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Über dieses Buch

During the last couple of years we learned that infonnation and communication technologies have to be seen as key factors for the success in various industries. Especially in tourism it became evident, that missing the developments in this sector could not only be fatal for the unfolding of the businesses, but also unrenouncable in order to withstand in competition. The objective of ENTER is to show the chance that infonnation technology offers for all participants in the touristic competition to act successfully in permanently changing infonnation environments. It reflects the important role of infonnation technologies in this field. Within the last six years ENTER united various experts - practitioners as well as researchers - to exchange their experiences, ideas and visions in the sector of tourism and infonnation technology. The conferences scope is to provide an international platfonn to discuss the topical situation and future trends, and the possibilities to shape the own strategies. The various points of view of all the participants in workshops, reports and discussions always lead to most interesting perceptions.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Using Data Mining in Analysing Local Tourism Patterns

Data Mining is a growing discipline in data analysis, linking data management with statistical methods. Discovering new patterns or assuring behaviour that has been observed over the years is a central information for a company or an organisation. This is especially true for the field of tourism, where great volumes of data are collected, but not often analysed in depth. The paper presents an application of several techniques used in the field of Data Mining on the “Tux-database” of the tourism resort Tux in Tyrol, Austria. This database is based on the entities of the registration sheets in this tourism resort. Times series models of seasonal decomposition as well as simple descriptive procedures were used to detect primary pattern. In a second step explorative multivariate statistical techniques such as clustering, log-linear models and decision trees were applied to underline the primary results and to discover new ones.

G. Tichter, W. Grossmann, H. Werthner

Towards interactive tourism: capitalising on virtual and physical value chains

The global development of recreation has lead to global brands and standardised products. Standardised recreation products neither capitalise on the uniqueness of place, nor the ‘mass-customisation’ market trend. This paper analyses the peculiarities of the recreation and tourism sector. It suggests the value- chain/network approach as a means of regional co-operation and investment in innovation in order to achieve three objectives: product differentiation, integrated quality and chain optimisation. And proposes that for the theoretical design to be realised, various critical success factors must be met at the aforementioned three levels.The present paper examines the potential application of the recreation chain approach in rural regions. Specifically, the focus will be on Brabant, one of the provinces in the Netherlands. It concludes with the observation that the implementation of the design is only feasible if one possesses the required knowledge about chains and knowledge in chains.

Frank M. Go, Robert Govers, Mark van den Heuvel

Tourism as an information business: The Strategic Consequences of e-Commerce for Business Travel

For good reasons, the catchword of “the Mediatization of Society” is often found in literature, both scientific and popular. While in the beginning of the 1990’s everyone talked about the “Information Age”, today “Virtual Organization”, “Mobile Office”, “Electronic Commerce” or “Electronic Markets” are the predominant buzzwords. The preoccupation with the topic “Mediatization of Society” is not surprising given the fact that a great many ideas which were still visions few years ago, have been transformed into reality by today. Often only the speed of data transmission is to blame for the fact that technically feasible applications are not being marketed. Not yet, one must say.

Walter Schertler, Claudia Berger-Koch

DBM as a Source of Competitive Advantage for the Hotel Industry

In the decade of the individual, mass marketing is no longer valid; relationship marketing is the key to success. The purpose of relationship marketing is to build long-term relationships with customers. In order to achieve this objective many actions can be undertaken but in nearly all of them, DBM will play a central role. This paper examines the applicability of Database Marketing (DBM) and its current use in the hotel industry. Research was undertaken to answer those questions. DBM is a customer-orientated approach to marketing that builds a continuous relationship with the customer. DBM is measurable, targeted, personalized, it builds loyalty and it involves adopting a customer focus. Typically, a hotel marketing database will contain personal data, planning data and global sales information about every customer or prospect. The hotel industry (an industry where the Pareto rule is particularly true) is considered very suitable for the adoption of DBM since the presence of the customer in the facility makes easier the process of gathering the information. The applications of DBM that the hotels examined are using include customer loyalty programmes (e.g. frequent-stay programmes), personal attention and recognition (noting preferences, rewarding repeat business and building long-term relationships), programmes for catching new customers, direct marketing used as a sales promotion tool, as a means of targeting specific customers or as a means of selling directly, cross selling and line extensions programmes to identify customers who could be interested in other products of the company, control tool for the reservation desk, opening up new channel possibilities, strengthening relationships with the sales channels and becoming list vendors of their own databases. There are different levels of usage of DBM within the hotel industry ranging from the mere uncomputerized guest-history system to sophisticated networks. The data gathering process uses sources such as the current guests, financial databases, list vendors or directories plus census data. The paper concludes that DBM is crucial for achieving a competitive edge in the hotel industry and all hotels should implement it regardless of size or target market.

