Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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Technology businesses tackling tourism challenge – QLDC

Software businesses that helped tourism operators cope during busier times have now adapted to solve new challenges faced by the industry.

Queenstown Lakes District Council economic development manager Peter Harris advised that a number of Aotearoa New Zealand tourism technology businesses have launched solutions to help with new challenges such as check-in, queuing and managing takeaways in an environment shaped by COVID-19 and physical distancing.

"Others have offered their software for free so tourism businesses can streamline and increase efficiencies for the long term while demand is low."

Loaded, a business based on hospitality management software, was one of the first to respond with a check-in system for retailers and restaurants. Loaded chief executive Richard McLeod said his business wanted to do all it could to help hospitality clients.

"Our new software was developed to make contact tracing easy if the need ever arose and we’ve been thrilled with the response, not just from hospitality but from businesses across a range of industries," he says.

Guest HQ has been used to check in more than 600,000 people, with Farro supermarket being one of their first customers.

Other Queenstown Lakes-based businesses including Wherewolf, First Table and Safer Lines have created new solutions to help their customers respond to the COVID-19 situation.

Peter says technology will play a vital role in the future of tourism.

"Not only are tourism technology companies helping their clients cope now, but they can help make tourism more productive as it rebuilds," he says.

"While tourism is suffering under current conditions, it is both exciting and encouraging to see these tech entrepreneurs creating new solutions for the industry. Because these businesses all export their technology, the potential market is international."

Alongside exploring other opportunities to increase diversification in our district’s economy, QLDC has been supporting technology for tourism as a way to create higher quality jobs in the region through innovative technologies and systems.

This includes applying for funding to build on the tourism tech businesses locally and creating a national network.

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