for you a deep insight into the various ways in which the tourism sector is rebuilding itself and what strategies are being put to use to bounce back to its previous glory.

30-second summary:

  • Tourism businesses have amped their marketing efforts to incentivize regional and domestic travel
  • Greater focus is being laid on environmental concerns, social impact, and corporate governance needs
  • Travelers, and thereby businesses, are focusing more on eco-tourism pursuits
  • Businesses are implementing better cybersecurity to deal with emerging data breaches and fraudulency
  • More emphasis on increased readiness and proper implementation of the health and safety protocols

In the setbacks and losses that the world has had to suffer because of the pandemic, several industries have hit major stumbling blocks. And we cannot deny the fact that the tourism sector is one such industry that faced the consequences of the lockdown and travel restrictions. It is a sector that has always held the distinction of being one of the highest contributors to the country’s GDP. However, with the pandemic looming large, the industry faced a serious loss of steady revenue generation.

And yet, the tourism sector leaders have continued to stay steadfast and strong in the face of this adversity. In the last couple of months, all of us have witnessed the efforts that the sector has been pouring in towards improving traveler safety, providing for their workforce, and supporting local communities. In fact, the business leaders are in a bid to take this crisis as an opportunity to rethink their policies and enable the sustainable growth of the sector. And so, here we are today to take a closer look at how the sector is most likely to rebuild itself post pandemic.

  1. Starting with regional and domestic tourism to promote traveling

At Avlon Shiksha Niketan, a well-known tourism management institute in Kolkata, we firmly believe that when travelers start navigating the post-pandemic world, local travel will come to the forefront as a safer, easier, and more sustainable option. In fact, reports suggest that 58 percent of individuals are eager to travel to nearby regions that are accessible by car.

In order to capitalize on the initial stage of recovery, tourism boards and organizations are more likely to focus their early marketing efforts on incentivizing regional and domestic travel. We can expect them to inspire eager travelers to explore nearby destinations and attractions. 24 percent of travelers are already interested in seeking out hidden gems to tell their local friends and family about. Thus, domestic tourism will be the first to get a boost, followed by a medium haul between regions and finally, international travel.

  1. Ingraining greater sustainability in the processes and practices

Studies report that over 73% of consumers are taking note of brands that are making a difference during COVID-19, and that includes making sustainable choices. After all, the lockdown has offered ample evidence of human impact on the environment. Thus, the businesses will have a renewed call to action and adopt more sustainable practices. Regardless of the scale, the businesses are expected to focus more on the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) spectrum to address environmental concerns, social impact on local communities, and corporate governance needs.

Furthermore, travelers are likely to make a positive difference while traveling, thereby turning to eco-tourism. Thus, businesses would develop their portfolio of natural destinations and highlight their ecological benefits.

  1. Bring greater spotlight on measures related to cybersecurity

With the pandemic making the consumers more comfortable with working, buying, and being online, the tourism businesses will also have to make major shifts towards digitalization. As such, payment processing systems, reservation apps, and loyalty programs connected to digital platforms and digital corporate networks will increase the likelihood of attacks.

Therefore, the tourism sector will focus more on strengthening the cybersecurity measures after the pandemic. Enhanced cybersecurity is required to deal with emerging data breaches and fraudulency and also to make the adoption of new technologies easier. In addition, several job roles in the sector might make a shift to remote work, and as such, more robust security measures will be needed to make that transition smooth.

  1. Focus on implementing and highlighting the prescribed health and safety standards

According to 69% of travelers, cleanliness is a critical component of a travel brand’s crisis response, which is also one of the proofs that safety and health are paramount in the new era. Thus, it is important to keep in mind that even post-pandemic, personal experiences, the dread of being stuck in another region, and concerns about social distancing will continue to guide consumer behavior in both short and mid-term.

As a result, businesses will continue to collaborate more closely with the extended value chains, including suppliers and employees, to make sure of the readiness and implementation of the safety protocols. Also, since the trust between businesses and tourists will be a crucial factor in the recovery of the sector, the sector will keenly focus on promoting the safety measures undertaken.

