man and woman tourists looking at smart phone

Unlocking the Future of Travel: A Comprehensive Guide to SMART Tourism

Healthy Planet  |  By

What is SMART Tourism?

The concept of SMART Tourism has gained a lot of attention. But what exactly does it mean?

SMART tourism is all about using technology and innovation to make your travel experience better. It means things like using apps to book your trip, using virtual reality for interactive tours, and using data to personalise your travel plans. It also focuses on being eco-friendly and responsible in your travels. In a nutshell, SMART tourism is about making your trips smarter, more convenient, and more eco-friendly with the help of technology.

What do the letters in SMART Tourism stand for?

SMART tourism means using technology to make tourism better in five main ways:

  1. Sustainable: It’s about being kind to the environment and local communities, so tourism doesn’t harm them.
  2. Mature: It uses both existing and new tech like apps and virtual reality to give tourists great experiences.
  3. Authentic: It helps tourists connect with local culture and people for more meaningful and real experiences.
  4. Resilient: SMART tourism plans for emergencies and can recover from problems like natural disasters or economic issues.
  5. Technology-driven: It uses technology to improve everything in tourism, from booking trips to making your visit more enjoyable.

Overall, SMART tourism aims to create a more sustainable, efficient, and enjoyable tourism experience by integrating technology, promoting responsible tourism, and enhancing the overall quality of travel.

Woman using Virtual Reality for Travel

What can you do through SMART Tourism?

Gone are the days of heading to a travel agent and relying on them to sort everything for you. SMART Tourism is all about using technology to deliver seamless and connected travel experiences. This can include using our phones or laptops for:

  • Booking your hotel, based on which is the most ecofriendly, cheapest or the closest to the station.
  • Finding your way around via digital maps to an organic café or the nearest vegan restaurant.
  • Immersive experiences through virtual and augmented reality, like a walking tour or digital museum guide.
  • A digital travel guide that uses your data and analyses it for tailored recommendations.
  • A train or bus timetable with live updates, prices and quickest routes. [1][2]

Travelers can simplify their journeys by using smartphones for things like paying for taxis, ordering meals, checking queue times, and accessing destination or attraction information—all through the simple scan of a QR code.

How is SMART Tourism good for the environment?

SMART Tourism and sustainability go hand in hand! By reducing carbon footprints, embracing eco-friendly practices, and considering the needs of host communities, tourism stakeholders can make a positive impact.

If you want to off set your carbon footprint when you travel, there’s an app for that. Travel planning app TripIt is an itinerary generator and flight tracker that lets you calculate the carbon footprint of your flight and offers practical ways to offset it from planting trees to donating to recycling projects. There are lots more where that came from, check out this great list here.

There are also certifications you can look out for

Estonia, for instance, champions the Green Key initiative, proving the eco-friendly practices in the hospitality industry are up to scratch.[3]

For any hotel or tourist establishment to be part of the Green Key Initiative, they need to adhere to certain practices. These can be things like:

  • Serving free tap water and using rainwater to flush toilets.
  • Banning single use plastic.
  • Having the option for guests to reuse towels and sheets to save water.
  • Using eco friendly cleaning products to not pollute the local environment.
  • Encourage guests to use means of transportation other than cars and taxis, where feasible and safe, like local transport, shuttle busses or walking alternatives.
  • Provide electric car charging points.

There are Green Key sites all over the world, if you want to find one, head to their website.

Forest of trees with cut out of a plane

In conclusion, SMART Tourism tries to enhance the overall experience for travellers by using technology and connectivity. By embracing SMART Tourism, destinations can grant visitors easier access to offers, streamline booking procedures, and personalised experiences.

Want to learn more about the environment? Find out how to wash your car in an eco-friendly way.

Here at Vavista, we firmly believe in the power of choices that prioritise the environment.  We plant a tree for every quote that you buy!

If you want to do your part for the environment, then you can take out a Vavista Insurance policy. We plant a tree for very policy you take out and we are a carbon offset company. Get a quote.


  1. Tourism Teacher – What is smart tourism and why is it so BIG?
  2. Publicis Sapient – What is Smart Tourism?
  3. Green Key – Unlocking sustainability in the hospitality industry
Disclaimer: Articles are for general information only – customers should always seek their own independent advice. Vavista is not affiliated with the organisations/businesses mentioned and does not recommend or endorse any of the included products or services. For more information, click here.

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