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Pickens Technical College’s Marketing: Hospitality and Tourism Pathway: The Rise of Real-Time Tourism

In Pickens Technical College’s Marketing: Hospitality and Tourism course, you’ll learn the basics of marketing concepts and how they relate to hospitality. Tourism is a huge part of the local, national, and global economy and will continue to drive economic growth for the foreseeable future all over the world. Since tourism is such a huge opportunity to make money, it will always draw marketers and demand constant innovation in a competitive marketplace. As a graduate of Courtney Tanguma’s Hospitality and Tourism course at Pickens, you’ll be in a position to join this growing economy and find success throughout your career. 

Because tourism is such an integral part of so many local economies, companies all over the world are always looking for ways to improve their marketing concepts to bring more tourists through their doors. The way the industry is going right now, we could see the fast rise of a new concept in the marketing of tourism and hospitality: real-time tourism.

What is Real-Time Tourism?

It’s too early to officially start using this marketing concept in casual conversation, but some leading tourism and hospitality marketers are using this term to describe the way that Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs)—your visitor bureaus and tourist boards—are moving towards smart marketing tactics that deliver the right messages to the right visitors at the right times. 

Simply getting people to buy hotel rooms isn’t enough anymore for these organizations, who help individual businesses attract visitors and drive local tourism economies. Today, visitors need a multitude of goods and services when they arrive in a new place for a visit, and real-time tourism is a way to deliver these things to tourists when they need them. The idea is to make it easier for tourists to get all the comforts of home and experience all their destination has to offer. 

A Radical Change for DMOs

According to the head of the Department of Tourism and Hospitality in the UK, Dimitrios Buhalis, DMOs need to change their way of thinking and interacting with customers to be successful. DMOs have acted like agents getting customers to a destination and introducing them to services and products they might need. Buhalis says that DMOs now need to shift to thinking of themselves as “experience curators,” responsible for the experience of travelers and for knowing what they want when they visit their destination. They need to have the ability to give tourists what they need and want exactly when they need and want it. 

Technology is starting to make this possible, but there is a long way to go to achieve the kind of tourism marketing utopia Buhalis and other leaders envision. Communication capabilities have certainly improved for many tourist destinations, allowing for direct messaging of visitors over applications and mobile networks, and interfacing with rising “smart city” infrastructure, such as networks connecting smartphones and city sensors providing data like crowd flow and health issues. 

Could you be at the forefront of this revolution in real-time tourism and marketing? Anything is possible when you start your career at Pickens’ Marketing: Hospitality and Tourism program.

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