How smart tourism will shape smart city design

Smart City Tourism

Smart tourism: the enhanced future of every trip

Smart tourism is increasingly becoming central to how tourists interact with new travel destinations. Tourists can now experience a new city in an enhanced, ‘smart’ way; covering everything from augmented reality for more immersive tourism experiences, city guides on social networks or real-time responses to flight delays or busy attraction traffic. Smart technology, including quality WiFi, beacons and geo-tagging all have the potential to supercharge the tourism experience.This is important for every city wanting to attract more tourists, but it will also help inform future smart city development. From creating effective infrastructure to being able to design sustainable tourism models, cities must respond to smart tourism to shape their structure, giving them the tools to be a competitive tourism destination as well as a city with effective planned design.

Smart technology will enhance every tourist experience

Every tourist destination wants to increase their visitor numbers. Getting ‘smart’ is the answer. Smart technology such as apps and augmented reality will provide the ultimate visitor experience. For tourism locations, smart technology will also boost sustainability, giving them improved longevity and the ability to react quickly to shifts in visitor demographics or market demands. Here are some ways smart technology will impact tourist destinations, adding the value that tourists now demand.

  • Augmented reality for smart tourism. Often, museums and historic visitor attractions have found it a challenge to captivate visitor’s imagination. Augmented reality is the answer, giving tourists the chance to view an augmented battle or pivotal moment in history on their smartphones or tablets using the building as a backdrop. 
  • Smart apps will guide the visitor experience. No longer will visitors have to wait hours in a queue to score tickets to a top attraction. Smart technology apps will improve the navigation of a city’s tourism attractions, helping tourists find the best times to visit, buy tickets in advance or give accurate directions on the go. This type of smart technology makes every trip as easy as possible for new visitors to interact with a city, improving their experience from the start.
  • Smart tourism social networks. Tourists can use smart  technology to instantly connect with a local guide on social networks, giving them a unique and valuable tourist experience.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) will create a more seamless tourism experience. Combined with architecture and structure in smart cities, tourists will be able to personalise their surroundings, including light and temperature in a hotel, or use beacon technology to instantly optimise routes to a tourist location.

Smart tourism will generate improve city revenue, capacity and planning

Smart technology produces masses of data, and smart tourism is no different. While trawling through the output of smart data can be a challenge, using data effectively has game changing powers for tourist attractions and city planners alike. The direction of the conversation will change, with future tourism revenue depending on experience and value for the tourist. Here are some ways tourism will benefit from smart technology:

  • Tourist attractions will give visitors what they want. And we mean what they really want from their tourism experience. Smart technology will make tourist attractions marketing pros, improving visitor targeting and marketing strategies, personalising every tourist trip.
  • Smart beacon technology. This will allow tourism destinations to see how visitors interact and flow with their attraction, as well as the city as a whole. Dwell time, areas of congestion and popular hot spots can all be monitored, giving attractions and city planners the tools to effectively improve the tourist experience, every single time. City planners will also be able to utilise this data for infrastructure planning.
  • Geo-tagging marketing. Attractions can use smart technology to market to tourists directly in their local area. Tourism destinations can promote their site in quieter periods and highlight when busier times are, as well as reach new target markets quickly and easily.

Smart tourism will shape the structure of smart cities 

Transport and travel

While every city relies on tourism revenue, smart technology for tourism has the potential to impact on smart cities in a much bigger way.  Impacts from smart tourism will filter down to infrastructure developments and the allocation of resources, as city planners and developers will see how new visitors interact with a city space. For any city and its tourism industry, efficient transportation is essential to get right. Smart tourism and smart tech will give city planners the tools to create dynamic and responsive routes that optimise journeys around a city to beat congestion. More resources can then be put into public transportation to create sustainable travel options for tourists and residents of the city.

Smart city flow and infrastructure

Smart tourism data will also support crowd management in congested spaces, improving flow around both attractions and the entire city. Sustainable tourism and city development will be improved by data from smart technology too, highlighting where resources need to be deployed and utilized to be most effective. Data analytics from smart technology will allow cities to respond to every new visitor in real time, helping new visitors respond to different scenarios easily such as a delayed flight or hotel overbooking.

To wrap up

Smart tourism will shape the future direction of smart cities, with huge benefits for both tourism and city development. Smart technology offers exciting opportunities for tourism attraction, with lasting impacts on smart city infrastructure, travel and planning.



Hannah Hambleton is the Content Manager for Beambox, a guest WiFi provider. Hannah writes about marketing technology and trends, giving businesses the tools to future proof their business as well as continue to drive growth and engagement.