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Über dieses Buch

For the fourth time now, experts in tourism from various countries come to attend the ENTER conference in order to inform themselves and others about the current devel­ opments in the usage of information and communication technologies. The ENTER conference is thought as a platform for the exchange of ideas, experi­ ences, opinions, and visions among scientists and practitioners. The visions presented at the last three ENTER conferences have triggered many requirements of important on-going and planned projects in the application of communication and information technologies in tourism. The scope of the papers of this proceedings covers the most recent and relevant to­ pics in our area of interest. The sessions are primarily devoted to intelligent agents and systems, the future role of global (reservation) systems, the new. chances of data­ base applications due to the most recent technological developments. and above all the role of the Internet (and Intranet). I would like to express my cordial thanks to all institutions actively supporting this event, namely: • The Edinburgh & Lothian Tourist Board • The International Federation of Information Technology in Tourism (IFITT) Several people spent numerous hours organizing the scientific programme of EN­ TER. The names of most of them will appear in the following pages.



Database and Advanced Information Systems

A Meta-Data Driven Tourism Information System Prototype

In this contribution a concept and a prototype for a tourism information system based on meta-data will be introduced. With this approach it is possible to handle new kind of information, new data structures or new layouts better than in other information systems in which such changes have an impact on the software. With our system the adaptation can be done by the tourism organisation itself. Besides, the suitability of Microsoft Access for such meta-data based information systems was evaluated.

Josef Küng, Richard Sikora, Roland R. Wagner, Wolfram Wöß

Geographical Information System Based Decision Support System for Tourism Planning and Development

During the last ten years, advances in information technology have had a dramatic influence on the tourism industry. This paper intends to present a geographical information system designed as a decision support system (DSS) for tourism planning and development. A user friendly computer system, called Tourism DSS, has been developed for the use of public and private organisations. The county of Cumbria has been chosen as a case study. The main functions of this DSS are (i) to display different kinds of geographic, socio-economic, environmental and tourism data of Cumbria that map onto a number of problems confronting the planner, in particular; (ii) to find potential sites for specific tourism investment under the diverse criteria relevant to the users; and (iii) to demonstrate the possible impacts of tourism investments.

Vahap Tecim

The Relevance of Meta Modeling and Data Warehouses for Executive Information Systems

Applications based on Data Warehouses especially decision support systems such as Executive Information Systems (EIS) are rapidly becoming a key to gain competitive advantage for businesses. Data Warehouse allows businesses to get data from operational databases and turn that data into useful information on which users can carry out their analysis. In this paper we will discuss the importance of meta modeling for EIS and Data Warehouses as analytical base in EIS for decision support.

R. Kirkgoeze, A. Kurz, H. Reiterer, A. M. Tjoa

Intelligent Systems and Agents

SnowNet: An Agent-Based Internet Tourist Information Service

SnowNet is a project to provide Internet access to a variety of existing information services concerning snow and avalanche conditions in the Swiss Alps. To provide regular users, such as mountain guides, with access to the latest information without typical network delays, we use a combination of client and server agents. These agents cooperate to reduce network traffic and ensure that current pages are always available in the user’s local cache.

A. Erni, M. C. Norrie

Expert systems as an important competitive advantage in tourism

Today, holiday-makers often are overtaxed in making the right vacation choice because they have to take into account a variety of information sources like operators’ brochures, destination specific literature etc. In most cases, even the travel agency staff is not informed enough to assist the traveller in its decision process because the knowledge about destinations is very complex and is changing rapidly.

N. Tödter, B. Brigl

Distributed software Agents for WWW-based Tourism Information Systems (DATIS)

With the Internet becoming more and more popular, an increasing number of online systems allow travelers today to access interactive destination information systems. Such systems on the WWW do not only offer comprehensive descriptions of tourist destinations. They also provide access to sophisticated reservation systems, where the user can book flights, pass hotel reservations, rent cars, buy concert tickets, etc.

Thomas Steiner

Realizing Travel Malls: A Logic Programming Based Approach

The vision of a Travel Mall, if fully realized, would allow the tourism industry to come to grips with the potential of the advances in information and communication technologies as well as the needs and demands of customers in this new age. In order to realize this vision, certain issues need to be addressed; that of information integration is crucial. We have presented an architecture for a travel mall that tackles this problem and addresses all the important issues. We outline how our approach exploits an extension of logic programming.

