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The impact of near field communication on tourism

Roman Egger (Innovation and Management in Tourism, Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, Salzburg, Austria)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

ISSN: 1757-9880

Article publication date: 29 July 2013




Near field communication (NFC) is currently perceived to be one of the most promising technologies for the future and will most likely become the standard in mobile devices in the years to come. Due to the novel nature of this technology, the assessment of its importance for the tourism industry is still relatively unclear. The author is one of the first to focus on NFC in tourism, with the aim of introducing NFC technology and drafting first responses to the following questions: what benefit can NFC technology have for tourism and what functionalities can it trigger? What are the possible future applications in tourism and what challenges will tourism be faced with in this respect?


The potential of NFC for the tourism industry is outlined in an extensive literature research, as well as in the presentation and discussion of several pilot projects and case studies.


The paper provides an overview of NFC functionalities and presents a first insight into the range of application for this technology in the tourism industry. The NFC ecosystem is examined and operative and strategic effects for companies, as well as the impacts for tourists, are analysed.

Practical implications

NFC has a huge potential and offers a vast field of possible applications for the tourism industry. The technology must be seen, however, as an enabler that cannot solve problems from a supplier perspective, or increase convenience from a consumer perspective by itself. This paper helps to understand the complexity of NFC as a technology, the need for a common understanding and vision of its ecosystem, consistent business models which generate additional benefit, as well as the combination of market push-and-pull effects with regard to adoption and diffusion.

Social implications

Modern society is virtually inconceivable without mobile devices and the consequent use of mobile services. The multitude of technologies incorporated in the tiniest space has turned mobile phones, and smart phones in particular, into the Swiss knives of our times. NFC could change the way we interact, share, exchange and retrieve information.


Little research has so far been carried out on this topic and the author is one of the first to focus on NFC in tourism so far.



Egger, R. (2013), "The impact of near field communication on tourism", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 119-133.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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