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4IR And Tourism

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)

As Eric Hobsbawn stated, “the Industrial Revolution is not merely an acceleration of economic growth, but an acceleration of growth because of, and through, economic and social transformation” (Hobsbawn, 1968). We are in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and for the first-time academia can pave the way to educate and prepare learners for the up and coming changes that can include a more digitalised approach of operating in the industry. It is certain that the road forward will depend heavily on the cohesion between the industry role players and the educational sector (Schwab, 2016) combined with a proactive response from the education sector due to the rapid change and advancements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Penprase, 2018).

What has changed in the tourism sector due to the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

The tourism and hospitality industry was one of the first industries to experience change on a global level (UNWTO). The tourism industry has successfully kept up with the demand and the trends by using different forms of technology in assisting them to enhance and improve travellers’ experience. The airline and hotel booking systems were brought online by the tourism industry from an early stage and through this, the industry became one of the key driving forces behind the Fourth Industrial Revolution (ITHSA). Mobile phones have also had a tremendous impact on the industry, especially with regards to the development of data roaming options available in Europe. This opens up opportunities for online travel agents to “give updates, links to specific information, search functions or feedback and general evaluation for other travellers” to assist and make travelling more accessible and opens up a broader spectrum of choices (Sabinezs, 2018).
“Airports around the world are introducing biometric technology to identify travellers and make their trip as frictionless as possible” (ITHSA)

How is CTU aligning itself with the 4IR (Tourism qualifications)?

CTU has been working together with industry experts from the Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality to identify current and future changes stemming from the Fourth Industrial Revolution and how we can prepare students for this change. With the expected growth in international travel, it’s no secret that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will have a colossal impact on the tourism and hospitality industry.
The main objective for tourism and hospitality would be to deliver an experience as close to perfection as possible (Şahin & Yağcı, 2017). This could be achieved through a sophisticated catalogue product, where all the different processes of a holiday that is displayed on the market, could be displayed as a simulation to illustrate how tourists’ expectations could be met.
Subjects such as “The Strategic Impact of the Business Environment (SIBE)” and “Quality Management in Hospitality and Tourism (QMHT)” contribute and enable students to flourish in a rapidly changing environment and to adopt a proactive approach, rather than having a reactive approach. “Strategic Marketing in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry (SMTHI)” gives students the opportunity to get exposed to innovation within the Fourth Industrial Revolution environment, and they learn how to utilise a variety of newly developed technology to sell and distribute products and services. “Travel and Tourism Operations (TTO)” exposes the students to a variety of global distribution systems to highlight the importance of technological advancements in the industry.

Closing Thoughts

Although the Fourth Industrial Revolution might be daunting, it is clear that a lot of innovation and future opportunities can come from it. We pride ourselves that we deliver a programme that primarily focuses on students to become the innovators of tomorrow.
At CTU we have a few interesting years ahead with possible collaborations that will assist us in keeping up with the change and ensuring that we deliver a programme that will assist students in being industry-ready.