Marco Antonio Robledo

Printing-on-demand as a channel for tourist information

This paper describes Instant Response as a new way of distributing pre-sales documentation. It provides dealers of internationally operating organisations with the possibility to log in on a WWW-site to order sales documentation for their prospects. This documentation is then printed (on demand) in a print centre near the prospect and sent to the client within one day. Out-of-stock and out-of-date will never occur again with Instant Response and prospects receive personalised (one-to-one) and up-to-date information. The Instant Response concept is presently tested by several major international companies (Philips, Husqvarna). We argue that the concept is also applicable in the tourist industry.

G. J. van der Pijl, H. Bartelink

The Internet as a Marketspace — The Percepton of the Consumers

Marketing people are facing a new challenge — being successful in the marketspace. Technical development and unprejudiced consumers have created new marketing opportunities, leaving no industries unaffected. According to many researchers tourism and the Internet are a fruitful combination, but no matter how much potential marketing people see in the new channel, the core concept of marketing must not be forgotten, i.e. to satisfy consumers’ needs and wants. In this study we are interested in the consumers’ perception of the marketspace created on the Internet. The marketspace has its own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages, but the final success is determined by the users. The consumers of today use the Internet mainly as an information source or for fun, not for buying. We asked potential consumers about their use of the Internet as a marketspace and elicited the perceived barriers of consumers for not using the Internet as a channel for commerce. We used a hermeneutic approach in this exploratory study and the results presented originate from three different studies. The results of our first, pre-study show that consumers demonstrate an obvious cautiousness towards using the Internet as a marketspace and that the barriers are of the cognitive, affective and behavioural type. The weak structure of barriers found in our first study was extended in the main study. A categorisation of the reasons for not using the Internet as a marketspace show that there are four main types of barriers: scepticism, perceived uncertainty, security and personal service. The elicited structure was supported in the follow-up study. Our results can easily be translated into tactical marketing operations. Companies should confirm bookings not only by e-mail, but also by letter. The structure of the site and the booking page must be logical, and tactics to get the consumers to use the booking page for the first time should be introduced.

Peter Björk, Thomas Guss

The Tourist as Value Creator on the Internet

The rapid increase in capacity and usage of the Internet in recent years provides exciting opportunities for structural change in the design, marketing and creation of tourism services. Many businesses, government agencies, and researchers have recognized this potential impact of the Internet. For example, in the domain of marketing research, Hoffman and Novak (1996) highlight the opportunity of the Internet to provide many-to-many communication by offering an efficient platform through which individuals and organizations can send and receive communications. This possibility could greatly affect marketing communications and branding strategies because it allows individual tourists to influence destination images directly by sharing detailed tourism experience information with other tourists. Alba et al. (1997), in addition, discuss the opportunities the Internet to provides as an electronic marketplace through which increasingly interactive consumer-supplier relationships can develop. For example, the Internet may allow tourists to bypass traditional travel agents and communicate with accommodation and transportation providers directly.

