For example in Cancún, a once tiny fishing port that is now a mass tourist resort, this trend is being reversed through the “Grand Cancún” project that consists of a new complex that has been built in the sea to avoid damaging the coast. And this is not the only example: similar initiatives are emerging in South Korea and Qatar. These new complexes are greener because of advances in architecture, solar and hydraulic energy, the sorting of waste and recycling of wastewater, and are blending into the local landscape. Better yet, they preserve ecosystems by producing their own energy, recycling their own waste and emitting (almost) no CO2… does that make you feel like booking your ticket?
Is “Smart Tourism” already a reality?
Moreover, there’s no need to wait to experience this alternative kind of tourism. Before setting off or arriving at one’s destination, “smart tourism” makes it possible to improve the experience of the tourist. This is an economic opportunity that has been well understood by cities, which consider this field to be a new lever of growth. To this end, cities such as Brighton in the UK are today investing in the deployment of an “Internet of Place” i.e. data collection through the deployment of sensors, to better understand the needs of tourists and to identify business opportunities.
Let’s make the most of these new innovations before virtual and augmented reality allows us to travel while staying at home! Such technologies are already changing our travel habits: some museums use augmented reality to accompany visitors, and the smartphone game Pokémon Go has been seen as a real opportunity by some towns and museums. For example, the city of Edmonton ran a photo contest via social media asking visitors to send photos of themselves, along with their “catches”, taken at designated city landmarks. While stepping into a Hyperloop to go and enjoy the waves off the Basque coast is always likely to be popular, some predict that going to see Caravaggio works in Roman villas will become a very 20th century pastime. Why bother going when a virtual reality headset will allow anyone to escape the crowds and walk alone inside the world’s greatest museums.