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The biggest questions need the boldest answers. That's why we're using our global scale, technology expertise and collaborative spirit to move towards a better today and a brighter tomorrow together.

Mark Austin, sales director at TCS-ANZ, sheds light on the best ways for the tourism sector in Queensland to reinvent itself using technology.

How can the tourism sector reinvent itself in the most efficient way?

The most efficient way for tourism to reinvent itself is around the customer experience. Travel operators and suppliers need to consider a holistic approach ensuring they have the right technology to manage multiple customer touch points. How this experience evolves and continues to adapt to get the best outcome is key for any organisation be it a small operator in Northern Queensland taking customers out to the Great Barrier Reef, or multinational tourism organisations.

Overall, the industry is becoming more digital, with significant focus on delivering to customers via a digital brand. Typically, the tourism industry has been slower to adopt a digital approach compared to other customer experience-focused sectors such as retail, with many businesses still using outdated legacy systems. Digital take-up via real-time systems, and online customer experience, should be key focus areas for tourism operators, globally.

Queensland will co-host the 2022 T20 Cricket World cup, the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games. How can tourism operators within the state leverage technologies to create an innovative experience in conjunction with such high-profile events?

These three events will influence what the tourism industry and marketplace should look like by 2032. Expect to see highly personalised experiences for event attendees including enhanced virtual fan engagement and digital driven, eco, and carbon friendly experiences using AI/ML and virtual reality. As well as an increase in customer data to create these personalised interactions. This will also test capacities for affiliated sectors such as airlines, hotels, and retail due to the increase in both domestic and international travel.

As the tourism sector opens up amid the ‘new normal’, what are the key challenges for tourism and how can technology help operators to overcome these?

The tourism industry in Queensland faces several key challenges as the market opens back up. Enticing those employees that have left the industry due to Covid-19 will be key as will having the ability to once again scale internal systems to cope with demand. Operators need to leverage their business partners and eco systems to ease the transition to reopening and look to new technologies to ease that transition.

What are your top tips for the C-suite when looking to get travel services back up and running?

Understanding which areas of travel are predicted to face the greatest demand is an essential part of planning to correctly resource the sector. The premium, personalised, and luxury end of the market will be a core focus. To successfully cater to these customers and provide the required best-in-class experience, tourism operators will need to ensure that agents and consultants have the technical and regional knowledge and expertise to provide the level of servicing required.

Additionally, having a thorough understanding of the partner ecosystem and supply chains is critical. For the larger travel businesses, the focus will be on the next level of operational focus on BPO and Shared Services.

Mark Austin

Mark is an award winning, dynamic, entrepreneurial Senior Executive and Strategist with a 25+ year record of achievement and demonstrated success driving multimillion-dollar growth while providing sales leadership in highly competitive markets. Mark specialises in driving growth of company revenues and improving business performance through sales, operations and commercial negotiation.