Subhasish Mazumdar

Strategic Concepts, Realization Tools I

Electronic Marketcoordination in the Travel Industry: The Role of Global Computer Reservation Systems

One of the few examples for the global realization of electronic market coordination are the Computer Reservation System (CRS) or Global Distribution Systems (GDS) used in the travel industry. Because of the ever increasing competition, new technologies and changed distribution channels, a discussion has started about the role of CRSs. Before going into detail about current criticism and the systems future role, we will briefly describe what CRSs are all about:

Axel Schulz

Informed Decision Making in Tourism Management Closing the Information Circuit

Tourist information systems (TIS) play an increasingly important role in the promotion of tourism destinations. Currently, this vivid discussion about TIS puts heavy emphasis on the distribution and selling aspect of tourism management. However, the importance and opportunities of effectively utilizing the back-flow information — which, in fact, can also be seen as an immediate indicator of a destination’s business performance — obtained from TIS as a by-product for business planning and decision making processes has not yet been recognized properly. Our contribution outlines an operative information management framework aiming at a deep integration of tourism marketing and distribution activities with performance monitoring and decision making processes, thus closing the current gap in the — electronic — tourism information management loop by adding an upstream information flow from markets to decision makers.

K. A. Froeschl, H. Werthner

The value of information technology: A case study and a framework

Over the past years, many attempts have been made to measure the value of IT according to a variety of criteria. In 1993 Brynjolfsson summarized the principal studies of IT and productivity1. He concluded that: “The relationship between information technology and productivity - the fundamental economic measure of a technology’s contribution - is widely discussed but little understood. The general unease and the blurred discussion about the determination of benefits of IT confirm the need for better measurement, frameworks, and tools, to assess and monitor its value. In this paper we describe how the value of information technology was measured at ANWB, The Royal Dutch Touring Club. The case described demonstrates that the value of IT for an enterprise can not be expressed in a single measure. Measurements at different levels have to take place in order to get a clear picture. In the second part of the paper we demonstrate how measurement on different levels can be applied systematically by using the BtripleE framework. The paper is based on the doctoral dissertation of van der Zee2 that was written under the guidance of Ribbers and van der Pijl.

G. J. van der Pijl, H. T. M. van der Zee, P. M. A. Ribbers

Strategic Concepts, Realization Tools II

National Co-operation and Strategic Alliances

The tourism business in Norway enters the Net

The rapid growth of the Internet as a distribution channel for tourism products has intensified the interest for electronic information systems and networks within the tourism business. New entrants on the Internet are choosing tourism as an area for new business, and traditional tourism companies are rethinking strategy and IT-investments to incorporate Internet. A number of actors are looking for ways to create business through this new medium. This paper focuses on how the organised part of the tourism business in Norway has met this challenge by choosing co-operation and strategic alliances as the main elements of their strategy. The paper is based on a project led by NORTRA, the Norwegian Tourist Board, and run by the Norwegian Computing Centre. Experiences from the first phase of the project were presented at ENTER96 (Aanonsen, 96). The current phase leads up to launching an application on the Net by January 1. 1997. In this paper we discuss the main challenges of this phase, which are building the network for national co-operation within the tourism industry and establishing strategic alliances within the IT and Internet world.

Kari Aanonsen

The New Network in the Norwegian Tourism Industry

Marketing and Organizational Theories as Perspectives for a Study

There are many ways of studing an ongoing project. From a broad perspective the new Norwegian Network project is based on three main pillars (shown in fig. 1.). The first, the technical element which for instance concerns the database-solutions, the technical infrastructure. The second, the. organizational element having to do with the partners involved, how the organizational network is built and how the partners cooperate. The third, the financial element concerns the investments- and income model of the project - the expenses and earnings involved. To establish a network project like the one in question, solutions concerning all the three elements have to be made. In this paper the focus will be upon the organizational element. Using marketing and organizational theories as perspectives for studying this element, some questions arising from this view are investigated.