Benedict G. C. Dellaert

The Impact of the Internet on Consideration Sets — the case of International Tourist Destinations

The tourism industry is experiencing rapid adoption of Internet technology. The nature and characteristics of the industry expose potential tourists to an array of destinations (brands) to visit, together with places to stay and things to see at each destination. Tourists now have the ability to efficiently access and evaluate more competitive offers about brands at the aggregate level of destination(s) or disaggregated to discrete components (accommodation, etc) within the tourism system supporting each destination.This work in progress report reviews this interactive environment for globalised hypercompetitive offers, and expects to establish that the size of the Awareness sets and the shape of the overall Consideration Sets of brands for tourists significantly increases as Internet usage increases. The implications of this are that individual domestic economies will reduce if they cannot control the balance between inbound and outbound tourism.

Philip Curry, Frank Alpert

The Impact of the Internet on the Information Search Process and Tourism Decision Making

The purpose of this report is to explore how users of the Internet utilize the medium to gather information in the context of tourism decision making. It seeks to assess how users of different skill levels navigate their way through travel related web sites. The focus of this study is on communication issues on the Internet, in the tourism domain. It does not seek to examine the usability of individual web pages. Although such insights may arise incidentally, it seeks predominantly to explore consumer attitudes towards the effectiveness of the Internet in communicating travel-related information, and its impact on the tourism decision. A qualitative mode of research was considered most appropriate given the exploratory nature of the investigation, and to gain a rich understanding of Internet users.

Elizabeth Beirne, Philip Curry

The Analysis of Demographic Profiles and Prospects of Internet Users in National Tourism Organisations

Case study: Korea National Tourism Organisation (KNTO)

The tourism industry has been highly influenced by the Information Technology over the last few years. The advent and the growth of the Internet technology have led to the appearance of a new marketing and distribution channel. As a new medium, Internet technology has allowed tourism organisations to communicate information and also to reach enormous prospective customers easily and cost effectively. As the number of National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) adopt the Internet as a marketing tool continues to grow rapidly, the analysis and apprehension of Internet users is important for NTOs to use the Internet as an effective marketing tool.

Hyung-Soo Jung

Holiday Packages on the Web

The tourism industry has reported dramatic changes in its structure over the last few years, not least due to the emerge of the Internet. Among others, tourists want to find products which are tailored to their personal needs in a minimum of time, without having to navigate through all the products offered by the tourism information system. Thus, from the tourism information supplier’s point of view, one major requirement for effective tourism information systems is to support both, the production and distribution of individually tailored holiday packages. This paper focuses on the holiday package facility as realized in TIScover [TISc98a], the largest Austrian Web-based tourism information system. In TIScover, holiday packages can not only be assembled and maintained directly by tourism information suppliers but also easily retrieved, further customized and finally booked online by the tourist.

B. Pröll, W. Retschitzegger, R. R. Wagner

The Use of the Internet as a New Marketing Tool to Promote New Tourist Destinations in Asia

Case Study: Korea National Tourism Organisation (KNTO)

The development of the Internet during the 1990s has provided a new electronic infrastructure which facilitate new means of communication and information exchange, which was enhanced by the continuing rise of the number of Internet users world-wide. Speed, efficiency and cheapness are some of the many reasons that lead to the fast development of the Internet Technology.

Hyung-Soo Jung, Abdulatif Twigeri

Matching traveller preferences to destination and product characteristics: It’s all a matter of semantics

The purchase of a very expensive, complex product or service such as an extended international holiday requires a great deal of information and reliable expert advice. The risks involved in such a purchase are substantial.For this reason it is expected that travellers will continue to use retail travel agents to complete their travel arrangements provide they can continue to add value (O’Brien, 1998; AFTA, 1994; Bloch & Segev, 1996; Poon, 1993).This paper discusses the implementation of systems that provide fast, easy access to reliable product and destinational information that closely matches the traveller’s desired experience. An architecture for a World Wide Web based semantic matching system using formal ontologies is proposed.

Paul F. O’Brien

Information technology and tourism education in Australia: an industry view of skills and qualities required in graduates

As technology increasingly becomes the driving engine for productivity improvement and business opportunities for enterprises in the 21st century, tourism and hospitality education and training must address these developments and aim at enhancing the ability of future managers to use a variety of IT tools and strategies to increase their organisation’s efficiency and responsiveness in the global market place. Following an ENTER 98 workshop on IT curriculum development for tourism and hospitality courses, the authors of this paper undertook to examine the Australian tourism industry’s needs and views in relation to information technology training and education. The findings suggest that operational IT skills take a greater priority over strategic management and marketing skills.

