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Prepare a discussion paper proposing the preparation of a new tourism plan or policy to address an emerging tourism issue. For example, this issue might be an emerging crisis such as the global financial crisis or the Brexit; or an outbreak of a transmittable disease such as avian flu; or a long-term issue such as climate change, coral bleaching or even a planned deviation of a major highway to bypass a tourist town.

Overview of the United Travel Corporation

The technologies have influenced the way companies are managed and compete. The tourism is one of the most affected industries. The United Travel Corporation is a tour operator based in Melbourne, Australia. The company is responsible to provide efficient and superior quality services for both overseas and domestic travelers. The agency offers services like tour planning, travel consulting, ticketing and guaranteed competitive prices.  It has sufficient knowledge of both the overseas market and the local tourism industry which assists to create and coordinate programs. The package provided by the agency offers wide options of preferences and budgets (Airey & Ruhanen, 2014). The agency ensures that travelers have a memorable and unique travel experience. The agency is affected by the internal and external influences such as the weather conditions in the country have caused serious threat due to the storms. These storms have affected the tourism sector and it has made many foreigners stay at their home. The exchange rate makes the dollar weaker and there are more inbound travelers to Australia as it is becoming cheap to spend money in the country. It has been also observed that the visitors in Australia are also paying one third less for sterling (Coccossis, 2017).

The new tourism plan is implemented to address the tourism issue. The tourism issues can be resolved by the new technologies. It facilitates readiness and optimization in the tourism industry. The plan is going to address significant changes in the target market. The advanced technology is helpful in identifying better target customers based on the preferences, attitude, destination, and experiences. The technology is supportive in highlighting the best attractions and experiences in Australia (Dredge & Jamal, 2015). This plan can be addressed by identifying the opportunities, issues, and challenges faced in the tourism sector. The geographic focus and the trends in the tourism are helpful in addressing the plan.

The tourism industry is growing faster than any other sector in Australia. It maintained a record of $41.3 billion at the end of 2017. The overseas tourists are supporting to around 100,000 Australian by providing them jobs. The tourists are moving beyond the tourists’ hubs of Melbourne, Sydney and Gold coast. The issue faced by the tourism sector is that the operators do not have a website. Less than half of the operators take real-time bookings. It has been experienced that the technology is one of the biggest hurdles in the tourism sector. The challenge faced by the tourism sector is that there are no major policies changes also the industry requires people at all skill levels. There is only one at management and supervisory level for every ten unskilled positions (Carr, Ruhanen & Whitford, 2016).

Challenges faced by the Australian tourism sector

Australia is situated in the Southern Hemisphere. It is an island embraces the Australian continent a well as the island of Tasmania and some other small islands also. The geography of Australia is extremely diverse which ranges from the snow-capped mountains of the Alps to the largest desserts of Tasmania and the temperate forests. The tourism sector focuses on it’s popular destinations like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast Adelaide and more. The unique wildlife of Australia adds significant interest to the tourism of the country (Dwyer, Forsyth & Spurr, 2016).

Australia welcomed 9 million visitors at the end of May 2018 which was 6.2% increase than the previous years. The Australian government department of home affairs made some changes to the incoming passenger card in 2017. It resulted in an increasing number of visitors. Australia has visitors from many countries like China, the UK, Germany, USA, Canada, Malaysia and many more. These countries have a role in the growth of the tourism sector of Australia. Since 2010, Germany has contributed $0.88b, France $0.55b, India $0.71b, USA $2.28 b, Canada 0.64b, Japan$1.44b, Malaysia $1.02b, China $3.77b, UK $2.81b and so on. Totally Australia has gained $50.82b in June 2010 whereas Australia earned tourism output of around $34 billion in 2009. Further, the tourism sector of Australia aims to increase to $140 billion in 2020. There was a shortage of 38,000 people in 2015 of the tourism industry of Australia. It can blow to over 120,000 people by 2020. As per the surveys conducted in the Tourism Australia research, it is found difficult to recruit experienced or trained staff to fill vacancies in the tourism sector (Dwyer,Pham, Forsyth & Spurr, 2014). The industry has identified issues in hiring and retaining experienced employees as some of them had come out of retirement. There is a high reliance on the working holiday visa holders as various unskilled positions are being filled by the foreign workers on 457 visas. The employees also face issues like unequal treatment, poor pay and working conditions.

