Latest travel trend and the underlying problems in the
Companies from different industries started to invest in digital transformation under the influence of the latest technology development. Tourism & Travel industry is definitely one of the industry that’s facing this transformation most directly, which led to changes such as OTA、online traveling experience website and so on, and even a new noun “tech-tourism” is also born to describe this latest trend. Furthermore, travelers’ behavior is also changing to a style that tightly bonded them with technology usage. For example, a more fragmented (book and go) travel planning style as well as an increasing number of solo backpacker traveling style due to the handy, easy to use, mobile technology.
Besides trying to involve more local feature into the tech-tourism development process and let tourists have a better understanding of Taiwanese culture, Tourism innovation & Tech Awards is also a great opportunity that could gather participants’ idea on how to solve the long existing potential problems hiding behind the curtain. For example, the “Earthquake instant warning text” is a service that the Taiwanese government has developed, with the purpose of trying to alarm and comfort people whenever an earthquake hits. While this service did not take foreigners’ needs into account while developing, it turns out that foreign tourists might actually be the group that needed this service the most. Comparing to local Taiwanese, they’re not familiar with earthquake happening and does not possess the knowledge of what to do during an earthquake hit. Despite one might argue that this should not be a problem for the general tourists, it is in fact, this kind of detail would affect tourist experience, and in long term probably reducing certain percentage of the inbound tourists.
Therefore, gather great minds that possess the ability to develop creative ideas into real service and mitigate or even fix the underlying problem in Taiwan tourism, this should definitely be the first priority of this challenge (Award).
Post-COVID19 World and Travel responsibility & sustainability
In additionally, facing the most serious virus in 2020 “COVID-19”, no tourist industry around the world has not been impacted profoundly. Comparing to other countries, Taiwan did a rather good job at curbing the spread of virus. Ministry of Transportation and Communication-Taiwan Tourism Bureau have response to the disaster by announcing a series of revitalization plans in purpose of assisting Taiwan Tourism Industry to recover in a rapid speed. In the process of tourist industry revitalizing, how to assist the government and tourist industry to have a smoother and easier recovering process by using creative ideas and technologies is another important part of the challenge (Award)’s goal.
Last but not least, after the United Nations launched a total of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 to replace its 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the tourism and leisure industries and governments in all countries have tried to incorporate these goals (particularly the five sub-items on society, economy, environment, governance, and implementation) into their development projects. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), gender equality in employment in the tourism industry, and the economic output that comes from peaceful development amongst different nations are way bigger than other industries. A lot of issues such as environmental pollution, over-development, destruction of native culture, and uneven distribution of benefits that would usually be raised when talking about international development of tourism and leisure should be addressed by both the public and private sectors in all countries while following the SDGs. Those who only eye on short-term benefit return and planning when pursuing internationalization will not go far. Rather, in addition to take the future science and technology development trend of the world into account, how to continue to develop and give back to the society, and to bring about the improvement of the overall society are what’s really important and what’s this competition is all about.
Therefore, combining mobile technology, the SDGs and the tourism industry is an urgent goal in Taiwan. The Tourism Bureau under Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) makes it its priority to bring forth innovative applications to take Taiwan’s tourism industry to the next level. By holding this competition, it is hoped that schools of tourism and hospitality could provide more courses to equip students with knowledge about smart tourism or digital innovation, so as to enhance the competitive edge of Taiwan’s tourism industry and quality of tourist services. The organizer also wishes to strengthen their interaction between Taiwan’s students and participating teams, and other teams on innovative travel services from Asia and other parts of the world, raising Taiwan’s profile in the international community. Plenty of innovative ideas and talent exchanges are expected to be seen in the competition that will surely facilitate the development of smart tourism in Taiwan.