Roberto Daniele, Nina Mistilis

A General Datamodel for Tourism Information Systems

In the travel industry, information plays a very big role and throughout the properties of its products information is very important for this line of business. To process this information different information systems are developed and the information is stored system specific. When thinking of an universal interface to all tourism systems each system has to present its information in the same manner. That means a general data model, into that all specific data models can be transformed, is needed. In this paper we introduce such a model, discuss the transformation process, and show that it can also be used as a generic data model for new applications.

J. Küng, A. Dunzendorfer, R. R. Wagner

Modelling of an electronic tourism market

The present situation concerning the information-technological supply of tourism services is characterized by the coexistence of a multitude of service- and travel-type specific electronic markets (tourism markets). This results in the nonuniformity of information about tourism services and their access. In order to unify different electronic markets, this paper presents a reference model of an electronic tourism market. Tailored to meet particular requirements, specific models for components of an electronic market can be derived from this reference model.In order to enable the customer the comfortable access to tourism services, customer-specific needs have to be considered, hi spite of often only vague, inexact ideas about the required service, the customer expects a comfortable selection and composition process for tourism services. Therefore, to be taken into consideration as essential parts of the modelling are: selection hierarchies for the integration of fuzziness into the selection process and the support of the flexible derivation of specific modelscomposition of elementary tourism services

Wolfram Höpken

An architecture for a distributed travel reservations system

Current travel reservations systems are based on either a centralised database of free-sale products (CRS) or private databases running on networked or standalone computer systems. There is typically no interconnection between the operator’s in-house reservations system, CRS’s and other operators’ systems apart from simple gateway and switch services (Dombey, 1998). Consequently, CRS’s must secure free-sale allotments of product from travel operators to enable them to provide an on-line, real-time availability and reservation confirmation service.This paper discusses the architecture of a proposed distributed reservations system (DRS) that is targeted at small to medium tourism enterprises (SMTEs), including tour operators and accommodation establishments. The DRS architecture has been designed under the same principles as the Open Buying On the Internet (OBI) standard (OBI Consortium, 1997), namely, simplicity, use of existing industry standards, minimal customisation of existing systems and use of the internet as the transport backbone.

Paul F. O’Brien

Measuring Tourism Consumer Behaviour Using ESCAPE: a Multimedia Interview Engine for Stated Choice and Preference Experiments

In the few research cases that are available, conjoint or stated choice and preference (scap) experiments have proved to offer suitable models for tourism marketers [1—8]. These models give insight in the effect of particular characteristics of the tourism product on its desirability, utility, or market share. The experiments that feed these models involve hypothetical situations for which respondents have to state their preference and choice. These situations are constructed by varying the product’s characteristics systematically according to an experimental design. However, these models, as well as the vast majority of models, have always been oriented on abstract dimensions, while the tourism consumer market is mainly visually oriented.This paper, therefore, offers a tool to indulge visual elements in these conjoint experiments. It describes a multimedia engine that supports researchers in developing multimedia conjoint experiments and helps respondents to fill in these questionnaires more easily. The engine is called Escape (Engine for Stated Choice and Preference Experiments) and is developed by the author dedicated to evaluate the effect of multimedia on conjoint or scap modelling. However, this engine also supports more ‘normal’ conjoint experiments, In addition this paper describes in what way this engine differs from other multimedia conjoint programs.

M. D. Klabbers, H. J. P. Timmermans

A Speech-to-Speech Translation based Interface for Tourism

This paper presents a speech-to-speech translation system for tourism application developed in the context of the C-STAR consortium. Potential users can communicate by speech and by using their own language with a travel agent in order to organize their travel. The system uses an interchange format representation of the semantic contents of utterances, which is flexible and simplifies the system portability to new languages. A demonstrative prototype, developed at ITC-irst, is now working for the Italian modules and was integrated with the English counter part developed at the Interactive System Laboratory at CMU.

