Technology has probably witnessed a greater degree of development over the last 50 years than over the previous two thousand years. This development inevitably means that society must also adapt rapidly to this new economic and social environment.
The technological revolution that we have witnessed over the last ten years has served as a catalyst for the shift towards a new generation of tourists, a generation that is still young but that is clearly there. When these new-generation tourists acquire sufficient financial independence to be able to take purchasing decisions, they will demand a type of hotel that is very different to the types currently available on their Smartphones or tablets: hotels that are socially responsible and sustainable with regard to the environment; hotels that are hyper-connected and hyper-efficient; hotels that offer their guests an added-value dimension by taking advantage of each and every one of the resources at their disposal. At the Hotel Technology Institute (ITH) we aim to base this hotel development on innovation and technology, these being the key factors that will help us to instigate a shift towards a hotel industry that is clearly guest-focused, much more efficient and much more productive. Technology is the essential when it comes to bringing about this change and gradually adapting our products to real tourist demand.
The first sepia postcards in the nineteenth century were typically sent by the elite tourist who undertook journeys that were within the reach of very few, characterized by great, luxurious and ostentatious trans-Atlantic crossings. This first generation gradually gave way toa frenetic tourist boom based on the growing purchasing power of society as a whole. This development took place at the psychedelic pace of the 1960's and 1970's and was characterized by business opportunists who sought to meet the needs of the first mass tourists. An inordinate number of businesses built up their staff with immediate family members, constituting a team that was obviously not very professional and incapable of taking advantage of all of the resources at its disposal. However painful it may be to admit it, this hotel model still provides a faithful reflection of the sector at many mature tourist destinations today.
However, in the early twenty-first century tourism underwent its own revolution thanks to the overwhelming growth of information and communication technologies, accompanied by advances that enabled individuals to assume a more active role within society and the consumer world. Technology provides tourists with greater training, more extensive information and a wider range of marketing channels, thus forcing the entire tourism value chain to become more flexible, more efficient, more productive and more highly evolved ... It is this kind of hotel establishment, which has adapted to the new traveler profile, that we call a Third-Generation Hotel.
Differentiation and added value through innovation, technology and sustainability are the characteristic features of the hotel industry of the future, one that no longer exists solely in science fiction films. This approach offers a wide range of options to boost the hotel industry's competitive edge through the incorporation of management and marketing technologies, tools, systems and strategies that help to optimize resources, rationalize consumption and manage accommodation in accordance with current demands. In short, the idea is to give guests exactly what are they are looking for.
Welcome to Third-Generation Tourism. Are we ready?