  1. Enriching the talent pool to have a more multi-skilled workforce

Of course, we cannot conclude this discussion without throwing some light on the post-pandemic world of jobs and careers in the tourism sector. The crisis has clearly outlined the requirement to have a technologically proficient and multi-skilled workforce. Furthermore, the move to remote work has unlocked the potential to hire talent from all parts of the world.

Businesses are thus more likely to target a diverse skillset among the employees to plan for workforce continuity and reallocation of future stocks. They would preferably invest in cross-training their employees in multiple topics and digitally upskilling the workforce, along with recruiting tech-savvy talents across job roles.

All in all, there is no denying that the world of tourism is going to witness a sea change in the post-pandemic era. And we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, as one of the best tourism management institutes in Kolkata, are right here to prepare you well for the new and improved world of tourism jobs. Our teaching methodology has always focused on real-world approaches and keeping up with the trends, and these are the aspects that make our young professionals stand out today and tomorrow.

So, if you are planning to launch a glorious career in the field of travel and tourism, join us at Avlon Shiksha Niketan and get going for your future role in full swing.

AI & Automation Revolutionizing the Hospitality Industry

AI has emerged as a revolution within the past few years, and there is hardly any industry left that hasn’t yet embraced this beaming technology. So today, let’s take a closer look at the multivariate ways in which AI and automation have been changing the face of the hospitality industry to make it stronger than ever before.

30-second summary:

  • AI has the potential to improve hotel reputation, enhance customer experience, and drive revenue
  • Chatbots, along with actual front desk staff, ease the process of inquiry and bookings
  • Massive data volumes to learn more about customer preferences and behavioral patterns
  • Voice-enabled technology to let the guests feel at home and receive customized services

The adoption of emerging technologies has become quite a trend in the hospitality sector after receiving inspiration from successful use cases. And one such new tech whose popularity is spreading far and wide by the day is AI and the resultant automation.

In the hospitality industry, the increasing demand for the adoption of artificial intelligence stems from the fact that it has the power to impact and change the sector completely. Furthermore, with the rising need for smart automation of current processes, AI has come to the conventional hospitality landscape with the potential to improve hotel reputation, enhance customer experience, and drive revenue.

Reports suggest that the travel and hospitality AI market is slated to exceed $1.2 billion by 2026, growing at an estimated CAGR of more than 9.7% within this period. This offers ample proof that the sector is readily opening up to the prospects of AI and automation. On that note, we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, a renowned tourism management institute in Kolkata, will be taking you in this article today through the various ways in which AI and automation have been revolutionizing the hospitality industry.

Changing the way of handling booking inquiries

Chatbots in the hospitality industry are changing the way customer inquiries are dealt with, thereby turning more visitors into patrons. Thus, it comes as no surprise that 68 percent of airlines are turning to AI-based intelligent chatbots. These chatbots are made to simulate conversation through natural language processing and generation in the native language. It enables efficient, concise, and controlled interactions between computing machines and humans.

At Avlon Shiksha Niketan, we believe that as customers are already in the habit of taking recommendations from digital platforms, the hospitality sector is willingly embracing and adopting artificial intelligence. After all, businesses get to enable greater customer interactions by offering fast-paced delivery service and 24/7 availability.

Built to ease and further refine the workings of the actual front desk staff, conversational artificial intelligence in resorts and hotels fuels the digital reservation process by helping the businesses up-sell their popular services like dinner reservations, body care treatments, and more.

Making the most of the huge data volumes from AI

Hotels are turning to strategic, accurately crafted process automation of their customer care and internal services for reducing service costs and optimizing the operational costs. Furthermore, the integration of AI in hospitality has become more beneficial for guests and hoteliers due to the inculcation of machine learning abilities. To this end, the hotel sales and marketing system has been integrating chatbots software to learn more about changing customer tastes, behavioral patterns, and convincing responses.

Machine learning in artificial intelligence observes the alterations in trends and the delivered responses of preceding agent conversations before it starts to produce its precise responses, personalize offers, and customize suggestions to match the preferences of travel planners. As such, besides enhancing customer services, artificial intelligence also helps to make appropriate decisions depending on huge data volume.