M. Cettolo, A. Corazza, G. Lazzari, F. Pianesi, E. Pianta, L. M. Tovena

Hotel Reservation Systems on the Internet — Custom Design vs. Standard Software

The fast proliferation of electronic commerce applications on the Web has led to the emergence of a new field of research: Web Engineering or Web Information Systems Development (see e.g. the CACM special My 1998[3]). While Web Engineering initially was little more then the analysis of adequate tools for HTML or discussions about good HTML design, it has now become a full fledged area of software engineering with topics such as Web site modelling and maintenance, database integration, Java programming, choice of development tools etc. In many ways extreme contingencies for the development of Web software, such as time pressure, brief development and modification cycles, a trend towards throw-away software, highly volatile development environment in terms of tools, standards etc. may require specific methods and architectures. While their functional scope is expanding, Web application become more and more differentiated, in particular industry and application context specific.

Sedat Güler, Stefan Klein

The cost and benefits of Information Technology and the Internet for small and medium-sized tourism enterprises

Small and medium-sized tourism enterprises (SMTEs) have always suffered from the distribution function of their marketing. Distribution and intermediation are increasingly recognised as critical factors for the competitiveness and success of the tourism industry in general, and SMTEs in particular. In Northern European countries SMTEs need to develop effective distribution channels to approach their independent clientele, while Southern European SMTEs need to provide direct booking mechanisms to reduce their dependency on Tour Operators. Hospitality organisations receive a growing percentage of their customers through the Internet. Hotel chains have demonstrated their commitment to exploit the Internet as a prime distribution tool and have already allocated a significant proportion of their gross annual revenue for technological development. It is reported that in a recent survey 51% of the hotel chains already receive reservations from the Internet, whilst another 33% are planning to do so in the next 12 months. Unless SMTEs improve their visibility on the electronic marketplace they will lose significant market share and perhaps will be unable to survive in the long term.This paper builds on research undertaken in Greece, France, England and Wales. Most of the research was based on personal interviews and this qualitative analysis of the research results attempts to illuminate the cost and benefits of the SMTEs representation on the Internet and the usage of ITs. This paper demonstrates that gradually SMTEs start to take advantage of the Internet proliferation and gradually develop their presence in the electronic marketplace. This enables them to compete with their larger counterparts at affordable costs. Exploratory research illustrates the factors often considered by SMTEs in adopting ITs and the Internet, whilst a comprehensive cost and benefit analysis is demonstrated. The paper also argues that there is some evidence that investment on electronic presence and distribution through the Internet represents good value for money, as bookings start to materialise for innovative operators. Hence, innovative entrepreneurs who re-engineer their business processes and take advantage of the emerging opportunities will gain major benefits and enhance their profitability and viability in the global marketplace.

Dimitrios Buhalis

Distributing B&B accommodation in York, UK: Advantages and developments emerging through the Internet

Small and medium tourism enterprises (SMTEs) provide the majority of establishments within the European accommodation sector. SMTEs tend to offer a unique, locally owned and independent accommodation product, and hence have a unique character. This paper offers a comprehensive case study on the bed and breakfast (B&B) establishments in York, UK and demonstrates how they gradually take advantage of the Internet. Increasingly B&Bs incorporate the Internet in their marketing and distribution policies and aim to attract consumers from overseas and to compete with larger counterparts. A brief overview of the tourism industry in York demonstrates the importance of SMTEs whilst an analysis of the main distribution channels for local B&Bs is provided. Although guide books and the local Tourist Information Centres (TICs) have been the main primary and secondary sources of information about local B&Bs, there is evidence of a growing presence of the destination and B&Bs on the Internet. As the profile of independent travellers attracted at the area often matches the profile of Internet users, it is anticipated that the Internet will overtake printed guides for this market segment and will enable innovative B&Bs to attract a greater percentage of clientele.This paper is based on primary research undertaken with 54 B&Bs in York, England. The methodology followed is compatible with research in Greece, France and Wales and thus results are comparable with previous research results. The paper demonstrates mat surprisingly most B&Bs in York are aware and have access to the Internet (79.6%), whilst a great percentage (61%) already receive part of their reservations through the Internet. This demonstrates a turning point as SMTEs start realising the emerging benefits of the Internet and develop their presence in the electronic marketplace. The primary research illustrates that whilst SMTEs can benefit from the Internet without possessing high levels of ITs knowledge, establishments with their own web page attract a higher number of visitors and have greater satisfaction levels. Amongst proprietors awareness of new threats and opportunities is high. A clear majority of respondents cite new budget/motel accommodation as a threat to the B&B, whilst acknowledging the growing importance of the Internet as a tool to compete with hotel chains and large counterparts.

