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Über dieses Buch

The papers presented in this volume advance the state-of-the-art research on big data and analytics, social media, electronic marketing, mobile computing and recommender systems, mobile sensors and geosocial services, augmented reality, wearable computing, smart tourism, electronic distribution for tourism and hospitality products and services, e-learning, responsive web design and management, and eTourism for development. This book covers the most significant areas contributed by prominent scholars from around the world and is suitable for both academics and practitioners who are interested in the latest developments in e-Tourism.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Consumer Intelligence and Analytics

Frontmatter

A Method for Analysing Large-Scale UGC Data for Tourism: Application to the Case of Catalonia

In recent years, many articles have been published about the study of user-generated content (UGC) data in the domains of tourism and hospitality, in particular concerning quantitative and qualitative content analysis of travel blogs and online travel reviews (OTR). In general, researchers have worked on more or less population-representative samples of travel diaries, of tens or hundreds of files, which enables their manual processing. However, due to their dramatic growth, especially in the case of hospitality OTRs, this article proposes a method for semi-automatic downloading, arranging, cleaning, debugging, and analysing large-scale travel blog and OTR data. The main goal is to classify the collected webpages by dates and destinations and to be able to perform offline content analysis of the written text as provided by the author. This methodology is applied to analyse about 85,000 diaries of tourists who visited Catalonia between 2004 and 2013, and significant results are obtained in terms of content analysis.

Estela Marine-Roig, Salvador Anton Clave

A Visual Analysis of Social Influencers and Influence in the Tourism Domain

Identifying influencers is an important step towards understanding how information spreads within a network. In social media, hub nodes are generally considered as social influencers. Social networks follow a power-law degree distribution of nodes, with a few hub nodes and a long tail of peripheral nodes. While there exist consolidated approaches supporting the identification and characterization of hub nodes, research on the analysis of the multi-layered distribution of peripheral nodes is limited. However, influence seems to spread following multi-hop paths across nodes in peripheral network layers. This paper proposes a visual approach to the graphical representation and exploration of peripheral layers by exploiting the theory of k-shell decomposition analysis. We put forward three hypotheses that allow the graphical identification of peripheral nodes that are more likely to be influential and contribute to the spread of information. Hypotheses are tested on a large sample of tweets from the tourism domain.

Chiara Francalanci, Ajaz Hussain

What Types of Hotels Make Their Guests (Un)Happy? Text Analytics of Customer Experiences in Online Reviews

A hotel is a complex, experience-based product and thus, finding out what leads to guest satisfaction is a practically important question. In this study, we explored the usefulness of applying guest experience dimensions previously identified based upon authentic online customer reviews to understand what types of hotels make their guests (un)happy. Hotels were grouped by experience dimensions and satisfaction ratings using cluster analysis. Then, these hotel clusters were examined in relation to words in customer reviews with correspondence analysis. The findings show that there were different types of hotels with unique, salient traits that satisfied their customers, while those who failed to do so mostly had issues related to cleanliness and maintenance-related factors. This study demonstrates that consumer generated content such as customer reviews can be useful data sources to generate new insights into the nature of the hotel product. It also points to a promising direction to employ authentic consumer experience data to support perceptual mapping and market segmentation for the hospitality and tourism industry.

Zheng Xiang, Zvi Schwartz, Muzaffer Uysal

Analysing User Reviews in Tourism with Topic Models

User generated content in general and textual reviews in particular constitute a vast source of information for the decision making of tourists and management and are therefore a key component for e-tourism. This paper explores different application scenarios for the topic model method to process these textual reviews in order to provide accurate decision support and recommendations as well as to build a basis for further analytics. Besides contributing a new model based on the topic model method, this paper also includes empirical evidence from experiments on user reviews from the YELP dataset and from TripAdvisor.

