Issue II (10)

Apr Cover 2010

Information Technology in the Tourism Industry

Volume: 2010, Issue No. 2

Date: April 2010

Guest Editors: Antonio Guevara-Plaza, Andrés Aguayo-Maldonado, and Roman Egger

Contents: Download the full issue here

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Papers

Abstracts

Specific Inter-Cultural Features in On-Line Distribution

Poon’s statement (1993) that "information is the lifeblood of tourism" is certainly one of the most quoted sources in the relevant scientific literature. And not without reason, as tourism proves to be an extremely information-intensive, complex and dynamic industry. At the same time, the Internet has become established as the most important medium of information that users turn to when preparing a journey. If a hotel aims at remaining competitive, a resort to the web – and especially direct marketing via the Internet – is inevitable. It is imperative that the right information is communicated to the pre-defined target group at the right time via the right channel. In this paper, the information search behaviour of leisure travellers is analysed against this background. In addition, the focus is on cultural particularities guests display in preparing their journeys on the web. Hence, taking account of distinctive cultural features to achieve optimum communication with the defined target group is a decisive competitive edge within the hotel trade and has become indispensable given the increasing competitive pressure and the information overload on the Internet. Download

Context-based Matchmaking to Enhance Tourists’ Experiences 

Tourists preparing for a journey suffer from information overload when they use the Internet to look for information about their next potential destination. Although approaches exist to support tourists in decision making (e.g. in form of recommendation systems), providing the right information for each type of tourist is still a challenging task. This is a major issue especially when tourists are already at a particular destination and desire to use their mobile devices to consume up-to-date travel-related information tailored to their current situation, i.e. context. This paper presents a context-based matchmaking approach that addresses the needs of tourists during their trip and aims at providing a more satisfying visit experience. In order to identify a set of tourism objects (e.g. attractions) that are most attractive for tourists, the CONCERT framework is presented in a way that exploits contextual information, such as location and time, as a filter to select relevant tourism objects. Within a second step, the matchmaking framework VMTO is introduced as acting on top of CONCERT and ranking the selected tourism objects according to personal tourist preferences. Download

Testing Delivery Systems in Transnational Virtual Learning: the Vocational Management Training for the European Tourism Industry (VocMat) Case Study 

This article discusses the lessons learned from developing and delivering the Vocational Management Training for the European Tourism Industry (VocMat) online training programme, which was aimed at providing flexible, online distance learning for the European tourism industry. The programme was designed to address managers’ need for flexible, senior management level training which they could access at a time and place which suit their work and non work commitments. The authors present the two main approaches to using the Virtual Learning Environment, the feedback from the participants and the implications for this application of online technology in extending tourism training opportunities. Download

Technological Tools to Support Online Marketing: SEGITTUR’s Role

The purpose of this article is to present the latest technological tools which SEGITTUR, Spain’s State Company for the Management of Tourism Innovation and Technology, has developed in recent years to support the online marketing of tourist services offered by Spanish firms over the Internet. Some of these tools are included on Spain’s official tourism promotion portal, Spain.info, such as the Booking Centre Directory (Segittur hotels) and the Travel and Offers Search Engine (Segittur discover). Other tools were developed independently, such as the Marketing Platform or www.unsitioideal.com. All of them aim at providing the sector with access to a promotion and marketing channel with tremendous potential and to significantly reduce the intermediation and positioning costs which would be incurred if these tools did not exist. Download

Technological Innovation, a Challenge for the Hotel Sector

Since the 60s tourism has been an undeniable driver of economic and social development for Spain, accounting for 10% of the GDP and 12% of all jobs in 2009. The hotel sector, with approximately 14,000 establishments and 198,000 professionals, is one of its cornerstones. However, the tourist industry is facing a number of challenges (new competing destinations, changes in the business model, tourists' new habits and practices, etc.) which require all the players in the value chain to embrace innovation and technology in their businesses in order to boost competitiveness and productivity. Since 2004 the Spanish ITH (Instituto Tecnológico Hotelero, Technology Institute for Hotels), has led the hotel sector initiative in this field, and has proposed new solutions to the changing needs of Spanish tourism. Download

Technology Map: Bringing R&D+I Benefits to SMEs in the Tourism Sector. The Case of TOUREG Project 

This paper presents the approach and methodology followed in TOUREG Project (a 7th Framework Programme European project) in order to obtain a Technology Map across the different regions and countries participating in the project. This Technology Map is intended to be built from supply and demand perspectives (i.e. what technological solutions are provided by technology suppliers and what are the needs demanded by potential end users). Apart from the methodology the initial results that are described here include a web based tool (available on the Internet), which will help to the final construction of the Technology Map as long as it is used by suppliers and end users to introduce their information. Final results are expected to be available at the end of the project, although some preliminary ones will be also shown. Download


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