Dimitrios Buhalis, Steve Keeling

Comparing Operating Ratios for Small and Medium Hotel and Restaurant Businesses. A Decision Support System Using Internet Technology

In this paper the author discusses a generally acceptable method for analysing the financial performance of hotels, restaurants, and similar units and suggests an approach to the formulation of accounting and control strategy in the context of hotel operations. The system developed here is accessible on the World Wide Web (http://tourmis.wu-wien.ac.at/bv/index.htm) and based on data obtained from Austrian small and medium sized hotel and restaurant enterprises. It uses a ‘multi-attributed weighting model’ to identify similar hotel and restaurant businesses and to guarantee representative samples to avoid misinterpretations. The author gives a comprehensive description of the conceptual approach, the technical realisation and experiences with the prototype version of the system.

Karl W. Wöber

A comparative study of ICT and Tourism and Hospitality SMEs in Europe

The paper is based on the first phase of a two year European Union LEONARDO Da VINCI Survey and Analysis project which investigates the application, training needs and potential for ICT in small and medium-sized (SME) tourism and hospitality firms in three European areas. The study is being carried out in London, UK; the Aragon region of North East Spain and the Netherlands, providing a contrast between destination areas and types, from a World City to peripheral rural tourism and national tourism systems.

Graeme Evans, Martin Peacock

Distribution of Danish holiday cottages via the Internet/WWW

Holiday cottages accounted for 16.3 million out of 44.1 million registered tourist nights in Denmark in 1997, i.e. 37% of the volume, but ‘only’ about 25% measured in value. Of these 16.3 million tourist nights spent in holiday cottages, Germans accounted for 83%, and Danes for 10%. So holiday cottages are a major type of accommodation for tourists coming to Denmark, and Germany is the main market for this product with the home market being significantly smaller.

Carl H. Marcussen

Electronic Invoicing for a Hotel Management Computer Network System

The current work is part of a larger research and development project undertaken by the Department of Computer Languages and Science at the University School of Tourism in Malaga University, in collaboration with certain software development companies plus the support of more than fifteen hotels in Malaga and Almeria, Spain.

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

From intra-regional competition towards intra-regional cooperation in tourism: The concept of Telecooperation and Virtual Enterprises in the regional tourism business

Tourism is a complex service business combining many players at the Point of Offer — the tourist destination. Small and medium sized tourism enterprises (SMTEs) have to find their way between competition and co-operation within this rapidly changing market. New organisational, technical and work concepts are being discussed within the scientific world as suitable for improving the ability of organisations to respond to fast changing market conditions : (Tele)Co-operation, networks, virtual enterprises. Although the key issues are clear and evident, there are no guidelines for implementing these concepts.The paper gives an introduction to these concepts and presents the situation of SMTEs as analysed through seven tourist destinations in Europe. The paper then gives some examples of what these regions have done in the last twelve months in trying to implement the concepts.

Michael C. Laubenheimer

Factors Affecting the Contribution of Information Technology in the Hospitality Industry

Although at a practical level there is beginning to be a reasonable body of literature on the application of information technology to the hospitality industry, there are indubitably questions, which are of interest to both researchers and practitioners, which need further investigation. Of particular interest is the question of success and failure of information technology projects. This paper describes research which employs comparative analysis of case studies to investigate the factors which make one information technology implementation successful and another, apparently similar, seem to fail. The research is at present under way, and the paper discusses the pilot case, and considers how this pilot has validated the research approach. Of course there are already some case studies published which bear on this question (see for example, Baker and Sweeney, 1998; and Baker, Wild and Sussmann, 1998) but these have been one-off opportunities to research material of particular interest.

