What Are the Challenges of Cyber-Physical Models in the Tourism Business?

What Are the Challenges of Cyber-Physical Models in the Tourism Business?

Silvia Fernandes (Faculty of Economics, University of Algarve, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0365-2.ch003


In the information age, factors such as globalization and new technologies have influenced consumers' choices. Many companies are connecting with them in a creative way. Customers contribute with ideas, not only for products but also for services and systems. Cyber-physical and mobile media tend to revolutionize the business model across multiple industries. This chapter reflects on how Portugal is in terms of digital transformation, through the internet of things (IoT) and smart applications. Also, which impacts can these trends have in tourism, facing the fourth industry challenge whose cyber-physical processes perform new services. Portuguese firms increasingly focus on services and knowledge. Customer data has been a factor of knowledge expansion and its materialization into new goods and services. However, this overwhelming potential requires more flexible processes and digital skills in companies. Recent innovation acceleration programs are helping them to cope with these trends, due to their entrepreneurial orientation and external knowledge connections.
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Literature Review

Technological trends such as cloud computing, mobility, big data and increased processing capacity are driving the IoT wave. This is creating an unprecedented opportunity to connect what was still disconnected among people, processes, information and things (RES, 2013). This scalability has allowed cyber-physical systems and platforms that support the business or logistics’ models of the fourth industry (i4.0). Its scope is oriented towards the intelligent implementation of networks connecting equipment with equipment and people with equipment. This is not restricted to the simple automation or electronic control of processes and management, as it can include digital solutions to meet the needs of increasing product and service customization. In the particular case of tourism, the investments oriented to the digital transformation encompass the following main technologies:

  • 1.

    Products and services integrated with emotional intelligence;

  • 2.

    Products and services inclusive and accessible to all, including those that use wearable systems to communicate/interact with the tourist;

  • 3.

    Integration of products and services with virtual or augmented reality, in communication and marketing;

  • 4.

    Applications/games with 3D scenarios, combining products/services with virtual reality, photography, video, sound and text, promoting an immersive tourist experience;

  • 5.

    Engagement applications with tourists allowing access, customization and segmentation of services;

  • 6.

    Business intelligence (BI) solutions for real-time analysis of Big data;

  • 7.

    IoT for connection between physical systems and online platforms;

  • 8.

    Cloud computing for data storage.

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