Marco Rossetti, Fabio Stella, Longbing Cao, Markus Zanker

Listen to Your Customers! How Hotels Manage Online Travel Reviews. The Case of Hotels in Lugano

Given the increasing influence of online hotel reviews on travellers’ decisions, hotels need to develop management strategies, in order to monitor their business’ online reputation and to take advantage of customers’ comments. In the paper, the communicative practices taking place in the online interaction between guests and hotels are analysed, in order to pursue a descriptive goal—that is to characterize the phenomenon, and a prescriptive goal—that is to provide guidelines and a framework to develop strategies to effectively reply to online customers’ reviews. Three kinds of analyses were performed on a sample of online reviews and the respective hotel responses: (1) a typology of the online interaction guest-hotel was elaborated and validated; (2) the arguments used by reviewers to support their recommendation were identified, to verify if and to what extent hotels address them; (3) rhetorical moves (i.e. communicative strategies used by a speaker to persuade the audience) employed by hotels to appeal to their customers were classified.

Silvia De Ascaniis, Alessia Borrè, Elena Marchiori, Lorenzo Cantoni

Information Gathering by Ubiquitous Services for CRM in Tourism Destinations: An Explorative Study from Sweden

The paper introduces various concepts of ubiquitous (i.e. mobile) services which especially serve to collect customer-based information from tourists during their destination stay. The latter information source has been identified as a vital input for electronic Customer Relationship Management at the level of tourism destinations. The proposed mobile service concepts are prototypically visualized and qualitatively assessed by destination suppliers from Sweden and by a sample of potential customers from Germany. The gained empirical results suggest that the proposed concepts of an Electronic Customer Card, Detailed Slope Information, Avalanche Warning, and Quick Response code/NFC-tags show the potential to gain customer-based information and benefits for both, customers and destination suppliers.

Nina Kolas, Wolfram Höpken, Matthias Fuchs, Maria Lexhagen

An Analysis of Consumer Search Patterns in the German Airline Market Using Panel Data

Consumer search patterns in the airline industry are analysed using online panel data from ComScore, a world leader in the provision of consumer analytics data based on its worldwide panel of two million users. The search process is modelled in terms of direct research with the airline websites and the use of online travel agents. It is shown that 40 % of the German online population only conduct direct research, 35 % only use an online travel agent, and that 25 % use a combination of both methods. The online consideration set based on direct research is 2.58. The interaction effect from using a combination of direct research and online travel agents is analysed using set theory. It is shown that the use of an online travel agent increases the propensity to conduct more direct research.

Christopher P. Holland, Julia A. Jacobs, Stefan Klein

Behaviour of Virtual Visitor Based on E-Shop and DMO Websites: A Comparative Study by Means of Data Mining Techniques

Meeting the needs of virtual visitors is important to engage them. So far literature has helped assessing website’s efficiency and making it adaptive. However, virtual visitor’s navigation behaviour and web topology duality makes this a challenging task. Few studies have gone in depth on Destination Management Organization websites. This paper performs a comparative study by means of clustering techniques looking for understanding the difference between an E-Shop’s and DMO’s virtual visitors’ behaviour through their digital footprint. Once the visitors have been clustered and the observations classified, a comparative analysis by website is performed on the visitors’ distribution within the clusters. Results established that users’ features differ from website to website and can be clearly distributed. As a result, a holistic view of virtual visitors’ habits will be available for tourism stakeholders. This will allow to adapt the websites to virtual visitors’ needs better.

Fidel Rebón, Gloria Ocáriz, Jon Argandoña, Jon Kepa Gerrikagoitia, Aurkene Alzua-Sorzabal

An Auto-Coding Process for Testing the Cognitive-Affective and Conative Model of Destination Image

Current research on online contents analysis relies mainly on human coding procedures, and it is still under research the creation of automatic tools for content analysis in the eTourism domain. Thus, considering the current research gap in the field of automatic coding procedure for content analysis, this study aims at contributing to the auto-coding analysis of the three image components: the cognitive, the affective (feelings expressed), and conative ones (behavioral intentions towards a destination) which might be reported in the tourism-related online conversations. Hence, an ad-hoc software has been developed and tested for the auto-coding analysis of online conversations, together with a human-coding procedure used for coding unclassified entities. The image of the Basque Country has been used as case study and data have been collected from Minube, a popular travel experience community. Results of this study show that the proposed approach can be apt for the analysis of cognitive-affective and conative components of destination image, and in turn help destination managers in their web marketing strategies.