Michael Baker, Silvia Sussmann

The Productivity Paradox and the Hospitality Industry

During the ′60s and ′70s computers were first used to automate clerical procedures such as record keeping, accounting, billing and report generation; and in manufacturing they were used to automate the manufacturing process itself. In this phase of IT’s introduction, there is some evidence of their contribution to overall productivity, but by the end of the ′80s there was increasing concern about the real contribution computers had made, particularly to productivity. This was dubbed the “productivity paradox”. This paper considers relevant published research on this subject in the hospitality industry and elsewhere, and describes the results of a recent survey which sheds further light on the issue. It goes on to identify a research agenda on this subject which is being followed at the University of Surrey.

Michael Baker, Silvia Sussmann, Marisa Meisters

The Future is Feminine Gender issues and information systems in hospitality and tourism

Throughout the literature on gender and technological innovation within tourism and hospitality, there is an assumption of a link between computerisation and masculinity. As far back as 1987, McCool found that the manager who is introducing a computerised management information system is likely to be male. And, as recently as 1995, Main noted that “male managers [are] more likely to use computers than their female counterparts” (p.31).

Martin Peacock

Combinatorial Optimisation Based Decision Support System for Trip Planning

This paper investigates how Combinatorial Optimisation — a very active branch of Operations Research — can be used to set up a Decision Support System for trip planning. Consecutive alterations of the well-known Travelling Salesman Problem (T.S.P.) led to define a model which is more appropriate for that purpose and which was thus called “Trip Planning Problem” (T.P.P.). This brand-new approach for designing trip planning Decision Support Systems algorithms takes advantage of the specificities of computers, rather than expecting them to simulate human brain activity.

Jean-Marc Godart

User Interfaces in Information and Reservation Systems: Classification and Development Issues

This work derives from a broader investigation of usability in information and reservations systems and although these systems are now commonplace, research on system usability in the sector is scant. It is envisaged that this usability field will expand significantly and thus an attempt is made here to lay some foundations for this future work Difficulties in seeking to define and classify systems, users and user interfaces as a first approach to investigating usability, are described and pending subsequent refinement, a working definition is ascribed to information and reservations systems and users. However the central focus is the user interface itself since this is the key to usability. The paper concludes with an approach to classifying user interface configurations which may facilitate future research by applying a common approach to usability assessment for both system users and software developers.

Andrew J. Frew, Elaine Crichton

The Airtours Cruise Intranet: Streamlining the distribution of information, knowledge and money

Airtours PLC is one of the largest vertically integrated tour operator groups in the world, and is partly-owned by Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise ship operator. The Airtours Cruise Division currently operates four wholly-owned cruise ships, servicing passengers from many different states in Europe and North America. The Airtours Cruise Division has implemented an advanced Intranet, i.e. a virtual private corporate network based on Internet-technologies. This Intranet links, via land lines and satellites, the Airtours cruise ships and all offices of the Airtours Cruise Division worldwide. Using this communication infrastructure, both voice and data are distributed between different locations as required. This paper outlines, in case study form, the technical and organisational infrastructure and operations of this ‘state-of-the-art’ Intranet, which cost-effectively streamlines the distribution of information, knowledge and money.