Ingvar Tjostheim

The Future for Direct Retailing of Travel and Tourism Products: The Influence of Information Technology

Today, rising quality of information delivered to the remote terminal and the decline in the cost of the means have made direct purchase of travel and tourism products by electronic media a practical possibility. Middleton (1994) identifies the following methods of directresponse marketing: direct mail; telephone/tele-marketing door-to-door distribution; travel related exhibitions; and interactive TV. The last was, at the time Middleton was writing, the only significant form of electronic direct selling (he had Minitel in mind) and it is this general field, in its present and expected future forms, which may revolutionise the way travel products are sold (Taylor, 1995), and which this paper is about. The phrase direct (ie principal to customer) electronic retailing (to distinguish it as sold to a consumer, rather than eg through EDI to an intermediary) has been coined to describe this. The research reported here explores the prospects for retailing by principals to end customers by electronic means, and the implications for the industry of this. It reports the results of a survey of senior people in the UK travel and tourism industry and its suppliers, carried out in 1995.

Jacob Reinders, Michael Baker

The Promise of Information Technology in the Travel Industry

Two words best characterize the future for the travel industry: growth and change. Many global forces have driven companies in this industry to adapt quickly to survive and remain competitive. Information technology plays a vital role in the way the travel industry responds as the world is “getting connected” at almost every level. The purpose of this paper is three-fold. First, the effect of network computing, the combination of electronic ticketing and smart cards, corporate travel management systems, and other trends that are transforming the travel industry will be examined. Second, the public policy issues involved such as the liberalization of government regulations, affordability and ease-of-use, and data security and privacy will be examined. Finally, the future direction of underlying technologies such as displays, storage, and microprocessors and advancements in the global networking infrastructure, mobility, and speech recognition will be presented.

Brenda L. Dietrich, Jane L. Snowdon, JoAnn B. Washam

Implementation Issues

Federating Databases and Files: An Approach to a Uniform and Comfortable Interface to Heterogeneous Tourist Information Systems

In this paper we sketch an approach to the integration of heterogeneous tourist information systems into database federations. Since many tourist information systems offer WWW-interfaces based on HTML-files and furthermore, many local information systems are based on specific file formats, we have to consider such file associations. For the integration of these file associations, the main problem is the lack of meta-information. Therefore, we have to derive an appropriate local conceptual schema. The derived conceptual schemata and the schemata of other tourist database systems will be integrated into a federated schema. Moreover, we briefly discuss the benefits of a federated tourist information system.

Michael Höding

Clustering Distributed Complex Objects - Management and Performance

Modem enterprises have to be effective, efficient and innovative in order to sustain in a competitive environment. This complex situation calls for advanced electronic infrastructures for the flexible exchange of all sorts of information.Rapid advances in computer network technology have made it possible for disparate computers and database management systems to transparently share data and applications at more than one sites on the network.Due to the increased complexity and multidimensionality of distributed database management systems the issues, theories, and implementations are quite diverse and vast. Distribution is a natural outcome of the business practices, therefore the need for distributed databases is inevitable. Corporate locations are distributed and so is corporate data.Object-oriented technology as now a topic of intense study as the major candidate to successfully meet the requirements of advanced applications that require data management services of the tourism and hospitality industry. However, a close study of these applications reveals that they are distributed in nature and require data management support in a distributed environment. Thus, these systems require the development of distributed object management systems (DOMs). The purpose of this research paper is to provide an overview of some of the issues that need to be addressed in the development of this technology.Rapid access to information is one of the key ways in which telecommunications can contribute to the effectiveness of a business operation.

Vlad Wietrzyk, Mehmet A. Orgun, John M. Hughes

Mugla Tourism Information System

Mugla is a province of Turkey located in the south west corner of the Anatolian peninsula.

Sinan Neftçi, Cevdet Dengi, Cercis Ikiel, Shahpour Thaerzadeh

An Intelligent System for Tourism Information

Nova Friburgo is a Brazilian tourist city which attracts different types of visitors. This article describes an intelligent system to be installed at a tourist information centre for assisting those who need directions to this city’s major attractions. Currently, there is an ordinary multimedia application for tourism support but such system is being expanded to include a knowledge base of profiles of tourists. On the base of the tracks or paths a user has already performed during his/her consultation, the system selects the profile which most closely reflects the options taken. According to this selected profile, the system is expected to suggest various routes and destinations based on the tourist’s possible interests, in addition to provide information on hotels and restaurants he/she will likely be interested in. The knowledge base which provides this type of inference is being developed in a hybrid system involving Prolog and C++.

