Technology is changing every day. When it comes to
businesses in the hospitality industry, the introduction of new technology is
very important because it helps companies expand their advertising and
marketing services to reach the customers easily. Although it is helpful, new
technology comes with challenges especially when a business is not ready
financially, this is common in countries that are still developing like Malawi
in Southern Africa.

Malawi is a great tourist location and among others,
the hospitality industry is part of the country’s main source of foreign
income. There is endless competition in the hospitality industry because they have
to keep up with the trends and new challenges that come with them.  Technology has become increasingly important and
developing countries are forced to innovate even though it may cause a big
strain financially. Technology plays an
important part in tourism and travel as it has increased our communication and
security. Most of us now use technology to book our airline
reservations using computers and cellphones and we have other devices we use
daily. All these technological advances in the world have allowed hotels and
other companies to save on manual labor while at the same time allowing
customers to make their own decisions.

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Saving on manpower might seem like a good thing but
has technology has almost completely replaced human labor. It is greatly affecting
employment because society has become less self-reliant, we cannot do anything without
using technology in one way or the other.


(Zaitseva, Larionova, Konstanin, Korsunova, &
Dmitrieva, 2016)
authors of the article “Assessment of the
Impact of Globalization on the Introduction of Innovative Technology Companies
in the Hospitality Industry,” state that, “The development of innovative
technologies has long-term character, and their driving force is, above all,
the revolution in information and communication sector, the liberalization of
markets and increased international competition. Global trends and challenges
are changing the hotel business. Only those hotels that are able to change with
demographic, technological and economic changes, and to adapt to occurring
changes, will be able to succeed.”

The economy in Malawi largely affects the growth of
the hospitality industry. Money among other factors, is something very
important 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 it
was governments wish to make Malawi among the top 50 countries in the world as
best tourist destinations by 2015. Then according to the 2013 Travel and
Tourism Competitive Index compiled by the World Economic Forum, Malawi ranked
124, a drop from 121 in 2011. Based on that index, Malawi was above 15
countries 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 as
well. According to The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
(2006) The tourism industry heavily depends upon the progress of the national
economy. The lending rates, inflation, fiscal discipline and exchange rates are
some of the key issues in defining economic strength. Malawi has for four years
demonstrated weaker economic stand. The exchange rate has been varying,
interest rates rocketing, and inflation though seems stable but is at a higher
rate. All these economic challenges pose a great obstacle in as far as tourism
development is concerned (Jackson, 2017)

Another problem the hospitality industry faces in Malawi
is making sure that the employees are
well trained in the use of technology. Technology is only as good as the
people who use it. The use of computers in hotels to both check-in and
check-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 this
could bring in misuse of the technology and create more problems than it should
solve. It is very important to train the employees some more especially when
the technology keeps changing in a short amount of time. It is okay to update
the technology but not so often that the employees struggle to keep up knowledgeably
on the technology’s capabilities.

While technology helps with communication in a multi-lingual
world by providing information to people in their own language without pronunciation
or grammatical mistakes, quality and cost of maintenance of technology is very
expensive in developing countries like Malawi. It causes an extra financial problem
keeping up with the trends and making sure machinery is continuously working. If
they do not keep the technology working or up to date, the tourist will
probably not be able reach them and the hotels may find that their customer has
found a more user-friendly location. Agriculture and tourism have always been the
main sources of foreign income for Malawi.


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