The tourism sector has been hugely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a means to support the industry and create new initiatives, stakeholders have been actively looking into open data, automation and innovative technologies such as virtual reality, the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing.
Tourism 4.0 is one of those initiatives designed to inspire a new version of tourism by shifting from a tourist-centred perspective to a tourism-centred perspective. In Slovenia for instance, the demo pilot project Tourism 4.0 Living Lab demonstrates the potential of Tourism 4.0 to the public. Here, researchers test how virtual reality can help travellers decide which destination they should go to, and how augmented reality can add an extra experience to a historic place. The combination of external data, like information on the weather forecasts, is used to plan and book a trip with the preferred weather conditions considered.
The infrastructure that enables this is a collaborative platform T4.0 Core. The platform aims to inspire collaboration of all stakeholders and develop processes to support simple and privacy (General Data Protection Regulation) compliant data exchange. Moreover, it integrates several open data sources with data from external applications and enables applications to use, share and include data for improved data discovery, enrich services, and enhance user experience.
Ultimately, this co-creation creates value and drives innovation in tourism, and supports strategic decision making on the basis of real and accurate data.