Driving automation through AI and the Internet of Things

The widespread use and adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) mean that almost every other person uses some kind of wearable device nowadays, and the hospitality industry has been making the best use of this scenario.

Through interconnected devices and sensors, hotel operation systems interact perfectly with the physical world to offer a highly personalized customer experience to each guest. Hotel rooms have been using the present network of technologies along with virtual assistants to take the experience to the next level.

Establishing artificial intelligence in resorts and hotels enables the business to create more prospects to offer excellent services that go a notch above the ordinary. It ranges from suggesting music, books, and spa treatments to guests and goes all the way to automatically notifying the staff for customized meals, complimentary services, and special privileges.

Voice-enabled virtual assistants to enhance customer experience

With the recent advances in artificial intelligence, hotels have started equipping the rooms with smart devices that come with a voice recognition system. Though the top names in the business world began this trend, nowadays, we find even the new hotels and luxury ventures offer this AI-enabled facility.

At Avlon Shiksha Niketan, a well-known tourism management institute in Kolkata, we believe that one of the reasons for hotels to introduce voice-enabled technology is to let guests have a similar experience in their rooms as they enjoy at home through their interconnected devices. The guests can control all the features in their room through Alexa or Siri, and that’s one of the surest ways to make them feel right at home.

Boosting business through perceptive on-premise recommendations

As hotels can now garner heaps of crucial customer data, they have started using machine learning with business-based algorithms to get accurate predictions about customer preferences. Such analytical ability of artificial intelligence keeps the hotels agile in offering services beyond the usual set of offerings.

For instance, think of a guest who has just returned to her room after a long day of business meetings and conferences. Thanks to all the data gathered using artificial intelligence, hotels can offer complementary or add-on services like spa treatments or massages. And a business that goes the extra mile in customer care is sure to earn brownie points from the customer.

The advantages of artificial intelligence and automation in the hospitality industry have already been outlined above. However, the increased adoption of technology does not take away from the fact that the sector will never stop needing the human touch. Guests prefer hearing an actual voice when they call the hotels, and it assures them to see smiling faces greeting and assisting them throughout. Thus, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, one of the top tourism management institutes in Kolkata, we train and hone your skills to make you the future professional of this sector who not only stays abreast about the latest tech but also boosts business through enhanced industry knowledge and people skills.

Customer Experience Has Emerged as the Top Priority for the Aviation Industry

Ensuring customer satisfaction and delivering them with the finest experiences is the key factor where most airlines are laying their focus nowadays. Let us have a look in this article today on why customer experience holds so much significance in the aviation industry and what are the different initiatives that the industry has taken in this regard.

30-seconds summary

  • Customer experience is closely tied to customer loyalty and revenue growth
  • Digital transformation is being used to bind personalization with customer experience
  • Airlines now focus on each point of interaction of the customers for a better holistic experience
  • The service provided by the industry in this COVID situation is one of the finest examples of ensuring superior customer experience

The progression of the aviation industry in the last couple of years has been truly phenomenal. This, in turn, has given rise to increasing competition among the airlines operating in the field. And, with the major names in the business seeking to amplify their relationship-building efforts in this new decade, it seems quite evident that the customer experience is now the game-changer for the industry.

We, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, one of the leading aviation colleges in Kolkata, strongly believe that customer experience is the one thing that is making the difference in turning people towards or away from certain airlines. When it comes to attracting the customers and raking in the profit numbers in the aviation industry, it’s all about bridging the gap between what the customers want and what the industry has to offer.

And, since our young professionals are soon going to join the industry and work towards eliminating that gap, today, we will be offering our insights on the significance of customer experience and the industry’s initiatives in this matter.

Significance of customer experience in the aviation industry

Customer experience in the aviation industry is all about what the customer feels and perceives while going through the multiple stages of their arrival in and departure from an airport. It involves the interactions with self-service booths, check-in and check-out counters, online facilities, and all other choices of channels.

When an airline is able to play all their cards right, the result is a happy customer who wouldn’t think twice before selecting the same company again for their travels. As such, one of the greatest reasons for focusing on customer experience is that it not just gets an airline a one-time business from a traveler, but rather they can earn a loyal customer for a lifetime. Per se, such a loyal customer will search for that airline the next time they have to fly from anywhere to anywhere.

