SMART CITY

A smart city is a comfortable and sustainable city. Hollands (2015) described it as an interconnected, intelligent, and instrumental city. Instrumentation means that activities of the city are measured by sensors which are scattered around the city. Interconnection means that every part of the city is connected through ICT networks, both wireless and also wired. Intelligence denotes applications that are predictive with the ability to generate correct and accurate decisions. Smart cities have capabilities to provide intelligence response to various kinds of requirements, including city services, daily livelihood, and commercial activities that are happening within the same time interval. Hollands (2015) explain that smart cities use emerging appropriate opportunities, like advancing technologies in information and communication innovations. Subsequently, “smart cities” are regarded as an urban space that utilizes the advantage of data science and information and communication technologies to solve the challenges of the present world. Through it, they grow in the provision of efficient infrastructures and services management and improve deliverance of quality of life to people who visit, work or live in the city and support of more sustainable future (Meijer & Bolívar, 2016).
According to Hollands (2015), various dimensions define a smart city; the first dimension is the smart economy, in GDP, expenditure in education, public expenditure on development and research, and unemployment rate. Another aspect is Smart mobility, which includes safe and sustainable transportation, innovative transportation, cycle lanes, pedestrian lane, and efficient transport and control systems. Smart living, including the availability of leisure and recreational areas, sustainable resource management, entertainment center, public libraries, health, and education facilities. A smart environment characterized by CO2 reduction strategies, policies to handle urban development, efficient use of electricity and water, and availability of green space. Smart city solutions require advanced energy networks that are dynamic, sustainable, resilient, and secure. All these dimensions constitute the foundation of a smart city. Hence, it can be said that a smart city is a livable, sustainable, intelligent, and interconnected city.
There is no particular route of a city becoming smart, and different cities have used different approaches that match specific resources. This depends on several factors varying from their managerial to financial status, citizens’ needs, business requirements, and private sector offerings (Shelton, Zook, & Wiig, 2015). Instead of drawing a smart city strategy from scratch, many cities integrate smart initiatives in their current public service delivery and economic development plans and identify how technologies can assist them in achieving their goals. Other cities do practical focus with the most investment directed to projects which are realistic, financially viable, and achievable but also leaving space for more innovations (Shelton, Zook, & Wiig, 2015). A city becomes smart if investments in new information and communication infrastructure, social and human capital, and transport has led to a high quality of life and sustainable economic growth, with excellent natural resources management, through participatory governance (Hollands, 2015). Smart infrastructure, together with the internet of things coupled with intelligent devices, provides enhanced overall experience to visitors. Many smart cities in wold top tourist destinations are using computing technology to track, analyze and improve travelers’ experience using different mobile and destination apps to guide and provide on-demand information and services to tourists empowering companies and local services and products (Petrolo, Loscri, & Mitton, 2017).
Hotels are an essential part of tourism sectors in any country as travelers need accommodations. Hotels in smart cities should be made in consideration of travelers’ needs. They should consider peoples with difficulties and disabilities in providing tourism services hence the need to develop infrastructures and products that address different access needs. The tourism sector must deliver unique services that are suitable for all peoples by removing organizational and physical barriers that may prevent the visitation of users (Anthopoulos, Janssen, & Weerakkody, 2019). The present-day hotels in smart cities around the world have improved and advanced how travelers live in cities. The need for today’s’ travelers and guests in a hotel is not just to sleep but a totally new experience in amenities, designs, and comfort. The hotels in smart cities do all these with the help of today’s technology and increasing sustainability and reducing energy consumptions. It is predicted that smart hotels in smart cities will shift to be remote operated where all devices in a hotel room would be operated and controlled from a single point by user, this which would ensure less human interference (Meijer & Bolívar, 2016). Emphasizing more on technology will not add much value when competing with other hotels. Hotels have to reinvent and provide more personalized services and values based on intellect and not capital and assets (Anthopoulos, Janssen, & Weerakkody, 2019).
The future of tourism in a country belongs to smart cities – places where technology, accessibility, sustainability, innovation, and good governance address the downsides brought by the masses and manage growth in the sector. Smart technologies can help cities to change to smart cities by reducing carbon emissions, save money, and manage traffic flows (Hollands, 2015).