What is DIH – Digital Innovation Hub
The idea of Digital Innovation Hubs was developed in the framework of the long-term development of the concept of smart specialization and policy development of the unified digital Europe. As a tool, it is intended primarily to enable institutions and SMEs to respond to the rapid advent of digitization within industry 4.0. Gradually this concept has been extended to the so-called SMART EVERYTHING. The Czech national CfF strategy also counts on DIHs.
DIHs are non-profit structures that help to create smart alliances of professional institutions and companies, government and businesses with a special focus on SMEs in their fields and specializations in order to learn about new technologies, test them practically and then qualified to decide on their implementation.
DIH Tourism 4.0
Digital Strategy Tourism 4.0 is an extensive complex of topics that cover the entire value chain in the tourism industry. The Tourism 4.0 strategy serves as a driver for achieving the goals of sustainable development of the region. The tool is the involvement and use of technologies known from Industry 4.0 concepts used for tourism development. Includes:
- Open data
- Artificial Intelligence
- Cloud services
- Big Data and their analysis
- Blockchain and its use in the provision of services in tourism
- IoT – The Internet of Things
- Virtual reality
- Augmented reality
- Security of digital data and networks, GDPR
- Availability of digital services and data in regions
- Payment portals and technologies
- Digital literacy of service providers
DIH activities can be divided into 4 main areas:
Test before Invest – enable SMEs and institutions to test technology before deciding to invest in ready-made solutions. To support the development of knowledge about new technologies, to review the digital readiness of companies and institutions, to propose conceptual solutions.
Support to find investments – help with preparation of financial models and to find financial resources for implementation of pilot projects – cascade financing, EU financing or investor search.
Innovation ecosystem & networking – cooperation with other DIHs at national and European level, inspirational networking and technology brokering.
Skills and training – support for education in digital skills
How digitization affects traveling and the tourism industry
It is the area of travel that is undergoing major changes made possible and accelerated by digitization. The structure of travelers and the way of travel are changing. Digital technologies and their acceptance among users lead to the creation of completely new opportunities, allow the emergence of new business models and give the chance even to previously neglected destinations to gain their share of the turnover in this sector. Inactivity and reliance on traditional practices and models will revenge sooner or later. Last year’s crash of one of the world’s largest travel agencies, Thomas Cook, has demonstrated that a change in traveler behavior and a gradual departure from traditional scenarios can shake even the position of such brands and ignore neither history nor tradition.
There is a generational exchange of travelers. In addition to the traditional customers of travel agencies who consume their travel packages, a new generation of travelers is coming up, using digital technology to plan their entire travel plan and experience on a computer, tablet or increasingly on a mobile phone or simply ask their voice assistant such as Alexa, Cortana, Siri and dozens more. Increasing language literacy allow more people to travel without having to rely on delegates of travel agencies, and new technologies allow basic communication with people without language skills around the world. New technologies do not get lost to their users and can alert them to points of interest that would otherwise remain undiscovered and safely lead to them.
Destinations receive brand new tools to communicate with their potential customers, guests long time before their arrival. Long before they decide to choose their offer from a plenty of options from all around the world. Destinations can get to know themselves because only when the customers and their preferences, responses and feedback tells the destinations what is most interesting and what guests highest rated. From experience of its guests and its strengths, the destination can then better define its offers, target potential advertising campaigns and possibly manage the tourist burden of the region. Without true digitization in the travel industry, future destinations will not do well or will fit as the last choice on the last shelf of travel offers.
Therefore, extending the region’s digital strategy to Tourism 4.0 is a key decision for developing services, increasing tourism revenue, maintaining and possibly increasing employment opportunities in tourism services, and better organizing and managing the region’s tourist burden as an important point in a smart strategy or how today it calls the “smart” region.
Creating a smart strategy for digitizing a destination/region must be based on an understanding of how the digital world works today and who they are, how they work and how the customers – guests think. Emphasis must be placed on a clear idea of what type of customers the region wants to attract.