Australia is the twelfth largest economy and sixth highest per capita income. The tourism makes a significant contribution to the overall level of economic activity in Australia. The technology such as input-output model is useful in estimating the economic impact of changes in the tourism expenditure. If the technology is not updated from time to time then the variations can be found. The technology has an impact on the social organizations and changes the lives of people. The desire of people to have better tourism services lead to the new technological development. The older people are not user-friendly to the rigid technologies so it is required to have ease in the technologies with the advanced options. The tourism includes people from different locations; in this case, tourism development is essential which can be possible with only new technologies. The target audience of the tourism sector is usually young and highly educated and want to experience advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, voice technology and virtual reality. The environment attracts tourists to the destination. The tourism provides positive impacts on the community. The tourism technologies provide opportunities for the increased awareness and education of natural environments. The technological issues affect to the political stability. It also has an impact on Australia’s departure tax and on the tourism tax. The changes taking place in the tourism globally drives to the adoption of the new technologies. The agency needs to be updated when it comes to the technology. In order to provide better service to the customers, the agency is required to use new technologies. It is equally helpful in attracting visitors (Mahadevan, 2014).

Opportunities for growth in the industry

The tourism competitors in the tourism industry such as Hawaii, USA, and South Africa are giving tough competition to Australia in attracting customers. It is important to confirm the leadership and renewed perception of consumers. It can be made possible through the new technologies. The tourism in Australia has developed aquatic and coastal images to promote experiences with industry operators. It can be made possible with the development of 17 virtual reality and 360-degree experiences by using innovative technology. The Australian tourism has launched two websites, Australia.com and Australia.cn to improve the experience of users. The launch of the content of aquatic and coastal has led consumers to increase their time on websites. The increasing role of social media platform has also encouraged people to visit Australia (Huang, Backman, Backman & Chang, 2016).

The technology issues are important enough to have a new policy as there are unskilled jobs in the tourism industry along with the shortage of staff. There is also an urgent need to upgrade and promote tourism at all levels of education. It is because the tourism expenditure reaches to the 46% in the regional areas. One out of twenty jobs is directly related to tourism. The tourism is one of the highest contributors to the Australian economy (Gardiner, Grace& King, 2014). All of these factors contribute to having a new policy.

The plan is needed to enhance the tourism in Australia which can be made possible by the updated technologies. The advancement of the internet, smartphones and other technologies provide significant convenience to the travelers. The travel websites are helpful in offering the best deals, real-time updates on the flight times and the travel tools (Sinclair-Maragh, Gursoy & Vieregge, 2015). It can be used for many purposes such as research, booking, travel updates and the booking passes. The plan is also needed to address the issues like skills and infrastructure. There is a shortage of staff in the tourism sector; the plan can be helpful in getting the skilled staff. The technology will be helpful in employing staff by 2020. The technology can recruit experienced staff by recruiting appropriately. It makes recruitment process easy by employing staff from outside country. There is also a shortage of the hotel accommodation in Australia. Add on, the occupancy rate for the luxury hotel is about 65% whereas the business hotels are closer to 90%. In such a case, it is impossible to get a 4-5 star hotel. The technology can act between creating demand and ensuring supply of human skills and the infrastructure.

The role of technology in promoting tourism

The government innovates and adapts to the changing need of the tourists and determines the criteria to attract international visitors. The government ensures that the plan does not unnecessarily obstruct the tourism sector to adopt changes in the consumer preferences and emerging digital technologies. The government can make additional funding in the national parks as it would provide an additional source of funding and facilitate tourism infrastructure. The government supports sporting, cultural, business events and international destination marketing to influence decisions of tourists to travel Australia (Wray, 2015). The government policies and regulations also influence the new technologies in the tourism industry. The Australian government has an official site for the international tourism and it supports new technologies and development. It also provides relevant downloads for the approved destination status scheme (Forsyth, Dwyer, Spurr & Pham, 2014). The official tourism site also provides the information about Australia, things to do and various options to plan trips. The site offers information to the customers on the events including products, experiences, and associates to Australia’s convention bureaux.

The stakeholders include government, tourism institutes, tourism employees, tourism education, local population, and training centers and the institutes involved in financing tourism projects. The stakeholders are involved in tourism and suggest the practical ways to enhance local tourism by making use of new technologies (Lew, 2014). They seek to involve the community and build the destination image of the country. The new technology has the greatest role in increasing number of visitors.