It is the quality of service on offer in varied aspects, such as the service processing time, queuing time, physical facilities, space, and so on, which come together to outline the quality on offer. And, an increase or decrease in the passenger flow is the direct result of this quality perception of the customers. Besides, we live in an era where a couple of bad reviews about a business on social media platforms and negative word-of-the-mouth publicity are enough to make a company lose several potential customers at one fell swoop. Thus, customer experience is not something to be compromised in the aviation business.

Initiatives being taken to ensure an enhanced customer experience

As we have already established the reason behind customer experience being the top priority of the aviation industry, let’s get to the efforts made by the industry in enhancing the said experience. And, here are some of the initiatives taken by the industry in this regard:

  • Digital transformation binds personalization with customer experience

It would be wrong to assume that customer experience is something that starts counting from the moment an individual walks into the airport. In fact, it begins way before when the same individual is sitting across a computer or smartphone and evaluating which flight tickets he/she should book.

In sight of that, the major players of the industry have increased their social media connect with the travelers and taken an agile-drive tactic for personalizing customers’ journeys. Additionally, the airlines are introducing the latest offerings of technology in the form of inflight connectivity, biometrics, assistive tech, and more to give a seamless experience to the customers.

  • Focusing on each point of interaction of the customers

Customers generally have several points of interaction with the airlines from the moment they enter the airport. It starts from the baggage counter, continues through the check-in process for the flight, and so on, and ends when the customer checks out from the airport.

Thus, the focus remains on offering excellent service at each stage of this entire journey of the customer. Right from having skilled personnel manning every station of this long process to employing the needful technological innovations, the airlines function like a well-oiled machinery with not a cog out of place.

  • Keeping up with the increasing expectations of the customers

The airlines are also investing more in customer experience based studies since it has become the core of their business strategy. At the end of the day, customer experience is a crucial aspect that is indirectly connected to the revenue growth of each business.

As such, emotionally impacting the customers through personalized experiences has been one of the central parts of their initiative. For instance, airlines are sending personalized messages to each customer, offering added assistance to infants and new moms, addressing each passenger by their name, and so on.

  • Keeping the rules and norms of the new normal in sight

Any discussion on the customer experience offered by the aviation industry would remain incomplete without mentioning the steps taken by the industry in the new normal brought in by the global pandemic.

The industry has truly stepped up its game within the very little time of preparation that it received, and is now one of the front runners in the fight against COVID-19. Right from ensuring the health and safety of the passengers at each point of the journey to increasing the efforts towards sanitizing the premises, the airports have truly left no stones unturned in the current crisis.

A deliberation on the significance of customer experience would also be lacking without the mention of the team of skilled professionals who are entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring a superior experience. And, we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, ranked among the best aviation colleges in Kolkata, are one of the pioneering institutes in the field to prepare such skilled and proficient young achievers who leave their mark in the industry through their unparalleled service. So, as customer experience continues to become more and more demanding, we, at Avlon, are training and grooming professionals who can efficiently meet that demand and grow and thrive even amid the most challenging times.

Significance of Sustainability in the Tourism & Hospitality Industry

Sustainable practices have been lately gaining a lot of attention from almost all industry verticals, and the hospitality sector is no exception to it. In this article today, let us have a look at the importance of sustainability in the hospitality sector and a few viable measures that are have been adopted by the industry in this regard.

30-seconds summary:

  • Sustainable management practices turn out to be more cost-effective in the long run
  • Sustainability is a crucial factor in the choices made by modern travelers, especially the millennials
  • Millennials want to work for businesses that adopt sustainable practices
  • The brand image created by adopting green practices helps in bringing greater profits

The hospitality sector historically has had an undeniable environmental impact through its water and energy consumption, use of durable and consumable goods, and hazardous and solid waste creation. In fact, the sector is responsible for about 8% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, which makes hotels the second-largest polluters. The environmental impact of the sector is so pronounced that the Paris Climate accord has explicitly addressed the hotels to bring down their carbon emissions by 66% by 2030.

