Aimed at helping tourism businesses take full advantage of this and other technology developments, ETAG will host a Technology Solutions for Tourism 2013 conference on Friday 1 March at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh.
Ritchie Sommerville, City of Edinburgh Council, will give an overview of the opportunities ‘Connected Edinburgh’ will bring and will be joined by a range of leading experts from across the UK tourism and digital sectors, including David Slocombe, Head of Mobile Development for Lastminute.com.
Robin Worsnop, CEO of Rabbie’s Small Group Tours and Chair of the Edinburgh Tourism Action Group, said: “Social media and the internet are the most influential and important developments that have impacted on the tourism industry.
“The figures speak for themselves – in 1999, eight per cent of visitors were using the internet to book one element of their trip to Edinburgh; by 2002 that had increased to 37 per cent and by 2010 it was a massive 85 per cent.
“It’s not just the younger generation who use the internet and social media frequently to book travel – more than 80 per cent of 55 year olds and above use the internet to make bookings. Our industry must continue to embrace new developments in technology to stay connected to our visitors.”
ETAG’s 2010 Edinburgh Tourism and Technology report identified industry uncertainties about a lack of technology expertise, speed of change and infrastructure constraints. In response ETAG has organised nearly 50 technology and social media events for over 1200 delegates over the last year which have been almost 100 per cent subscribed. ETAG is working closely with Interactive Scotland to ensure access to the most up to date and relevant digital media market information.
The Technology Solutions for Tourism 2013 Conference will focus on the technology and digital media solutions that are radically changing the tourism industry, as well as sessions on Developing Social Media Strategies.