The digital era has had an enormous impact on our everyday lives and the way we live, work, study, entertain ourselves, and even on the way we travel. Because of these new ways we live our lives, our needs have been changing accordingly, and are more and more shaped by these new digital means we’re offered.
The hospitality and tourism industry is one of the most affected by digital development and progress. Transportation and accommodation companies are making better and better use of the digital marketing techniques to offer their customers better, most suitable, most practical, most fun travels options. The travel industry has become highly competitive and its different players are constantly trying to increase their performance by looking for the newest and most innovative digital ways to reach a broader audience and to better target their customers. Indeed, people are not travelling they way they used to anymore. Mobile applications have replaced maps and guidebooks, and digital travelers are seeking more local and more authentic travel experiences, pushing the whole tourism industry to reinvent their service and adapt their offer to this new digital travel class.
From the booking process, marked by the emerging trend of mobile-only travel agencies and the many airlines smart mobile applications, to the at-destination experience, increasingly local and authentic, characterized by smart and interactive applications enabling both locals and travelers to share content and exchange together, the hospitality and tourism industry has been increasingly successful at becoming more and more digital and at adapting their strategies by paying attention to what people are actually seeking while traveling today.
Ranked among the top three tourists destinations by the Lonely Planet, Tel Aviv has been attracting people from all over the world with its dynamic culture and its vibrant nightlife. Often referred as the “Silicon Valley” of the Middle East, Tel Aviv is so much more than just bars and beaches – it is home to a thriving, creative and innovative start-up ecosystem that has been inspiring so many other countries in the world. The so-called Non-Stop City has indeed paved the way for digital tourism, using increasingly innovative tools.
On this occasion, the municipality, strongly committed to promoting Tel Aviv both as a startup city and a global hotspot for tourism, hosted last month, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, the 21st International Mediterranean Tourism Market, the largest international tourism fair in the Middle-East, which happened to be the perfect place to showcase the White City’s homegrown digital travel initiatives and show the world Tel Aviv’s leading role in the field of digital tourism.
The IMTM Expo provided Tel Aviv with the opportunity to promote and expose the best of its digital travel scene featuring two major events: the Digital Travel Dome, a two-days exhibition showcasing technological breakthroughs and startups with the latest innovation in the field of tourism, and FuTurism.com, a one-day conference, featuring entrepreneurship, digitalism, innovation, and technological advancements in the field of tourism.
The IMTM Festival also presented the Mayor’s Digital Travel Award, a competition aiming at encouraging the development of digital solutions to improve travel experience, to promote the creative and innovative spirit of the digital travel field, and to position Tel Aviv as a hub for innovation and a global leading tourism destination.
So many amazing startups ran the contest, making it hard for the jury to choose its three favorites. The 1st place went to ShopnFly, a digital platform allowing globetrotters who also like shopping to combine both passions, and help them save time and money by offering them online access to all the duty free products they didn’t have time to carefully look at while traveling, and by allowing them to shop online and order directly from their duty free shops, from home.
Among the nominees were also a bunch of other awesome startups, including Mekomy, an amazing team made up of the best foodies, architects, designers, writers in town, who run awesome walking tours and help discover the city from a unique point of view and through the lenses of a local expert and as well as DYI Tel Aviv is an alternative city guide that will always provide you with the coolest tips to explore and enjoy the city like a real Tel Avivi, far from all the mainstream tourists spots everyone knows.
If you’re curious about all the competitors, we encourage you to go have a look at them all, right here.