A. S. Monat, G. Kern, P. Werly, S. Montenegro

The Role of Internet and World Wide Web I

TIS@WEB - Database Supported Tourist Information on the Web

The currently running tourism-WWW-server TIS@WEB makes touristic information about Austria available world-wide to the public under the WWW-address The extraordinary feature about TIS@WEB is that you get latest tourist information because it is generated out of the touristic database TIS, which is updated frequently. Due to this approach the effort to actualise the data (a well known problem of WWW-Servers) is minimised. In the present paper we will give you a closer look on the architecture, the realisation, and the functionality of TIS@WEB. Our approach of “batchgeneration” and “on-the-fly” generation of Web-pages is described. Afterwards, requirements for the next generation of tourism WWW-servers are discussed.

F. Burger, P. Kroiß, B. Pröll, R. Richtsfeld, H. Sighart, H. Starck

Electronic distribution of holiday and business hotels

There are a number of typical differences between holiday and business hotels with respect to price level, seasonally, size etc., having implications for which electronic information and sales channels are most economically feasible to utilise. For a number of reasons the basis of revenue for holiday hotels is limited, and therefore also costs — including spending on telematics — must be kept at a moderate level. Hotels may be distributed as single products or as part of packages through a number of links in a chain, which may be conventional or electronic. Five strategic issues for hoteliers pertaining to electronic distribution of hotels are discussed. The Internet is a relatively cheap medium with great reach, which may be regarded as coming to the rescue of many small holiday hotels as far as electronic distribution is concerned. It is discussed to what extent this is really the case.

Carl H. Marcussen

Marketing information and decision support on the Internet — New opportunities for national, regional and city tourist offices

Since reliable information is the key issue in marketing many tourist offices have used the enormous advances in computing to create systems that more or less extensively record tourism data. Nevertheless, some organizations have encountered difficulties in efficiently using this data for advertising purposes or to plan their marketing strategies in conjunction with various decision support techniques. For this reason alone, it has become essential to create a system that gives users efficient access to all opportunities that computer technology can offer.In this article the author describes recent experiences made during the development and implementation of a tourism marketing-information system (TourMIS), which has proved to be useful in research and consultation for more than 10 years. Its nationwide acceptance turned the system from a Iocal to a distributed decision support system, which caused new problems in data maintenance and the model’s interface.

Karl W. Wöber

The Role of Internet and World Wide Web II

How to assess WWW-applications for tourism information systems from the end-user perspective. Methodical design and empirical evidence

In the spring of 1996, an empirical research project was conducted at the University of Trier which aimed at evaluating an Internet-based electronic information and booking system for the tourism industry. During the development of the new „TIScover“ system by the TIS Corp. in Innsbruck, Austria, an early prototype was tested to assess its user-friendliness and to learn more about customer behaviour in online-booking systems. The empirical data was used to determine strengths and weaknesses of the „TIScover“prototype and to further improve its enduser performance.In this paper the authors propose an empirical design to test WWW-based travel information systems and present empirical results of how to design enduser friendly Web-pages for tourism information and booking systems.

Christoph Passmann, Wolfgang Pipperger, Walter Schertler

A Qualitative Analysis of Hotel List Providers on the World Wide Web

This paper provides an analysis of initial investigations into Hotel List Providers (HLP) who distribute accommodation (and destination) information using the WWW as the enabling technology. A representative sample of internationally-focused sites as well as those which specialise in the United Kingdom as a region was investigated and a methodology is presented for the ongoing analysis of such Web-based sites. A current, generic profile of WWW users is established and this data is used to provide a platform on which to build profiling of Web based tourism consumers. Using empirically derived assessment criteria, this sample of Hotel List Providers was examined and the work placed in the context of larger scale studies by the authors into both international reservations systems and the role of intelligent agents concluding with suggestions for progressing the work in the area of site assessment.

Claire L. Dorren, Andrew J. Frew

Developing Tourism in the Lunigiana

The rapid evolution of hypermedia technology together with the increasingly wide use of the Internet can be effectively exploited to publicise the great artistic and historic heritage of Italy and its regions. Aiming to increase tourism, many public administrations have been looking with great interest to projects enhancing exposure of their territories and permitting virtual visits to museums, towns, archaeological sites and other sights.This paper describes a project, partially funded by the European Community, whose main goal is to produce a tool to allow tourists with different interests to cover virtual routes in a historical area named the “Lunigiana”.From a technical point of view, key aspects discussed are related to integrating Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with Database, Multimedia, Information Retrieval (IR) and Internet technologies.

