Smart Tourism Europe in 2021: What You Should Know
The travel industry is one of the most important industries in the world, and many countries heavily rely on tourism income for economic stability. According to WHO, 100% of worldwide destinations introduced travel restrictions in 2020 in the wake of COVID-19, making it difficult to travel. With the global pandemic dying down, tourism is bound to experience a better summer season in 2021, which is where smart tourism comes into play.
According to the European Capital of Smart Tourism Initiative, a “smart” tourism location is one that “implements innovative, intelligent solutions and fosters tourism business development”. In practice, smart tourism locations are the ones that feature modern technologies through their cities to make international travel easier and more enjoyable. Here’s what you should know about smart tourism in Europe in 2021 if you head to one of the many European destinations for your vacation.
Smart Tourism is Implemented Differently Throughout Europe
Smart tourism refers to more than just free Wi-Fi hotspots or helpful tourism booths in European capitals. Different countries implement their “smart” solutions in a variety of ways, making them more attractive for travelers. For example, 2020 winners of European Capitals of Smart Tourism were Malaga (Spain) and Gothenburg (Sweden), with runners-up Breda (Netherlands), Ljubljana (Slovenia), and Karlsruhe (Germany).
Each of these locations exhibits different aspects of smart tourism, those being sustainability, accessibility, digitalization, and cultural heritage and creativity respectively. To find out what each has to offer for you, you can download some top 10 travel apps for ios and android. This will enable you to make an informed decision on where in Europe to travel and what to expect regarding smart technologies.
Smart Tourism Extends to Language Localization
While Europeans are fairly well-versed in English, not everyone knows how to speak properly, meaning that efficient travel can sometimes be difficult. According to statistics, 72% of people prefer buying bookings and products in general in their languages for convenience’s sake. One of the most important elements of smart tourism is the fact that its accessibility development extends to localization.
This means that traveling to Romania, France, Germany, or Italy will be easier as time goes on thanks to hosting countries translating everything into English. People from NA, as well as Asia and other locations coming to Europe, will have a more enjoyable time. You can also consider what is the best online translation service and have your passport and travel insurance translated before heading out for convenience. Things such as landmark descriptions, street signs, and other travel-related elements are more likely to be translated in 2021 than ever before.
Smart Tourism Made Easier Thanks to the Internet
The fact that a majority of travelers have smartphones at hand encouraged European governments to introduce smart tourism measurements to take advantage of that. Projects such as Visit Greece enable travelers to download travel applications to their smartphones before heading out to download maps and use them during traveling. Likewise, platforms such as Booking.com work closely with European lodging locations to provide international travel with the best possible experiences once on the ground.
In the wake of COVID-19, many locations also introduced COVID-19 passes for travel, such as France which pioneered the project. The goal of this smart tourism initiative is to make travel as convenient as possible given the global situation. Thanks to the internet and smartphone accessibility, international travel throughout Europe is becoming safer, easier, and more informative for anyone coming from abroad.
Long-Term Smart Tourism Development (Conclusion)
The achievement we’ve outlined regarding smart tourism in Europe is the tip of the iceberg since technology is becoming more accessible daily. With the official European Capital of Smart Tourism 2022 project already underway, we can expect to see plenty of groundbreaking innovation regarding tourism.
Even as is, you can safely plan your trip to Europe without the worry of language barriers or critical accessibility options missing from European capitals. If you’re planning on going “off the beaten path” however, make sure to get in touch with the locals to better prepare for your visit.
Bio: Michael Carr is a career writer, editor, and digital marketing specialist. His expertise lies in covering a wide range of industries including travel, business, and marketing through essays, papers, and articles. Michael loves to travel to new and exciting locations in his spare time and journal about his experiences.