Emerging technologies20 July 2023
There is a vital need to understand how technological advancements can improve guest experiences in the hotel industry, as well as financial bottom lines. Luckily, HFTP competition winners are providing insight. Juliette Girardin explores how the metaverse can offer event organisers a space to experiment and Obiora Ndili offers a solution to Africa’s tourism issues.
Students in advanced hospitality programmes such as the Master of Science in Global Hospitality Business are in a remarkable position to narrow the focus of research and explore the ways that technology can be uniquely used in the hotel and lodging industry. For years, HFTP has supported these students in their research efforts through the HFTP/MS Global Hospitality Business Student Blog Competition. The results, as seen below, speak for themselves.
Leveraging the power of the metaverse
Event risk management is critical to ensuring the safety and security of attendees, personnel and the venue. It takes time and effort to identify, assess and mitigate possible risks to an event’s success. Yet, because most events are constructed over a few days and only happen once a year, it is difficult to think of all the possibilities. With the rise of the metaverse, the work of risk managers may become more effective and secure. The metaverse is a multi-user virtual area in which people can engage with each other and with virtual items in a completely immersive and interactive environment. The metaverse’s potential applications are numerous, and one area where it can be especially effective is in enhancing risk management in events.
The hospitality industry, particularly the events sector, is no stranger to risk management. Event organisers have to deal with a multitude of risks ranging from security, health and safety, financial, legal and reputational risks, among others.
However, traditional risk management systems sometimes fall short because they rely on antiquated methods such as paper-based forms and checklists, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors.
The metaverse, on the other hand, provides a unique opportunity to enhance risk management in events by creating a virtual space where organisers can simulate and test different scenarios, identify potential risks and develop appropriate mitigation strategies. Here are some ways in which the metaverse can help improve risk management in events.
It can be used by event organisers to simulate various scenarios and test their risk management strategies. For example, organisers can simulate a fire or a terrorist attack and train staff on how to respond to such situations.
The metaverse can allows users to monitor events in real-time, using sensors and other technologies to detect potential risks such as overcrowding, security breaches or equipment failures.
The metaverse can serve as a platform for data analytics and risk modeling platform, allowing event organisers to analyse data from previous events and identify potential risks.
The metaverse can also improve communication and collaboration among event organisers, personnel and other stakeholders. By creating a shared virtual space, organisers can work together to identify potential risks and develop appropriate responses.
In conclusion, the metaverse provides a unique opportunity to enhance risk management in events. By leveraging the capabilities of the metaverse, event organisers can develop more effective risk management strategies, ultimately creating safer and more secure events for attendees.
How the blockchain can boost African Tourism
Africa is home to some of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders and diverse cultural experiences. But the tourism industry in Africa is facing various challenges such as lack of infrastructure, weak regulation, and low levels of investment. However, there is potential in blockchain technology.
Blockchain is a decentralised ledger that can record transactions in a secure, transparent and immutable manner. It has already shown great potential in various industries such as finance, healthcare, and supply chain management. In the tourism industry, blockchain can address various issues such as payment processing, identity verification, and supply chain management. Traditional payment methods such as credit cards are not widely accepted in Africa, and the use of cash can be risky and cumbersome. Blockchain technology can provide a secure and efficient payment system that eliminates intermediaries and reduces transaction costs.
Identity verification is another challenge facing the tourism industry in Africa. Tourists may be required to provide multiple documents to verify their identity, which can be time-consuming and inconvenient. Blockchain technology can provide a secure and decentralised platform for identity verification. This can significantly reduce the time and cost of identity verification processes.
The supply chain in the tourism industry is also complex and can be difficult to manage. A transparent and immutable ledger of the entire supply chain, from the origin of the goods and services to the final delivery to the customers would be a benefit.
Another advantage of using blockchain technology in the tourism industry is that it can promote eco-tourism and sustainability. Tourists are becoming more aware of the impact of their travels on the environment and are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Blockchain can be used to create smart contracts that incentivise sustainable practices. These contracts can provide tourists with more eco-friendly options.
Unlike more developed countries, that must integrate new technologies with existing infrastructure and systems, Africa can leapfrog directly to the latest and most efficient technologies.
However, there are also challenges and risks associated with the implementation of blockchain technology in the tourism industry. The first challenge is the lack of technical expertise and infrastructure. African countries need to invest in developing the technical skills and infrastructure required to adopt and integrate blockchain technology into their tourism businesses. Another challenge is the lack of regulatory frameworks and standards. Blockchain is a new and rapidly evolving technology, and there are no clear regulations or standards for its use in the tourism industry.
In conclusion, blockchain technology could revolutionise the tourism industry in Africa. It can provide a secure and efficient payment system, streamline identity verification processes, enhance the supply chain management, promote eco-tourism and sustainability, and help African countries leapfrog to the latest and most efficient technologies. However, blockchain technology in the tourism industry would require investment in technical skills and infrastructure, and the development of regulatory frameworks and standards. With the right support, blockchain technology can transform the tourism industry.