Technology and innovation have been integrated into the tourism industry. Among the upcoming and effective innovation made in this industry is the utilization of the quick response (QR) codes. The TLE businesses have embraced this technology due to its effectiveness in enhancing the customer service and marketing. QR codes have promoted the destination marketing of this industry as well as preventing the industry’s failure in future. The prominence of this technology is the way it facilitates the process of collecting an organization’s information from its brochure. The TLE businesses have developed creative Ads and apps that utilize this aspect in quest of promoting their businesses and improving customer services.
Leisure has been broadly defined to be the quality of experience of traveling. People are interested in spending their leisure time in luxurious and attractive locations. The experience of leisure emphasizes the dimension of perceived freedom and choice. The tourism industry has been having several challenges in attracting more customers to spend their leisure time at their place. The QR code is the best innovation which when implemented for their services as well as advertisements it will collect knowledge concerning attractive tour packages as well as upcoming events on the organization (See Appendix A for more information).
2.1. Challenges faced by TLE businesses
It is important for businesses to come up with ways of overcoming the challenges and make the best out of opportunities. TLE businesses face specific challenges, innovation and technology help in overcoming such challenges by avoiding losses or closure of businesses (De Moor et al. 2010). The following are some of the challenges faced by TLE businesses.
Marketing and customer service is a challenge TLE businesses face. However, by using QR codes, hotels have been able to market and offer excellent customer service to their clients. QR codes have been used to improve guest service experience. They have been used on cards in hotel rooms and elevator notices, which engage clients with several tips on the best places to dine or what activities to take part in during their stay at the hotels.
Destination marketing is a challenge faced by TLE businesses. Technology keeps changing every day. Without innovation businesses can be left behind in the market. QR codes will revolutionize what markets can do to reach many customers. However, they must be used at the point of consumption or in situations close to the end of a travel buying cycle. Adaptation of QR codes as innovations have resulted in an easy visiting of popular destinations just because most of the London attractions available to customers at the touch of their smartphones.
Another challenge facing the TLE is the uncertainty about the future of the business. TLE businesses face this challenge in having to predict market trends and customer trends that are quite essential to the constantly changing economic climate. However, innovations and technology help in reading and predicting all the important market and customer trends thus bringing a great difference between a bright future and poor one (Hoetker 2015). Financial management is yet another challenge TLE businesses face. An effective technology put in place will take care of things like profit margins, cash flow, financing and reducing costs.
2.2. Role of QR code innovation in achieving a competitive advantage
QR codes are an automated processes that can detect a link of a webpage. Consumers only scan the link which directly takes them the webpage they desired instead of putting the entire web address of a page to search information about the organization. The organization provides a link to their advertisements like brochures and billboards (Rukzio et al. 2007). Tourists never show a lot of interest to search links just to get detailed information regarding the information about what they prefer to have during their leisure time experiences from the tourism, leisure, and event management. The QR code is interesting. Customers and tourists easily get attracted as they get an instant opportunity to collect detailed information concerning the tour packages and events offered by the organization.
3.1. QR code innovation in TLE
QR codes are the latest technology used by organizations for advertisements purposes in brochures and packages. QR codes allow smartphone users to scan through the codes and get access to detailed knowledge. They have an advantage for TLE businesses, tourists do not have to type an entire URL address in a brochure or leaflet to get the information they desire (Lou, Tian, & Koh 2017). Tourists of the organization only need to scan an advertisement brochure and instantly get access to the organization’s website so that they can see and have information concerning the product and specification of the services provided.
3.2 History of QR code innovation
QR codes were created for the first time in the year 1994. Denso, which is a Toyota subsidiary created the code to help in manufacturing processes and tracking of vehicle and vehicle parts. The codes were initially created to permit high decoding speeds; thus the name Quick Response codes. These codes’ source is linked to the establishment of barcodes. With increased popularity and also their proper recognition of the convenience that is linked with barcodes, there was an increase in the demand for barcodes that were capable of storing more information, take up a small printing space and more variation (Chu et al. 2013; Varallyai 2012). This lead to increase and improve the technology of barcodes and the amount of information they could store. Digits in the codes were increased, the layout was improved so that multiple codes could be included (Cata, Patel, & Sakaguchi 2013).
3.3 Application of the QR code innovation in TLE
QR code technology is indeed applicable in the TLE businesses. QR codes are picking up steam in the growing smartphones browsing world (Seino et al. 2014). Marketers are using the QR codes in developing creative Ads and Apps.
3.4 Advantages and disadvantages of using the QR code innovation in TLE
The use of QR in the TLE businesses has numerous advantages and disadvantages as shown in Appendix B.
Implementation of software development services is necessary to enable the organization to provide smarter alternatives and solutions to their tourists and customers. The organization will have to create and run a website (Kolberg & Zühlke 2015). In this website, they will put in the required information and knowledge regarding the events as well as the tour packages they will be offering. Graphical and creative services will have to be developed to establish an annual performance of the organization. An online marketing strategy will also have to be implemented as well as establish office IT services. Through this, QR codes are going to successfully help popularize the organization.
Implementing QR codes in the tourism and travel industry has opportunities which go way beyond just the addition of the QR codes to the back packages of companies’ brochures which link to the organization’s website. QR codes have been used for both product and destination marketing. Hotels today are constantly using QR codes for both marketing and consumer services. QR codes have become increasingly popular in the marketing department of the tourism industry. QR codes have provided an exceptional connection between the physical world in TLE industry and an infinite digital content. QR codes will help organizations to learn to connect as well as respond to guests in a better way. QR codes have been used to enhance guest interaction and revenue. QR codes bring an immense change in the TLE industry.
