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Is technology stressing you out?

10 Apr Posted by in Blog, New Release | Comments
Is technology stressing you out?
Over the next 2 posts we have a special guest from the University of Mississippi (USA) who has shared her A grade paper addressing the negative and positive impacts that technology has on our tourism & travel industry and the staff. Michelle is providing global proof that what you are feeling is common, expected and for many pretty normal. Just want we want to hear after an Easter break.  

At UntangleMyWeb we often hear stories of operators in distress (and some still in denial) from the power of technology for their business and the resistance to embrace it in order to maintain profits. If you know an operator experiencing these challenges, please share the link to this article with them, knowing you are not the only one can sometimes be just the nudge you need.

“The Impacts of New Technology on Tourism & Hospitality Operations and Employees”

(report distributed 24th February 2012: written by Michelle Shuttlesworth)

Technology for the hospitality and tourism industry is advancing. Hotels, Motels, B&Bs and experience-based businesses all have to quickly adapt to these changes.

Demands of guests are rising with the evolvement of new technology, so it is important that these businesses fulfill these demands and keep up with changes like:

  • updating hotel management systems
  • online booking systems,
  • and transitioning to social networking.

Implementing these changes can cause a lot of stress on employees which can be detrimental to their health and work, but if business managers can create an easy transition then it could be very beneficial for the business and employees.

Choosing technology that will support their business processes and day to day activities will allow managers and employees to have a smooth transition 

Technology has revolutionised the business world with its nonstop inventions and updates on already new devices like smart phones and the iPad. The tourism and hospitality industry, with its main purpose of service, is greatly affected by the constant development of new and improved products of this digital world. The employees have to learn and adapt to these constant changes which can be very stressful. Too much stress can be very unhealthy and affect their work. This report will bring notice to the negative and positive impacts that new technology has on the industry and their employees.

The technology of communication and computers play a large role in the day to day activities of accommodation providers and tour operators. Most people call or go online to make a reservation. Computers can hold the bulk of the work in these businesses. For example, there are specific computer programs created just for hotel use. These programs are called property management systems (PMS). They help hold guest reservations, guest information, and billing information.

Most larger establishments (UMW edit: and now a lot of smaller establishments thanks to the Smart Tourism Website) have their own website that contains:

  • general information
  • amenities
  • rates of rooms
  • place to create your own reservation.

 This last – yet very important feature called online booking – helps reduce the work load for some employees. Having this feature is a major advantage because the use of online bookings is increasing. 

In the article “The Impact of E-Commerce and Social Networking on the Hotel Industry,” Jonathan Jaegar, a graduate of the School of Hospitality Administration at Boston University, discusses the positive and negative effects that social media and third party internet has on hotels. He claims that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are a great way to advertise and give “hotel operators the opportunity to directly connect with a new generation of travelers” (Jaegar).  Hotels are being smart in taking advantage of these networking sites to advertise discounts to encourage demand and increase profits. Internet marketing is smart and innovative and gives hotels the opportunity to “create a positive image” and gain more customers (Jaegar).
However, Jaegar says, this method does not always end in larger profits. He says that hotels must calculate a break-even amount to know how many rooms can be sold at the discounted rate before they can sell all of these rooms and at a lower price.

Jaegar proclaims that “third party internet sites have exploded.” Some of these websites include Travelocity, Expedia, and Orbitz (UMW edit: Wofit,, Stayz are some of the sites available in Australia). Hotel consumers have started to go to these websites because they believe they will find the best possible rates. Though it’s good that these third party internet sites help sell these vacant rooms, it can also lead to some negative effects. When people go to Travelocity or Orbitz, it takes away some of the profits from the hotel. What most people do not know is that the discounted rates can be located on the hotel website itself, not just the third party websites. (*UMW: Even though Jaegar’s example is referring to Hotels, this applies to almost all businesses in the Tourism Industry- particularly Accommodation providers.)
Booking straight with the accommodation providers website can guarantee room type and any other specific requests. (UMW: Be sure to remind your guests of this on your social media sites!)

In summary, what does all the above mean for my tourism business?

In conclusion of this first post (we don’t want to overwhelm you) there are many changes that will affect not only how your bookings are taken, but also how your day to day business tasks are completed. You probably find that you have made a lot of these changes already. This might include:

  • Taking Credit Card Payments online using an online merchant account
  • Using Email for correspondence/bookings
  • Using MYOB or other account systems (we love the web-based system called Saasu)
  • Ordering business supplies online
  • Online Bookings
  • Adding a TripAdvisor listing

Congratulate yourself on what has already been conquered… (it may seem like there is a lot to get a hold of but a little patience and determination will go a very long way)… and get ready for the next blog post which will be looking at:

  • how this technology boom affects you and your employees
  • where it could lead to for future business
  • what is required from you to stay in the game

We will also provide you with some tips to get into the technology swing and how to source help when you need some motivation.

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