Ainhoa Serna, Elena Marchiori, Jon Kepa Gerrikagoitia, Aurkene Alzua-Sorzabal, Lorenzo Cantoni

OpeNER: Open Tools to Perform Natural Language Processing on Accommodation Reviews

Opinion mining is crucial for hoteliers and other tourism industries in order to improve their service from the analysis of services failures and recovery. The extensive use of the Internet and social networks has shifted the way tourism information is shared and spread. Travel agencies, hotels, restaurants, tourist destinations and other actors require the aid of new technologies to get an insight of the vast amount of customer generated reviews. Develop and integrate text analysis technologies is usually difficult and expensive, because it involves the use of Natural Language Processing techniques. This paper introduces the OpeNER European project, a set of free Open Source and ready-to-use text analysis tools to perform text processing tasks like Named Entity Recognition and Opinion detection. The paper also provides an example of a possible application of the OpeNER results in the geolocation of hotel reviews.

Aitor García-Pablos, Montse Cuadros, Maria Teresa Linaza

An Application of Apriori Algorithm Association Rules Mining to Profiling the Heritage Visitors of Macau

Heritage tourism has become one of the dominant forms of tourism. It is particularly important for Macau as a means to diversify Macau’s destination image from being exclusively a gaming city to a city of culture and events. Yet little is known about the success of the official re-positioning campaign. In particular what is attractive to cultural tourists remain understudied. This study adopts Apriori Algorithm Association Rules Mining to segment Macau’s tourists and to predict tourists’ preferences for the different local heritage attractions. User-generated data of TripAdvisor were the major source of data for the analysis. The findings of this paper show that the so-called “cultural tourists” who are interested in Macau heritage attractions appear to have profiles that are similar to those who are “non-cultural tourists”. It appears that the “cultural tourists” visited only a few renowned heritage sites. It is suggested that Macau is not yet successfully attracting large amount of visitors who are interested in heritage and culture. This study showcases a use of data mining method in tourism studies.

Shanshan Qi, Cora Un In Wong

Data Management

Frontmatter

Integration of Data Mining Results into Multi-dimensional Data Models

The travel and tourism domain as a global competitive service business has a special need to understand the customer and market trends. Typically, available customer-based data is stored in data warehouses and analysed by either OLAP queries or data mining techniques. However, a more powerful approach is to combine these techniques and to integrate data mining results directly into the original data warehouse structures. This comprehensive data source builds the basis for further applications of business intelligence. This paper presents a novel approach to integrate data mining results into multi-dimensional data warehouse structures and to store data mining results with the original information. A first implementation for the leading Swedish mountain destination Åre has shown the advantages of this new concept: the end-user can now easily access data mining results by simple OLAP queries and even combine them with the original information stored in the data warehouse.

Volker Meyer, Wolfram Höpken, Matthias Fuchs, Maria Lexhagen

A Practical Approach to Big Data in Tourism: A Low Cost Raspberry Pi Cluster

Big Data

is the contemporary hype. However, not many companies or organisations have the resources or the capabilities to collect the huge amounts of data needed for a significant and reliable analysis. The recent introduction of the Raspberry Pi, a low-cost, low-power single-board computer gives an affordable alternative to traditional workstations for a task that requires little computing power but immobilises a machine for long elapsed times. Here we present a flexible solution, devised for small and medium sized organisations based on the Raspberry Pi hardware and open source software which can be employed with relatively little effort by companies and organisations for their specific objectives. A cluster of six machines has been put together and successfully used for accessing and downloading the data available on a number of social media platforms.

Mariano d’Amore, Rodolfo Baggio, Enrico Valdani

Methodology for the Publication of Linked Open Data from Small and Medium Size DMOs

Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) create and collect valuable data in the tourism sector, which usually is kept in isolated data repositories. Linked Open Data (LOD), which combines the Open Data movement and the Linked Data initiative, adds semantic annotations and links to external data, allowing DMOs not only setting their data free from isolated repositories, but also placing them in multiple contexts by pairing them with different LOD sets worldwide. However, the lack of clear methodologies, publication examples and tools focused on DMOs has been reflected on a scarcity of available examples of tourism LOD published by DMOs. This paper presents a methodology for the publication of tourism LOD for small and medium size DMOs, which has been implemented using Open Source tools. An example of publishing a multilingual dataset of Points of Interest (POIs) is provided as well as a mobile application based on the data.