The trends influence the issue are augmented and virtual reality. The popularity has increased in AR and VR among the travel and tourism companies. It is useful in enhancing the experience of the customers. The other trend artificial intelligence evolves technologies and innovations in the tourism sector. It helps the industry in machine learning, chatbots, and robots. AL has helped in overcoming the need for human intervention and time to learn new things. It has decreased the costs and improved the quality and performance. The internet of things has enough potential to shape the future of the tourism sector. It helps passengers to track their baggage through a link provided on mobile boarding pass (Luthe & Wyss, 2014). The voice is another technology which has made more and more customers switch from type in a search to the voice interactions. Wi-Fi technology helps people to stay connected while traveling. It also assists in getting destination ideas, share experience on social media or other connectivity platforms. It also boosts operational efficiency and real-time decision making (Mowforth & Munt, 2015).

The impact of social media on tourism

The tourism or travel technology evolves so quickly that it is challenging for the United Travel Corporation to keep up. It becomes very requisite for the agency to utilize technology to reach it’s client base. The new technologies have changed the way agencies arrange travel. With the increasing internet bookings, the agency faces the challenges like the increased number of dedicated booking websites. The increase of mobile devices motivates travelers to research and book their own travel than going to the travel agencies. The agency also faces a challenge as the airlines offer holiday packages at their websites. The agencies have to provide discounts and promotions to the travelers in order to influence them. The agency can respond to the travelers by customizing technologies and process to empower customers with some of the exciting solutions (Sigala, 2017).

The government can intervene if there is any harm or loss to the government or public due to the implementation of new technologies. The government can provide a plan to action to guide decisions to the tourism sector on the implementation of new technologies. The government can intervene to focus on tourism policies to boost the economy. The government also aims to overview for the successful implementation of new technologies (Xiang, Magnini & Fesenmaier, 2015).

The plan helps in remaining competitive by developing strong and efficient new technologies. At present, only a third of the country has online booking and payment facilities. But the plan makes sure that the tourism enterprises can take advantage of online opportunities. The plan is helpful in encouraging investment and reduces the barriers to invest in the products. The plan results in increasing number of visitors to Australia by ensuring supply of transport capacity and infrastructure to move ahead of demand and facilitates (Gretzel, Werthner, Koo & Lamsfus, 2015). It increases the productivity of the tourism sector by providing value for money experiences through innovations and quality.

The plan can implement a national online strategy for tourism and develop a social media strategy. It can undertake constant improvement in the tourism sector with the help of tourism e-kit. It can research to support improved tourism industry productivity. It considers 2020 passenger movement scenarios for recruiting staff in the tourism sector (Malek & Costa, 2015).

The advancement of technology is fostering change in the tourism sector in the way agencies interact with the customers. The agencies are making use of instruments to improve efficiencies and meet expectations of the customers. The instrument like mobile is useful in the implementation of the new technology. The customers can enjoy can enjoy the innovative experiences which are made possible due to the new technology. The computer system allows communication between branches and locations which makes booking easier to access information (Neuhofer, Buhalis & Ladkin, 2015).

Government policies and regulations in the tourism industry

The instruments can be used effectively due to the possible actions of the government. The government provides all the important links on it’s websites related to the new technologies in the tourism sector. The government also made laws to support new technological developments to enhance the tourism sector (Throsby, 2016).

The feed and the state government need to invest more resources in promoting technology in the tourism sector. The resources required in the plan are financial and human both. The tourism education and training should be promoted at vocational and higher educational levels. It also undertakes training and education for the young Australians at the nationally accredited training and the educational institutes (Mostafanezhad, Norum, Shelton & Thompson-Carr, 2016). Australia is one of the fastest growing sectors and tourism is overdue for the government. It will equally contribute to the economic growth and employment.

The plan has efficiency enough to attract leisure and corporate customers as the customers are attracted towards new technology. It provides more ease and comfort to the visitors. It also increases the number of visitors to a country. It provides up to date service. The disadvantage of new technology is for the older section only as they face problem in understanding such technologies. It is problematic to use such technologies for the older people but not impossible (Saarinen & Lenao, 2014).

The plan can provide step by step direction to the visitors. It eases to make a final booking for both traveling and hotel. It undertakes all the issues faced in the tourism sector and develops the new technologies to overcome and provides the new direction.

The planning process focuses on the planning of the new technologies. It is a systematic process to view issues faced related to the technology. It is a decision-making process which guides visitors to make decisions concerning their needs. It can be made possible by clarification, controlling, management and the evaluation in the technology development. The visitors are consulted with the help of a new technology plan. They can resolve their queries related to the tourism. They can know about the destinations, fare, hotels, and bookings. The plan can be implemented by making changes in the tourism policy of Australia (Page & Hall, 2014). The new technologies can enhance the policies. The policies can be reviewed by the government which can ensure the effectiveness of the technology. The government can review on the monthly, quarterly or half-year basis as it finds suitable to know the development due to the new technology. The positive outcome and the increasing number of the customers determine the success of the plan. When the visitors find the technology attractive they make bookings to the particular country (Neuhofer, Buhalis & Ladkin, 2014). It results in an increasing number of visitors.