In such a scenario, adopting sustainable practices becomes a necessity rather than an option for the hospitality industry. And, we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, a renowned tourism management institute in Kolkata, are saying this not only from the viewpoint of environmental concerns but also from the customers’ perspective. Indeed, adopting sustainable practices can offer multifold benefits of customer satisfaction, environmental wellbeing, and profit acquisition. Let us explain this in detail by outlining the significance of sustainability in the hospitality industry.

Busting the myth of green operations being more expensive

There is a widely believed myth that green operations are invariably more expensive, and the guests don’t really care much about it. Let’s start with unraveling the truth about the first part of that sentence, shall we?

As per reports, recent advancements in technology related to renewable sources of energy, such as wind or solar energy, have considerably reduced the long-term costs incurred by the hospitality businesses. Of course, we are not denying that the initial cost of setting up such alternative energy sources is a bit on the steeper side, but it’s also true that these setups pretty much pay for themselves in the long run.

Moreover, when the businesses decide to go green, the encouragement comes from multiple quarters. The government offers several financial grants, tax write-offs, and expedited permitting for sustainable practices, and even insurance companies provide premium discounts.

That’s not all! An important aspect of sustainability in the hospitality industry is the employee training program to help them embrace green practices. It ensures improved performance and efficiency from the employees, which further helps to bring in the profits.

Adding to the guest experience and ensuring happy customers

Now, let’s come to the second part of the aforementioned myth: the customers are not concerned about sustainability. This is even farther from the truth because 87% of travelers rate sustainability as a crucial factor in their choices, and almost 40% actively opt for more sustainable lodging and travel options.

To add to that, two-third of the travelers indicate that they are willing to pay at least five percent more for sustainable alternatives. This trend also extends to their travel choices as a majority of tourists look for eco-holidays nowadays. And, the ever-rising demand for eco-tourism bears testimony to that.

From our years of experience as one of the leading hospitality and tourism management institute in Kolkata, we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, can vouch for the fact that all these trends are mainly being set by the millennials as they are the ones with the spending power. And, millennials are keener on supporting brands with strong environmental and social policies, whereby greener management practices are not just there on paper but in practice. So, even if the aim is to attract and appease more customers, a viable way for the industry is to go green.

Creating a stronger and better brand image for the businesses

The brand image of the businesses in the hospitality sector is strongly linked to the customers’ perception of them. In a world where a few bad reviews can make or break the reputation of an establishment, sustainable practices might just be the key to make the customers happy and satisfied.

It is important to keep in mind that the millennials take pride in having a clear idea about which brands are walking the walk instead of just talking the talk. So, investing in sustainable business practices will ensure an enhanced brand image and reputation that translates into bigger profits in the long-term.

Besides, it’s not only the guests and their satisfaction, but also about the employees and their preferences. The millennial professionals prefer to work for socially responsible companies. In fact, 70% of millennials claim to want to work for companies that help them in contributing to environmental and social issues. Thus, with sustainability being a major perk for the guests and the employees, it has to be on the top of the agenda for the employers.

The sustainable practices being adopted by the hospitality industry

The good news is that the significance of sustainability, as showcased above, has been realized by the hospitality industry. To that effect, several established and new businesses have already adopted green policies in the operations and management of their hotels and restaurants. Most hospitality businesses now prefer to work with vendors who follow the same green philosophy. After all, the products used in the hotel or restaurant have a direct impact on the overall sustainability of the operations.

Across the industry, businesses of different types and scales have embraced the policies of recycle and reuse and are paying greater attention to smarter waste management. Furthermore, regular training of the employees is being emphasized by the businesses because the staff has to be well-equipped to enact the policies levied by the top management.

To help the hospitality industry move forward with effective sustainable strategies, the need of the hour is skilled and proficient young professionals with adequate prior knowledge of the green practices. And, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, one of the most prominent tourism management institute in Kolkata, we are doing the same by training our students to lead from the front when it comes to ushering an era of sustainability in the industry. Our advanced training in tourism and hospitality pays special attention to the real-world scenarios of eco-friendly practices and environmental management. And, this not only makes our students more skilled and employable but also serves as the way forward to making the planet cleaner and greener.