The seminar brings into focus how digital platforms are transforming the business landscape in the hospitality and tourism industry and the impact on small and micro hotel and tourism businesses (SMHTBs). These ‘new age’ tools include what is now known as Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud (SMAC), which are changing the concepts of time, distance, experience, and the way in which leisure tourists socially connect and influence peers and interact with businesses.

DIGITAL is having a disruptive effect on established modes, methods and models of business in this industry and the emergence of the ‘shared economy’ represented by entities such as Airbnb and Uber are a case in point. Success in DIGITAL requires understanding and awareness of a range of concepts and techniques including (though not restricted to) best practices in website design, optimization of digital assets, disintermediation, paid marketing across digital channels including social media, metrics and analytics. It is also important to know when to select a specific combination of these mixes. Effective leveraging of DIGITAL requires knowledge of a range of success factors for traffic building including accessibility, data integration and content, usability, persuasion and visual design. The importance of distribution channels in engaging with guests and achieving conversions enabled by digital convergence of Social Local Mobile (SoLoMo) trinity needs to be noted.

The seminar will involve a blended format using a combination of discussions, hand-on activities and self-directed learning leading to the following learning outcomes:

  • Awareness and appreciation of the prevailing DIGITAL landscape.
  • Understand the fundamentals of creating digital assets and their monetization through search & social media optimization and marketing.
  • Develop insights into online consumer behaviour through  SoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile) engagement
  • Critically analyse and review current best practices related to digital distribution channels in hospitality and tourism

The seminar will be complemented with on-site ‘house visits’ providing the participating entities an opportunity to engage in one-on-one consultation. The consultation will include an audit of the existing digital strategy and platforms (including website and social media channels) through a SWOT analysis followed by recommendations specific to the enterprise’s context.

The combination of the knowledge imparted in the seminar and the consultancy advice comprising SWOT and recommendations will enable the participating SMHTB enterprise to formulate and operate a viable and more effective DIGITAL strategy.