References

Airey, D. and Ruhanen, L., 2014. Tourism policy-making in Australia: A national and state perspective. Tourism Planning & Development, 11(2), pp.149-162.

Carr, A., Ruhanen, L. and Whitford, M., 2016. Indigenous peoples and tourism: The challenges and opportunities for sustainable tourism. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 24(8-9), pp.1067-1079.

Coccossis, H., 2017. Sustainable tourism and carrying capacity: a new context. In The Challenge of Tourism Carrying Capacity Assessment (pp. 19-30). Routledge.

Dredge, D. and Jamal, T., 2015. Progress in tourism planning and policy: A post-structural perspective on knowledge production. Tourism Management, 51, pp.285-297.

Dwyer, L., Forsyth, P. and Spurr, R., 2016. Tourism economics and policy analysis: Contributions and legacy of the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 26, pp.91-99.

Dwyer, L., Pham, T., Forsyth, P. and Spurr, R., 2014. Destination marketing of Australia: Return on investment. Journal of Travel Research, 53(3), pp.281-295.

Forsyth, P., Dwyer, L., Spurr, R. and Pham, T., 2014. The impacts of Australia's departure tax: Tourism versus the economy?. Tourism Management, 40, pp.126-136.

Gardiner, S., Grace, D. and King, C., 2014. The generation effect: The future of domestic tourism in Australia. Journal of Travel Research, 53(6), pp.705-720.

Gretzel, U., Werthner, H., Koo, C. and Lamsfus, C., 2015. Conceptual foundations for understanding smart tourism ecosystems. Computers in Human Behavior, 50, pp.558-563.

Huang, Y.C., Backman, K.F., Backman, S.J. and Chang, L.L., 2016. Exploring the implications of virtual reality technology in tourism marketing: An integrated research framework. International Journal of Tourism Research, 18(2), pp.116-128.

Lew, A.A., 2014. Scale, change and resilience in community tourism planning. Tourism Geographies, 16(1), pp.14-22.

Luthe, T. and Wyss, R., 2014. Assessing and planning resilience in tourism. Tourism Management, 44, pp.161-163.

Mahadevan, R., 2014. Understanding senior self-drive tourism in Australia using a contingency behavior model. Journal of Travel Research, 53(2), pp.252-259.

Malek, A. and Costa, C., 2015. Integrating communities into tourism planning through social innovation. Tourism Planning & Development, 12(3), pp.281-299.

Mostafanezhad, M., Norum, R., Shelton, E.J. and Thompson-Carr, A. eds., 2016. Political ecology of tourism: Community, power and the environment. Routledge.

Mowforth, M. and Munt, I., 2015. Tourism and sustainability: Development, globalisation and new tourism in the third world. Routledge.

Neuhofer, B., Buhalis, D. and Ladkin, A., 2014. A typology of technology?enhanced tourism experiences. International Journal of Tourism Research, 16(4), pp.340-350.

Neuhofer, B., Buhalis, D. and Ladkin, A., 2015. Smart technologies for personalized experiences: a case study in the hospitality domain. Electronic Markets, 25(3), pp.243-254.

Page, S.J. and Hall, C.M., 2014. The geography of tourism and recreation: Environment, place and space. Routledge.

Saarinen, J. and Lenao, M., 2014. Integrating tourism to rural development and planning in the developing world. Development Southern Africa, 31(3), pp.363-372.

Sigala, M., 2017. Collaborative commerce in tourism: implications for research and industry. Current Issues in Tourism, 20(4), pp.346-355.

Sinclair-Maragh, G., Gursoy, D. and Vieregge, M., 2015. Residents? perceptions toward tourism development: A factor-cluster approach. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 4(1), pp.36-45.

Throsby, D., 2016. Tourism, heritage and cultural sustainability: three ‘golden rules’. In Cultural tourism and sustainable local development (pp. 31-48). Routledge.

Wray, M., 2015. Drivers of change in regional tourism governance: A case analysis of the influence of the New South Wales Government, Australia, 2007–2013. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 23(7), pp.990-1010.

Xiang, Z., Magnini, V.P. and Fesenmaier, D.R., 2015. Information technology and consumer behavior in travel and tourism: Insights from travel planning using the internet. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 22, pp.244-249.

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