G. Jewell, B. Williamson, K. Kärcher

Emerging technologies and their role in developing a marketing information system(MKIS) for tourism and hospitality products

Destination management systems are in operation in several global locations, though recently their effectiveness in marketing tourism and hospitality for SMEs has been questioned in terms of cost/ benefit analysis. Also their connectivity and inclusion of SMEs within their systems have been neglected in many cases. As individual enterprises, there is evidence that SMEs fail to focus on strategic issues, such as marketing planning and intelligence gathering, as they are preoccupied with the tactical and operational running their businesses and consequently have neither the time nor the resources to focus on developing a role within a Marketing Information system, either at destination level or individual enterprise level.There are many definitions of what constitutes an MKIS, Thierauf[22] describes an effective management information system as one that allows the decisionmaker(i.e. the manager) to combine his or her subjective expertise with computerised objective output to produce meaningful information for decision making. The ability to use management information systems effectively is essential to the successful operations of most organisations. Information is now considered to be a sixth major resource for most businesses and in this information age could be described as the most important resource for some industries and certainly for the tourism and hospitality sector it is a crucial resource, that is frequently poorly managed.This paper seeks to identify the flow of information within a destination with particular reference to SMEs. Qualitative data was gathered by conducting semi-structured interviews within the destination with key stakeholders at micro and macro level regarding the current flow of information and determining the usefulness/ appropriateness of technology applications as an enabler to supply information in /out of the marketing information system and as a storage device. This paper will particularly focus on emerging “smartcard” technology as a source and channel for information flow and storage. This particular technology has gained wide acceptance in other business sectors as a tool for micro marketing and mass customisation as the cost is decreasing and does not require real- time connectivity, which makes it particularly appropriate for SMEs. A model will be developed to identify key flows of information, highlighting technology as an enabler to these flows and demonstrating cost/ benefit analysis to SMEs and the destination.

Hilary C. Main

The New Extranet for the Norwegian Tourism Industry

The extranet for the Norwegian tourism industry is part of a network project supported by the industry and national research council. After describing the features of the extranet, the first response of a test group is reported. The task of the test-group is to evaluate the extranet and to take part in the discussion of the usefulness of such an industry-net.

Tjostheim Ingvar, Bergan Marius, Lous Joachim

The Use of Internet and Intranet In American Convention and Visitors Bureaus

The emergence of the Internet/Intranet offers new promise to American Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) to enhance destination marketing. This study examined the extent of the various capabilities of the Internet/Intranet are used by CVBs to augment marketing efforts and to improve their performance across all facets of their business. The results of this benchmark study show that CVBs directors have not recognized the potential of Internet/Intranet and point the direction to areas of development whereby information technology may more easily integrated into current marketing and management efforts.

Y. Y. Yuan, D. R. Fesenmaier, L. Xia, M. Gratzer

Networking for Growth and Digital Business: Local Urban Tourism SMTEs and ICT

The paper is based on a three year action research project — Networking for Growth — which developed a network of tourism (SMTEs) and emerging multimedia firms in a local area (“borough” of Islington) of North London. This enabled collaboration between ICT/web designers, tourism information (TIC) and tourism suppliers, supported by local education and enterprise agencies. This action research project was initiated as a partnership between the University of North London; Discover Islington — the tourist information agency for this borough — with funding support from the area Training and Enterprise Council (TEC) and the UK government’s Urban Programme.

Graeme Evans

Publishing tourism statistics and market intelligence on the Internet

So far National Tourism Organisations (NTO’s) have mainly focused on using the Internet/World Wide Web solely for disseminating tourism information and for marketing purposes towards the customer. However, the Internet seems an optimal tool for dissemination of tourism statistics and market intelligence information from the NTO’s to the tourism businesses and other users of this type of information.

Ann Hartl-Nielsen

Destination Marketing System Strategies: Refining and Extending an Assessment Framework

The paper describes an approach to assessing the success of Destination Management System strategies and a range of critical success factors have been extended and modulated through iterative feedback from a variety of systems experts; system developers and operators as well as those involved in academic research and in consultancy work in the area. Key system attributes are examined from the perspectives of database, distribution, operation and management issues and the final format has been ranked and appropriately weighted. This range of factors has then been applied to systems representing Austria, England, Ireland and Scotland with a tentative score being generated for each factor and for each overall system. The results provide a means of rating each system as at presently configured and additionally a similarly rated comparison was generated based on the DMS operator’s own future projections. The paper concludes by proposing a broader validation and an extension of the scope of the work.

Andrew J. Frew, Peter O’Connor

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