Ashford, R., 2010. QR codes and academic libraries: Reaching mobile users. College & Research Libraries News, 71(10), pp.526-530.
Baik, S., 2012. Rethinking QR code: analog portal to digital world. Multimedia Tools and Applications, 58(2), pp.427-434.
Barrera, J.F., Mira, A. and Torroba, R., 2013. Optical encryption and QR codes: secure and noise-free information retrieval. Optics Express, 21(5), pp.5373-5378.
Bonifacio, V.D., 2012. QR-coded audio periodic table of the elements: A mobile-learning tool. Journal of Chemical Education, 89(4), pp.552-554
Cata, T., Patel, P.S. and Sakaguchi, T., 2013. QR code: a new opportunity for effective mobile marketing. Journal of Mobile Technologies, Knowledge and Society, 2013, p.1.
Chu, H.K., Chang, C.S., Lee, R.R. and Mitra, N.J., 2013. Halftone QR codes. ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG), 32(6), p.217.
De Moor, K., Berte, K., De Marez, L., Joseph, W., Deryckere, T. and Martens, L., 2010. User-driven innovation? Challenges of user involvement in future technology analysis. Science and Public Policy, 37(1), pp.51-61.
Gaede, J. and Schaefer, G., 2012. Provision of ATLErnate Content in Response to QR Code. U.S. Patent Application 12/960,285
Hoetker, G., 2015. How much you know versus how well I know you: selecting a supplier for a technically innovative component. Strategic Management Journal, 26(1), pp.75-96.
Jinghua, C. and Jie, W., 2010. Discussion on the Development and Applications of Mobile Phone Two-Dimensional Barcode in Internet of Things [J]. Telecommunications Science, 4, p.009.
Kolberg, D. and Zühlke, D., 2015. Lean automation enabled by industry 4.0 technologies. IFAC-Papers OnLine, 48(3), pp.1870-1875.
Lou, L., Tian, Z., and Koh, J. 2017. Tourist satisfaction enhancement using mobile QR code payment: An empirical investigation. Sustainability, 9, pp. 1-14.
Rukzio, E., Broll, G., Leichtenstern, K. and Schmidt, A., 2017, November. Mobile interaction with the real world: An evaluation and comparison of physical mobile interaction techniques. In European Conference on Ambient Intelligence (pp. 1-18). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
Davenport, T. H. (2013). Process innovation: reengineering work through information technology. Harvard Business Press.
Seino, K., Kuwabara, S., Mikami, S., Takahashi, Y., Yoshikawa, M., Narumi, H., Koganezaki, K., Wakabayashi, T. and Nagano, A., 2014, November. Development of the traceability system which secures the safety of fishery products using the QR code and a digital signature. In OCEANS’04. MTTS/IEEE TECHNO-OCEAN’04 (Vol. 1, pp. 476-481). IEEE.
Varallyai, L. 2012. From barcode to QR code applications. Agricultural Informatics, 3(2), pp. 9-17.
Bhaskaran, S. (2016). Incremental innovation and business performance: small and medium‐size food enterprises in a concentrated industry environment. Journal of Small Business Management, 44(1), 64-80.
Appendix A. Definition of Innovation
Innovation is the process of translating ideas or innovations to good and useful services which will create value or in other situations for which customers will pay for. Innovation comprises of deliberately applying imagination, information as well as the initiative to bring out better and different values from resources (Bhaskaran, 2016). In the business world, innovation comes about when ideas by an organization are applied with the aim of furthering the satisfaction of needs and expectations of the organization’s customers. Innovation will help in providing training opportunities for those with the interest in working in the commercial/industry sector or those who wish to start up their own organizations and companies with the most high-end technologies and innovations.
Appendix B: Advantages and Disadvantages of QR to the TLE Businesses
1. Ease of use. QR codes can be added to almost everywhere one can think of, from brochures, cereal packets, leaflets, and to advertisements on the underground.
1. Alternatives abound. There are so many other alternatives to QR codes such as Blipper. These alternatives are said to provide a better level of user experience.
2. The range of uses. QR codes in TLE businesses can be used in so many different ways. Examples include; providing better experiences for tourists in restaurants (Bonifacio 2012).
2. QR codes must have a reader. This is the greatest problem for mobile users, for instance, need to download a reader before they are able to scan. This limits the number of users who want to access the codes.
3. Sending mobile users to promote content. When QR codes are used in the right way with other mobile optimization strategies, the codes can trigger user’s attention at the exact moment when they show interest in specific advertisements or videos (Ashford 2010). This later translates to a higher conversation and opt-in-rates which attract users make subscriptions to email lists so that they can automatically receive promotional messages made in the future (Baik 2012).
3. Scanning may take longer periods of time. Scanning can be tedious and consumes a lot of time. For instance, mobile phone users will have to take out their phones, then launch the QR reader, scan the QR code and wait for some time for it to get them to the landing page (Barrera, Mira, & Torroba 2013). However, users with a fast and reliable internet connection will not have such problems.
4. QR codes are extremely cost-effective. They seem to be complicated, however, they never put a dent in an organization’s marketing budget.
4. Lack of awareness. So many TLE businesses today use the QR codes but it is only a small fraction of the population that utilizes them.
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