The Effect of Digitalization on Sustainable Tourism And Hospitality Management
Keywords:digitalization, sustainability, tourism and hospitality
In its broadest sense, digitisation describes the process of turning analogue information into digital data. By improving corporate processes with the aid of digitised data and information, digitalization increases the effectiveness of work. The goals of programmes like Digital India are to encourage the use of technological tools in the economy to boost productivity and increase efficiency. The government has been focusing on digitization since 2014, and the tourism and hospitality industry is one of the sectors that has been at the forefront of digitalization and is still undergoing exponential transformation. The dynamics of various tourism industry stakeholders have been reflected in this dynamic arena. The tourism industry has adopted digitalization and mixed it with itself to generate new tourism routes as well as methods to boost visitor happiness. When discussing digitalization in tourism, it is commonly considered that it is limited to online hotel booking and digital payments. "Tourism is a critical pillar for the conservation of natural and cultural heritage," says UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Therefore, these areas will face considerable repercussions on their natural resources, consumption patterns, pollution levels, and social systems as additional regions and nations grow their tourism sectors. To establish a healthy balance between the three components of tourist development—the environmental, the economic, and the socio-cultural—"sustainable tourism and hospitality management" has thus become the new buzzword for tourism operators. This delicate balancing act strives to ensure the tourism industry's long-term viability. To be sustainable, we must think about how our actions will affect people on a social and economic level as well as the environment. Therefore, social justice, environmental integrity, and economic growth serve as the foundation of sustainable tourism. This article's major goal is to determine how digitalization affects environmentally friendly travel and hospitality.The paper further seeks to address how digitalization impacts various stakeholders in the tourism industry. For this study, both primary, as well as secondary data, are used. Previous studies on the subject, published government reports, newspaper stories, online publications, and journal papers are some examples of secondary data sources. The primary data is collected through a questionnaire consisting of close-ended questions which are based on a five-point Likert scale mainly. The total number of respondents used in this study was two hundred (50 tourists, 50 from the planning authority, 50 travel agencies, and 50 hotel and restaurant owners). The response from respondents was collected through the convenient sampling method which is a type of non-probability sampling in which respondents were selected based on convenience. The results suggested that digitalization significantly (p<0.05) helps all the stakeholders according to their needs. It helps tourists in finding a suitable place where they enjoy as per their needs. YouTube videos, and promotions from the tourism planning authority, hotels, and travel agencies of different countries/states significantly (p<0.05) help them choose their tourist destinations. Reviews from other tourists on social media, and on hotel websites also significantly (p<0.05) help tourists in selecting the hotels according to their budget and the services offered by them. Similarly, digitalization significantly (p<0.05) help travel agencies, hotel, and restaurant owners to attract tourist. Digitalization significantly increases their approach to the new tourists which positively affects their economy and gave them changes to offer a good salary to their staff and provide jobs on permanent bases with proper leisure time this helps their staff in maintaining their work-life balance thus helps in improving socio-economic condition of hotels and travelling agencies workers. Except this when the economic condition of hotels and travel agencies increases, they invest more in preserving the natural ecology and heritage of nearby areas too. Natural ecology and heritage always significantly (p<0.05) attract tourism. Therefore, it can be concluded that other players in the tourism and hospitality sectors adopt digitalization as tourists do, giving them a competitive advantage over their rivals. The industry would move away from traditional bookings by making more individualized offerings through digital mechanisms. This would encourage industry-wide digitalization even more. The use of digitalization by tourists, their use of social media platforms, and the need to retain ties with tourists will lead to an increase in other stakeholders' digital participation. Positive customer comments and evaluations will also be used as the foundation for lucrative and more specialised offers. Customer reviews would also help businesses attract new clients by confirming the veracity of allegations made by stakeholders. The key to effective digitalization is making the best use of human resources and technology to boost socioeconomic conditions and encourage people to think about protecting their natural environments and cultural heritage, which are what drive tourism. Therefore, it can be advised based on the findings of this study that the best possible use of environmental resources, the preservation of vital ecological processes, and the preservation of natural heritage and biodiversity are the necessary components of sustainable tourism development. The importance of upholding the sociocultural authenticity of host communities to preserve their traditional values and built and living cultural heritage and advance intercultural tolerance. Socio-economic advantages are crucial for all stakeholders and must be fairly distributed in terms of steady employment, income-earning opportunities, and social services to host communities, which are aiding in the reduction of poverty, to sustain viable, long-term economic operations. Thus, from an economic, sociocultural, and environmental perspective, the widespread adoption of technology in the tourism and hospitality sector can help fulfill all the sustainable development goals.