The tourism industry has a big impact on the population and lifestyle. With the changes of the times, the contents and forms of tourism are diverse and complex. The tourism industry is highly sensitive to changes in external circumstances, such as social, economic, and natural factors. Social factors include the occurrence of diseases such as COVID-19, political instability, and personal safety, economic factors include economic depression, exchange rates, and income changes, and natural factors include earthquakes, typhoons, seasons, and climate change.
The tourism industry is greatly expanding and completely transforming into a digital platform industry with the combination of new technologies such as the rapidly spreading Internet and mobile devices and is moving toward high-tech technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence. It is also affecting the determination of the destination of travel. Not only does the tourism industry have a large employment inducement effect and high added value, but it also needs strategies and responses in the era of sustainable growth as a new growth engine for the future.
As the tourism industry is vulnerable to external factors such as diseases and natural disasters, it is absolutely necessary to have a manual that can systematically respond to crises. The tourism industry continues to suffer a crisis due to international external variables such as the MERS outbreak in 2015, the Korean Limit Act in 2017, the Japanese export regulation in 2019, and the COVID-19 in 2020. Taking advantage of the current crisis where tourists have not come, it is necessary to use big data to promote smart tourism and improve the inspection of tourism guidance, language, and transportation with top priority on tourists' convenience.
In the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the contents of the tourism industry in cooperation with the government, tourism specialized institutions, and tourism academia need to be developed in the medium and long term, and the development of future talents and jobs, and smart tourism based on high-tech and high-touch should be developed from the existing traditional tourism. In addition, the information and safety services for the millennial generation and individual travelers who lead the trip should be managed continuously, not just for the simple delivery of tourist information. With unique tourism industries such as traditional retail stores and boutique shops in Jeolla Province alone, the government should secure more tourist revenue and expand its data-based smart tourism system.
Written by Kim Yong-Woon (Team Manager/ PhD Jeollanamdo Tourism Organization)