Tourism is an indispensable economic dimension for countries in terms of increasing national income and employment.

Especially considering the economic destruction caused by the pandemic, it is the most sustainable source in terms of hot money. It's not only a source of foreign currency but also one of the top five export sectors. It alone feeds many sectors. Agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, construction, and health are among these sectors. It directly affects 54 sectors and indirectly influences 185 sectors. That's why I always try to explain how important the tourism sector is for our country under any circumstances.

The tourism sector generally has a labor-intensive structure. Traditionally, that's how it's considered. But today, when we look at the world, we talk about unmanned hotels and facilities providing semi-digital services. This means that even the human resource-focused structure of tourism will get its share in the evolving world order.

The increasing number of smart cities is undoubtedly making tourism smarter. While the system creates a new supply, it actually rewrites demand. In other words, the structure of demand until now is undoubtedly changing. Time is extremely valuable for all of us. Therefore, smart systems are actually giving us back our biggest loss; "time"... The greatest advancements in this regard are happening in China and South Korea. They are taking the lead in the competition by allocating significant funds. We cannot ignore this. We must now step onto the field and set the game in this rapidly accelerating area of the world.

To talk about a smart tourism sector, we must discuss the creation of smart layers that handle multiple components. While technology promises speed and easy accessibility, tourism must quickly take its share of this. These smart systems not only make travel easier for tourists but also positively contribute to the lives of local residents. Enhancing the quality of tourists' experiences can directly create repeat demand.

The sole contribution of smart systems is not just speed. Perhaps their most important contribution is the possibility of providing eco-friendly services. Reducing the carbon footprint by saving energy and thereby increasing the quality of life with effective resource management is one of the most important outputs. We are getting smarter, and in fact, we are building a smart future with these smart systems. Of course, like everything, this progress has its darker side. However, if we focus on the bright side and feed from there, we leave the darkness behind. Virtual reality, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and smart mobile applications are the most significant strides in "smartening" the tourism sector. Perhaps access will speed up, but this speed will allow people to slow down. The new world, new tourism, and new tourists are shaping today. Tomorrow will be the outcome of today. The future of the sector depends on our investments today. Both in domestic and international tourism, necessary projections should be planned and implemented for the long term. No matter how strong we are, if we are not flexible enough to adapt to change, we cannot hold onto that strength for long. Some changes are opportunities.