Ander García, Maria Teresa Linaza, Javier Franco, Miriam Juaristi

Linked Data for Cross-Domain Decision-Making in Tourism

In today’s global economy, tourism managers need to consider a range of factors when making important decisions. Besides traditional tourism indicators (such as arrivals or bednights) they also need to take into account indicators from other domains, for example, economy and sustainability. From a technology perspective, building decision support systems that would allow inspecting indicators from different domains in order to understand their (potential) correlations, is a challenging task. Indeed, tourism (and other indicators), while mostly available as open data, are stored using database centric technologies that require tedious manual efforts for combining the data sets. In this paper we describe a Linked Data based solution to building an integrated dataset as a basis for a decision support system capable of enabling cross-domain decision-making. Concretely, we have exposed tourism statistics from TourMIS, a core source of European tourism statistics, as linked data and used it subsequently to connect to other sources of indicators. A visual dashboard explores this integrated data to offer cross-domain decision support to tourism managers.

Marta Sabou, Adrian M. P. Brașoveanu, Irem Önder

Social Media

Frontmatter

Travel Social Media Involvement: A Proposed Measure

This study proposes a measure to determine traveller’s level of involvement with travel social media websites. Social media involvement is defined as a person’s level of interest, emotional attachment or arousal with social media. This measure is important because understanding travellers’ level of involvement with social media is paramount, enabling social media marketers to personalize online marketing strategies and predict behaviours (e.g. online travel purchases). Therefore, this research contributes to the development of literature on travel related social media by providing an instrument to measure travellers’ involvement with travel related social media. A confirmatory factor analysis conducted with a sample of 1,732 respondents demonstrates that social media involvement can be conceptualized as a formative multidimensional construct, formed by interest in social media, social media consumption, social media creation and perceived playfulness with the use of social media (all for travel related purposes).

Suzanne Amaro, Paulo Duarte

Mediating Roles of Self-image Expression: Sharing Travel Information of SNSs

Social networking sites (SNSs) have become important and popular tools for not only presenting self-image, but also sharing travel information. This study adopted self-image expressions to understand tourists’ intentions to share travel information and behavioural changes in SNSs. To enhance understanding tourists’ intention and behaviour, the current study suggests a research model based on motivations for self-image expression (i.e., creativity, altruism and social relationship). This current study empirically resulted in the importance of users’ creativity, altruism and social relationship in SNSs, which leads to the intention and behavioural changes to share travel information. In addition, altruism moderated the negative effect of creativity on self-image expression as well as the positive effect of social relationship on self-image expression. Based on the result of this study, the current study bears some implications in theoretical and practical context.

Chulmo Koo, Youhee Joun, Heejeong Han, Namho Chung

Social Media Return on Investment and Performance Evaluation in the Hotel Industry Context

Marketing has been impacted by social media platforms and the Internet developments. To survive fierce competition, corporations have to take advantage of all the opportunities provided by Social Media (SM). Marketers need to evaluate the effectiveness of different SM channels and Return on Investment (ROI) measurement is critical in the management of SM marketing campaigns. This paper assesses SM ROI using Princess Andriana Hotel in Rhodes, Greece as a case study. It clarifies complicated concepts related to SM ROI measurement. A comprehensive framework, built around the landscape of SM ROI assessment supports measurability. A netnographic observation revealed suitable metrics for the evaluation of the SM activities. Five SM channels and a set of analytics tools were combined to measure SM ROI. The result identified both financial and non-financial returns. Finally, recommendations for future assessment of SM campaign are provided.

