Technology is changing every day.
When it comes tobusinesses in the hospitality industry, the introduction of new technology isvery important because it helps companies expand their advertising andmarketing services to reach the customers easily. Although it is helpful, newtechnology comes with challenges especially when a business is not readyfinancially, this is common in countries that are still developing like Malawiin Southern Africa.Malawi is a great tourist location and among others,the hospitality industry is part of the country’s main source of foreignincome. There is endless competition in the hospitality industry because youmust keep up with the trends and new challenges that come with them. Technology has become increasingly important anddeveloping countries are forced to innovate even though it may cause a bigstrain financially. Technology plays animportant part in tourism and travel as it has increased our communication andsecurity. Most of us now use technology to book our airlinereservations using computers and cellphones and we have other devices we usedaily.
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All these technological advances in the world have allowed hotels andother companies to save on manual labor while at the same time allowingcustomers to make their own decisions. Saving on manpower might seem like a good thing buthas technology has almost completely replaced human labor. It is greatly affectingemployment because society has become less self-reliant, we cannot do anything withoutusing technology in one way or the other.
(Zaitseva, Larionova, Konstanin, Korsunova, & Dmitrieva, 2016)authors of the article “Assessment of theImpact of Globalization on the Introduction of Innovative Technology Companiesin the Hospitality Industry,” state that, “The development of innovativetechnologies has long-term character, and their driving force is, above all,the revolution in information and communication sector, the liberalization ofmarkets and increased international competition. Global trends and challengesare changing the hotel business. Only those hotels that are able to change withdemographic, technological and economic changes, and to adapt to occurringchanges, will be able to succeed.”The economy in Malawi largely affects the growth ofthe hospitality industry.
Money among other factors, is something veryimportant and it must be looked at closely before opening any kind of business. (Mchulu, 2014) author of the article”Malawi hotels, pricing and tourism”in The Nation newspaper says, “In 2013, former president Joyce Banda said itwas governments wish to make Malawi among the top 50 countries in the world asbest tourist destinations by 2015. Then according to the 2013 Travel andTourism Competitive Index compiled by the World Economic Forum, Malawi ranked124, a drop from 121 in 2011. Based on that index, Malawi was above 15countries in the world whereas in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)region, only Mozambique, Madagascar and Lesotho ranked below Malawi.” From this information,one can easily tell that Malawi has a big mountain to climb economically aswell. According to The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development(2006) The tourism industry heavily depends upon the progress of the nationaleconomy.
The lending rates, inflation, fiscal discipline and exchange rates aresome of the key issues in defining economic strength. Malawi has for four yearsdemonstrated weaker economic stand. The exchange rate has been varying,interest rates rocketing, and inflation though seems stable but is at a higherrate.
All these economic challenges pose a great obstacle in as far as tourismdevelopment is concerned (Jackson, 2017)Another problem the hospitality industry faces in Malawiis making sure that the employees arewell trained in the use of technology. Technology is only as good as thepeople who use it. The proper use of computers in hotels to both check-in andcheck-out guests allows the person-on-duty to attend to other problems but sometimes,hotels hire people who are not yet trained properly just to fill in labor and thiscould bring in misuse of the technology and create more problems than it solve.It is very important to train the employees some more especially when the technologykeeps changing in a short amount of time. It is okay to update the technologybut not so often that the employees struggle to keep up knowledgeably on the technology’scapabilities.While technology helps with communication in a multi-lingualworld by providing information to guests in their own language without pronunciationor grammatical mistakes, quality and cost of maintenance of technology is veryexpensive in developing countries like Malawi.
It causes an extra financialstrain to keep up with the trends and make sure machinery is continuously working.If they do not keep the technology working or up to date, the tourist willprobably not be able reach them and the hotels may find that their customer hasfound a more user-friendly location. Agriculture and tourism have always been themain sources of foreign income for Malawi.