Smart Cities to Smart Destinations

Technology can transform cities into smart tourist destinations.

Smart cities, like Montreal, use digital technologies to improve efficiency, interactivity, safety, and generally make the city better for both inhabitants and companies alike. As these cities go above and beyond traditional use of digital technologies, this same initiative can boost the economy with smart tourism. Let’s take a look at the technologies that transform smart cities into smart destinations. 

Live Streaming 

Audiences can watch traditionally in-person live events through any connected device. Take something like online casinos, for example – card game enthusiasts can play blackjack online in real time, as a dealer stationed at a physical blackjack table is streamed live from the platform’s studio. Players can interact with the dealer and other players in real time.

This same logic can be applied to tourism, too – particularly for areas where there is an increasing concern for conservation. In areas of the UK like the Scottish Highlands or the Lake District, for example, whilst tourism is good for the local economy, increased footfall can wear away at the natural beauty and spoil the idyllic nature of the location. Instead, live streaming can allow tourists to experience the hills, mountains, and peaks in real time.

Artificial Intelligence 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is seeing a huge boom in popularity, and the tourism sector is no different. There are several ways that AI can be used to make tourism more efficient, particularly when it comes to automating time consuming processes at the airport. Over the past year alone, many countries have been rumored to be trialing or developing AI systems for automated border control, passport control, facial recognition, and in the processing of tourist visas.

Here in Canada, Toronto Pearson International Airport is paving the way with AI technology. The airport has begun using AI security vehicles that patrol runways and security fences, as well as a solution that boosts aircraft turnaround time and gate availability, and a visual AI software that uses video feeds to gather anonymized data indicating congestion and wait times to improve passenger transparency and staff efficiency. 

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Put simply, virtual reality (VR) creates a whole new digital environment, whilst augmented reality (AR) imposes digital elements into the real world. These technologies are increasingly being used in the tourism sector, particularly to make exhibits at museums, art galleries, and other institutions more immersive and interactive. 

Elsewhere, AR and VR are also being employed in hospitality, especially within hotels. For example, VR technology can be used to provide people with a realistic, interactive 360° of the rooms the hotel offers, where guests have the opportunity to get a realistic feel for the rooms before making a booking. AR can be used once guests check into the hotel, providing the hotel the opportunity to create themed rooms and without having to physically redecorate.

As you can see, technology allows tourism to have a digital transformation, regenerating cities into smart tourism destinations. As smart cities are at the forefront of the technological revolution, these smart cities have the potential to easily integrate smart tourism into the smart initiative.