E. Bracci, P. Coltelli, G. Cresci, C. Magnarapa, A. Montanari

Dynamic Web Links for Tourism Information Services

A tourism information homepage is often found to serve many purposes or many different categories of users ranging from curious browsers, potential travellers to virtual tourists. With HTML’s static links, in order to make one set of information shareable among different target audiences, a fixed set of guided searches may be provided through a set of fixed menus from which a user can make selections appropriate for their session mannually. In this paper, we propose to incooperate dynamic hyperlinks to a Tourism Information Service which is being provided distributedly on the WWW. At the beginning of a session, a user can specify what kind of session he/she is planning to do. From this piece of information, the user will be provided with more relevant pages and lankages dynamically.

Kanchana Kanchanasut, Pensri Charoenchai

The Role of Intranet in the Tourism Domain

(Extended Abstract)

The Intranet, the internal Internet, is perhaps the most important innovation in the last year. There are estimations that three quarters of the Web servers going up today are for internal corporate use. An Intranet is an internal corporate or organizational framework that uses Internet technologies to let employees browse and share electronic information remarkably easily. An Intranet is a private version of the Internet’s World Wide Web, but it is available only to people inside the organization. Over the next 12 or 18 months the real pay-back of typical business will come from using Intranet web sites to give employees the information they need to be more effective. [Gates 96]

Roland R. Wagner

The Role of Advanced Information Technology in Tourism

Electronic marketing and business reengineering -with examples from the tourism domain

A large number of contemporary companies all over the world have to cope with difficulties. Not only are their competitive capabilities deficient in low efficiency but also in the organizational structure and work style. Many tenets and techniques that were very expedient some time ago and brought companies to success had to be changed. The organizational structure of most contemporary companies is based on Adam Smith’s division of labor which means dividing work into repeatable tasks. Using this philosophy of work, companies created pyramidal organizational structure with a great number of controllers, planners and managers of all level. With the passage of time such a hierarchical structure became ineffective. The distance between the management and product users dilated. Companies turned out to be too slow and not enough flexible. Quick and rapid upheavals were the most important reasons that took place in their business environment. Customers expectations increased violently. For many companies their organizational structure and the way they used to do their work began to constitute a very big problem. Some managers noticed that if companies want to meet the requirements of the contemporary Market and their customers, they must focus on processes instead of tasks. And because of this the whole company should be seen as a set of processes.

Janusz Wielki

Information Technologies in Hospitality Businesses: The case study of La Plagne, France

Information Technology prevails the development of contemporary management and marketing transforming the best business practices and redefining the competitive advantage of each actor in the economy. In the tourism and hospitality industries information technology has traditionally been under-utilised due to a wide range of reasons. The majority of the industry is subjected to an inevitable competitive disadvantage which may result on the one hand in the expansion of multinational corporations which have both the resources and the financial backing for investing in technology, and on the other hand in the development of technology oriented enterprise which would serve or even replace members of the tourism industry and achieve competitive advantages within the digital economy context. This paper concentrates on ifs penetration in the hospitality organisations in the Alpine resort of La Plagne, France. Hospitality is provided by hotels, self-catering accommodation and tourist residence and there is a high presence by leading French Companies which operate horizontally integrated facilities throughout the country. Although the presence of ITs at the moment is limited, hoteliers appreciate the technological developments and gradually invest towards the improvement of their system. The paper examines the level of technological penetration by reporting on the existing facilities as well as analysing the future plans for technology incorporation. In particular it highlights that attitudes and beliefs of decision makers are critical for ITs adaptation and that education and training are crucial for the future competitiveness of hospitality organisation.