Dimitrios Buhalis, Emmanouil Mamalakis

An Exploratory Study on Social Media in China

The research explores the use of three most popular social media (SM) websites in tourism-related activities in China. It identifies how Chinese use SM to share information about, and personal evaluation of, destinations, tourism products, itineraries of travel, visa and currency exchange. The SM sites provide Chinese users a space for open communication and freely exchange of ideas, emotions and cognitive insights into travel, life and being. The technology also offers them a new way of socialising with each other. The paper argues that SM should not be only regarded as information communication channels, but also a creator and a shaper to forge what tourism is in the contemporary societies.

Li Li, Siming Zheng, Zihao Wang

Social Media on Smartphones for Restaurant Decision-Making Process

Based on the importance of SoCoMo marketing, this study investigates consumers’ activities and the usefulness of social media on smartphones when deciding on a restaurant. More importantly, this research takes into account the three stages of consumption (pre-, during, and post purchasing) separately to understand the heterogeneity in the usage of social media, and considered a situational factor (types of restaurant visited) to identify different functions of social media according to different decision tasks. In order to highlight the “authenticity” of the findings, the ground theory approach was conducted to address the goal of identifying themes based on the descriptions created by the respondents. Thus, this study provides a foundation for the understanding of consumers’ restaurant decision-making behaviour in advanced information technology, and offers practical implications for marketers to develop effective social media marketing.

Jooyoung Hwang, Sangwon Park

The Social Impact of Events in Social Media Conversation

Events often support social causes. In addition to altruistic reasons, this association may bring also commercial benefits. However, to date, it is not entirely clear the extent to which event stakeholders engage in socially related discussions, making it difficult to evaluate the degree to which events act as a platform for social awareness. Using archived online narratives from Twitter.com, this study seeks to examine the extent to which event stakeholders engage in discussions of social causes. Results show that there is a scarce interest in socially motivated discussion by events attendees on social media.

Alessandro Inversini, Rogan Sage, Nigel Williams, Dimitrios Buhalis

Destination Brand Communication Through the Social Media: What Contents Trigger Most Reactions of Users?

The social media have become important tools for the communication of destinations and their brands. Multiple studies have demonstrated that the interactivity generated in this communication leads to greater engagement and better brand image among users [Munar and Jacobsen (Tourism Manag 43:46–54, 2014)], but the aim of this study is to unveil what contents generate the most reactions among users and if the communication of brands and their emotional values also generate reactions. The results show that the most destination-specific and identifying themes/attributes and values are the ones generating most reactions and interactivity, although very often destinations communicate generic values with which all destinations identify. Moreover, it is shown that the communication of emotional values and brands also generates reactions and interactivity.

Assumpcio Huertas, Estela Marine-Roig

@Spain Is Different: Co-branding Strategies Between Spanish National and Regional DMOs on Twitter

Mutual influences between brands can have a strong impact on their perception, in particular in DMOs. This work analyses the mutual influence of the Spanish State and Community-level Tourism Organizations accounts on Twitter. We analysed to what extent the State account Spain diffused information about the Communities accounts and vice versa, and to what extent DMOs Twitter brands co-appeared in tweets. Analysing 127,337 posts between 1st January and 30th June 2014 containing the keyword @Spain, we found that Spain unequally diffused the information about Communities, and that there was a strong correlation between the retweets of messages posted by Spain, and the co-appearance of the State and the Community-level accounts. As in previous researches (Guerrero-Solé and Fernández-Cavia 2014), the Andalusian account was the most active and the most influential of the DMOs analysed.

Frederic Guerrero-Solé, José Fernández-Cavia

“This City Is Absolutely Fun and Trendy” A Destination Brand Personality Analysis in a Web 2.0 Setting

The emerging technological dynamics and increasing consumer power requires pro-active strategies by Destination Management Organizations (DMOs). Furthermore, positioning a destination around the feelings it generates, and its ability to offer visitors unique experiences, relationships, meanings and self-expressions is a strong competitive advantage. This study analyzes a city’s brand personality as reflected in online reviews from different service settings such as accommodation, sights, and restaurants. In addition, the study compares the results with tourists’ connotations with the same city as collected in a conventional survey. The combination of content analysis and comparative analysis provides recommendations for DMOs on how to develop emotional links and use consumers’ information exposed in an online setting.

