Technology is vital to keep up with to cater to the modern consumer. Especially, Rebecca Ingram, Tourism New Zealand general manager says, when it comes to Chinese visitors. “They want to plan online, they want to pay online, and they want to share online.” As a nation, New Zealand needs to keep in mind that handheld devices are an integral part of tourism. Keeping our options broad, so that we may cater to as many different people, languages, and cultures as possible is essential if we are to retain visitors and encourage more to come.
Justin Watson, Christchurch Airport’s chief aeronautical and commercial officer, said, “Technology plays a huge role in both our business and the visitor experience, before they arrive, while they are in the country and after they leave. Digital platforms enable them to pay and help them get around. They are used for language translation and social media sharing.”
Lisa Li, managing director of China Travel Services New Zealand, said, “Technology has a huge impact on their travel choices, from seeking information, making booking arrangements and paying. They do everything on their mobile phones.” Also, on a global scale, there are growing amounts of millennials travelling. Millennials that can afford to travel internationally are more than likely ones that can afford to use smartphones, meaning that the trend to cater to travellers reliant on mobile phones is critical.
Watson said, “The world is not short of Chinese-based phone apps to help visitors when travelling. The problem is that this country just doesn’t know half of them and as an industry, we’re not on a lot of these apps.” On top of this, Watson highlighted the importance of understanding what apps are out there, and what people are using when travelling to New Zealand.