Dimitrios Buhalis, Steve Keeling, Adria Lacorte, Naomi Reynolds

Catalysts in introducing information technology in small and medium sized hospitality organisations

Small hotels are increasingly recognised as pivotal in the ability of destinations to benefit from tourism as well as to satisfy tourism demand. However it is recognised that small hotels are being marginalised from the mainstream tourism industry due to their inability to participate in the transformation of best practices due to their reluctance to utilise information technologies, This paper is based on research undertaken in small and medium hospitality organisation in Wales and the Greek Aegean Islands It explores the factors determining the adaptation of ITs by examining the stakeholders of small hospitality organisations as well as the push and pull factors they exercise, illustrating a number of catalysts for ITs penetration.

Dimitrios Buhalis, Hilary Main

The attitude of small and medium-sized tourist enterprises towards Information and Telecommunication Technologies. The case of Italy

In the paper the mechanisms which guide the decision of tourist enterprises to invest or not in ITT are fully analysed. By using a demand-side approach, the different assumptions at the basis of the decision process and the variables that affect the attitude of operators to employ new technologies are investigated. The identification of the main hindrances and opportunities specifically encountered by small and medium-sized tourist firms to the application of ITT provide the basis for a discussion on how a Telecom company can anticipate these developments.

Jan van der Borg, Valeria Minghetti, Laura Riganti

Advanced Information Systems Technology

MINOTAURUS: A Distributed Multimedia Tourism Information System

The rapidly expanding technology of mobile computers, wireless data networks, vehicle navigation, multimedia and database systems has caused the development of powerful mobile information systems. These systems, consisting of a portable computer (Laptop, PDA), have large storage capacities, capabilities of wireless connection to a worldwide information network and provide to their users many functionalities like access to WWW, shopping, banking, reservations and other transactions.This paper presents such a mobile system named Minotaurus which combines the above technologies to achieve the development of a mobile, multimedia tourist information system.

S. Christodoulakis, P. Kontogiannis, P. Petridis, N. Moumoutzis, M. Anastasiadis, T. Margazas

Workflow Technology: An Application for Tourism Management

Workflow management is of great value for companies since today they have to confront a highly competitive environment, and are in need of reducing costs and swiftly developing new services and products. These demands cannot be met without reconsidering and optimising the way of doing business, developing policy and modifying information systems and applications. Workflow technology facilitates this constant evolution, providing methodologies and software to support: (i) the modelling of processes as workflow specifications, (ii) reengineering business processes in order to optimise them and (iii) workflow automation to generate an implementation from applications.Tourism related organisations and business, like any other type of enterprise, can benefit from this technology and obtain greater efficiency. This will translate into increased customer satisfaction and better efficiency in the developed processes. In this work we intend to apply workflow technology to the management of a hotel by identifying processes. tasks and methods employed in the hotel industry. First we will gain an understanding of the processes involved in hotel management and then model them, from the moment of booking in, to the customer checking out. Thus, our objectives are: (i) to introduce workflow technology and (ii) to apply it to the tourism sector, specifically to a hotel.

A. Aguayo, J. L. Caro, A. Guevara, L. González

Edite - A Natural Language Interface to Databases A new dimension for an old approach

This article presents the Edite system, a Natural Language Interface for Databases (NLIDB), that tries to explore the advantages of joining natural language processing with the expressiveness of graphical interfaces. In order to guarantee a permanent adaptation of this type of solution to a dynamic domain one should consider two critical fundamental factors: extensibility and portability.An overview of the system architecture is presented, emphasising those choices that were imposed by the demands of portability and extensibility. Several general problems of natural language processing that were faced in constructing the system are discussed. Future work is highlighted.

Paulo Reis, João Matias, Nuno Mamede

Some Applications of the Multimedia Geographical Information Systems in Tourism

Multimedia enters all computer applications bringing new and powerful capabilities. It has also found its natural place in Geographical Information Systems (GIS). In this paper, basic principles of including multimedia into GIS and several capabilities for applying multimedia and GIS in tourism are discussed. Also, MS Windows multimedia support mechanisms and their application in GINIS-Agency, a multimedia GIS software for tourism, is presented.

Dejan Rančić, Slobodanka Djordjević-Kajan, Leonid Stoimenov, Vladimir Tošić

Strategy Workshop

Information Age and Tourism

The rapid advances in the fields of information technology and telecommunications are conducting the changes in economic, socio and business patterns of behaviour. Data and information are elementary to the new economic and trade foundations. Without them - and one can be driven out of business fast! Obviously the changes are fast and knowledge economy is taking over the leadership.

Jaro Berce


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