Astrid Dickinger, Lidija Lalicic

Reframing the Image of a Destination: A Pre-Post Study on Social Media Exposure

The majority of the studies on destination image have so far mainly focused on the cognitive and affective components, and there is still a lack of research on the conative component of destination image (i.e., the declaration of a behavioral intention). Moreover, less research has been done on verbally reported self-perception on the baseline image (prior belief about a destination), and the enhanced image (after an exposure to online contents). This study shows the effect of social media exposure on the perceived image about tourism destinations. In particular, declarations of the intention to visit the destination (image conative component) were found on the reported perceived image about a destination. In general intention to visit the destination was influenced by the stimuli and in the same direction, if it was positive the results show an interest in visiting the city and vice a versa.

Elena Marchiori, Irem Önder

Studying Online Contents Navigation: A Comparison Between Eye-Tracking Technique and Self-Reported Investigation

This study posits that an eye-tracking approach, together with a self-reported research design, represent valid alternatives to study tourism-related web browsing behavior. Users might form their idea about a future vacation and/or about a destination from the contents presented online, which are based on relatively impersonal textual resources provided by other users. Thus, the ability to evaluate what prospective customers are looking at in online contexts represents a new way to enhance the promotion of a destination. An eye-tracking technique was therefore compared with the results gathered from a previous study which considered a user test with self-declaration of which features on the pages capture users’ attention the most. Results of this study assess the presence of a common recognition by untrained users of the dominant topic and sentiment expressed on tourism related social media pages. The results obtained from both user tests performed in different research settings revealed also potential biases in data interpretation if only one technique is used.

Elena Marchiori, Lorenzo Cantoni

eTourism and Smart Destinations

Frontmatter

Smart Tourism Destinations: An Extended Conception of Smart Cities Focusing on Human Mobility

Smart Cities are paving the way for the development of new services in the field of tourism. The “smart” concept is based on the intensive deployment of Information and Communication Technology infrastructures, as well as on the proliferation of mobile technology and its apps. However, a destination is not smart because it makes intensive use of technology. It is smart because it also uses technology in order to seek a deeper understanding about the characteristics and meaning of human mobility. It uses latent knowledge and capacities to empower local institutions and industries to create knowledge-based policies and advanced mobile services for visitors. This paper presents a new approach to the Smart Destination concept and a cloud-based infrastructure designed to reach that vision. This infrastructure promotes the creation of advanced mobile tourism applications by tourism stakeholders with tools adapted to people with no programming skills.

Carlos Lamsfus, David Martín, Aurkene Alzua-Sorzabal, Emilio Torres-Manzanera

Smart Tourism Destinations Enhancing Tourism Experience Through Personalisation of Services

Bringing smartness into tourism destinations requires dynamically interconnecting stakeholders through a technological platform on which information relating to tourism activities could be exchanged instantly. Instant information exchange has also created extremely large data sets known as Big Data that may be analysed computationally to reveal patterns and trends. Smart Tourism Destinations should make an optimal use of Big Data by offering right services that suit users’ preference at the right time. In relation thereto, this paper aims at contributing to the understanding on how Smart Tourism Destinations could potentially enhance tourism experience through offering products/services that are more personalised to meet each of visitor’s unique needs and preferences. Understanding the needs, wishes and desires of travellers becomes increasingly critical for the competitiveness of destinations. Therefore, the findings in the present research are insightful for number of tourism destinations.

Dimitrios Buhalis, Aditya Amaranggana

Conceptualising Smart Tourism Destination Dimensions

The term ‘smart’ represents a marketing word for all things that are embedded or enhanced by technology. One smart concept, which has gained momentum in recent years, is Smart City. It mainly focuses on how to increase the quality of life of citizens by using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). This paper aims to explore which dimensions except technology are critical for the development of a Smart City and a Smart Tourism Destination. Following a multiple case study approach, this paper develops a framework for smartness in cities and tourism destinations. This exploratory research argues that leadership, innovation, and social capital supported by human capital are the fundamental constructs of smartness. Technology applications and ICTs are enablers, which support the core constructs of smart destinations. Results open the ground for discussing how to transpose ‘smartness’ to tourism and destination levels.

