Smart tourism and smart destinations have become the new hot topics for all tourism services. Smart tourism refers to the application of information and communication technology to develop innovative tools in tourism, and experts claim that smart tourism will soon help tourist destinations by making sustainable development possible.
Speaking in a seminar at Ankara's Bilkent University, instructor Mustafa Siyahhan addressed the newly emerging phenomenon of smart tourism.
"A smart tourism destination can be defined as an innovative tourism destination based on an extremely developed technological infrastructure," he explained.
As a retired employee of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Siyahhan said a smart tourism destination would enable the creation of tourist sites where sustainable development is possible.
He said these sites would be accessible for everyone and make communication and integration of visitors with their environment easier.
At these sites, the quality of tourists' experiences at the destination will increase, according to Siyahhan.
He also said that the sites would also help increase the quality of life for the local population.
Smart tourism includes experiences that enable tourists to communicate and interact more during their trip, said the instructor, adding that tourists can enrich their experiences using technology.
Giving an example, Siyahhan said active tourists share their photos on Instagram using hashtags of the destinations they visit.
Tourists can also use information about destinations they obtain via their smart devices, he added.
An active tourist is the main actor of this experience, according to Siyahhan. In this context, an active tourist is not only the user of the information but also the producer, interpreter and supporter of the knowledge, he said.