As a whole, the United States, China and Germany are the major travel nations. But many other countries have followed suit with regard to tourism. Worldwide, spending for travel services has been on the increase for years. The tourism industry is obviously delighted! However, the pleasure is even greater when the use of crowdsourcing provides the tourism industry with effective support to handle increased and new challenges. We want to present a few practical project examples.
The uses of crowdsourcing in tourism
The tourism industry is increasingly relying on marketing their offers and providing information on the World Wide Web. The World Wide Web has no borders and no opening hours; it therefore makes the global market accessible to any supplier. The challenge is:
to make one’s offer accessible,
to make it available in several languages,
to be visible and easily traceable on the Web,
to set oneself apart from the competition and
increase customer loyalty by providing the customer with added value.
The solution to this challenge is to take advantage of the manpower and know-how of Internet users worldwide and make use of crowdsourcing. Travel is a topic that many people enjoy. This makes it easy to find committed Internet users to take part in projects that involve the topic of travelling. The most important know-how that tourist companies can fall back on are language skills as well as “local knowledge”, and information about destinations gathered by numerous Internet users who have been there themselves. In addition, the use of the crowd can also have an increased marketing effect. The crowd is representative of a cross-section of all customers. Including the crowd, can help reveal customer wishes and demands, and “join-in activities” can help increase crowd = customer loyalty..
There are several examples of the use of crowdsourcing that have already been implemented in projects, ideas and approaches. The spectrum ranges from collaborative development of product ideas to the collection of geodata, research of opening hours, prices and addresses, to writing descriptions of destinations, travel reports and hotel descriptions as well as taking photos on-site.
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