Skills Intelligence Publication

The TOURBIT project, co-funded under the EU’s COSME programme, aims to support tourism SMEs by fostering their skills, knowledge and network. This report is the second edition of the Year Top Release of Technologies and will give also an overview on the current technologies, thus providing further insights on the technologies related to the second phase of digitization.

Data from European Travel Commission (ETC) shows that by last year, Europe rebounded to 75 per cent of its 2019 or pre-pandemic travel volumes. Although happening at a slower pace the recovery is expected to continue throughout the coming year. As the industry navigates the many challenges it faces this year, it is vital that the sector continues to be receptive to consumer demand, improving the visitor experience at destination and targeting markets and segments less affected by economic slowdown.

According to global trends, the growth of SMEs in Europe in 2023 may be influenced by several factors. These include a continued emphasis on advancing digital operations across various value chains, prioritizing critical skills for employees, an increased attention on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, and an ongoing focus on empowering women. The truth is that SMEs in the tourism domain have utilized digital solutions in various ways but typically on a basic level. That’s why in the TOURBIT project, selected emerging technologies have been mapped along three stages according to the level of digitization of the SMEs:

  1. Getting ready,
  2. Growing digital,
  3. Leaping ahead.

This deliverable, Year 2023 Release of top technologies, is focused on the second stage technologies. The first year release in 2022 was focused on the first stage technologies even if it also introduced other stages by providing at the same time the wholeness and base of the digitization status in tourism SMEs. In this deliverable the tourism sector is understood in its broadest sense covering various tourism activities, from accommodation, transportation (air, rail or maritime), online travel agencies (OTA), tour operators, restaurants, activities or resorts, destination management as well as travel technology or digital tourism.

In 2022, the most relevant introduced technologies were as follows:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Augmented Reality (AR)
  • Blockchain
  • Cloud Computing
  • Contactless
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Analytics
  • Online sales
  • Online Travel Agency (OTA)
  • Platform economy
  • Virtual Reality (VR)