Kim Boes, Dimitrios Buhalis, Alessandro Inversini

Strategic E-Tourism Alternatives for Destinations

Destinations face the already well known problem of a proper positioning in the electronic market place. This includes, besides other issues, mainly the problem of a sustainable business model and booking support. In this paper the Austrian case is described, which is somehow special since Austria was once a leader in e-tourism, both w.r.t. to academic as well to industrial achievements. However, this has changed over the last years. This change was also recognized by major stakeholders, leading to a study to (a) analyse the current situation, and (b) to identify strategic alternatives as future options. These strategic alternatives were based on the results of a status quo analysis of the national and international e-tourism situation, including a website analysis of national and international tourism organisations, interviews with representatives of Austrian organisations and an analysis of IT trends relevant to the tourism industry. The paper describes the results of these analyses, specifies the problem and, finally, presents the identified alternatives. Regarding the latter, the focus is on the description of a so-called “open service platform”, which contains means to support cooperation, online distribution, innovation as well as research.

María del Carmen Calatrava Moreno, Gernot Hörhager, Rainer Schuster, Hannes Werthner

The Rise of eTourism for Development

This paper presents the conceptualization of eTourism For Development (eT4D), an emerging and still underexplored field of research. eT4D can be defined as the use of tourism technologies in developing and emerging contexts to foster socio-economic development. eT4D is a new concept that integrates three distinct disciplines: development studies, tourism studies and information and communication technologies. The paper describes and defines the eT4D field from a theoretical point of view. Additionally the research presents an exploratory case study describing current tourism technology usage in a given developing context that is the one of Rocinha, a slum in Rio de Janeiro. Results confirm the theoretical conceptualization of the domain and the need of investigating the eT4D field also from a practical perspective.

Alessandro Inversini, Isabella Rega, Isabella Nunes Pereira, Roberto Bartholo

Intelligence Systems: Mobile, Wearable, and Sensor

Frontmatter

The Acceptance of NFC Smart Posters in Tourism

With the introduction of permeating devices, NFC is seen as a technique, which facilitates and enhances short-range connections. Smart posters are a new business invention utilising NFC and are perceived to be very user-friendly, as they provide the user with digitalised information without a significant amount of user interaction. Although research has been conducted in the field of NFC development and the technology’s benefits and values, relatively little research has been carried out to understand what lies behind travellers’ behavioural intention to use NFC smart posters. Thus, this study explores the various factors influencing consumer acceptance of NFC smart posters by applying the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology model. The results indicate that not only Perceived Performance Expectancy and Perceived Quality have a strong positive impact on Behavioural Intention to use NFC smart posters, but Social Influence and Perceived Effort Expectancy also have a positive effect on the acceptance of such posters.

Kim Boes, Larissa Borde, Roman Egger

Exhibition Attendees’ Smart Technology Actual Usage: A Case of Near Field Communications

The exhibition industry has been a part of the ‘smart tourism’ context, using smart information technology. Near field communication (NFC) allows exhibition attendees to acquire information and experience various services, which enhance their experience. However, which factors out of visitors’ determinants using NFC are crucial and how these factors affect their actual usage with real data have not been sufficiently investigated. Therefore, current study empirically examined how visitor’s self-efficacy and organizer’s support for NFC affect actual use through post-confirmation, NFC quality, NFC satisfaction and planned behaviour based on Expectation-Confirmation Model. We collected sample data from 387 exhibition attendees using NFC in the Cosmetic and Beauty Expo, Korea 2013. This study found that self-efficacy and organizational support affected their confirmation, which had effect on NFC actual use via NFC quality, NFC satisfaction and planned behaviour. Based on these results, this study presented theoretical and practical implications.

Heejeong Han, Namho Chung, Chulmo Koo, Kyoung Jun Lee

Google Glass Augmented Reality: Generic Learning Outcomes for Art Galleries

Art galleries are increasingly asked to provide evidence of their efforts towards facilitating visitors’ learning experience. Augmented reality (AR) and wearable computing has the potential to create a realistic learning environment. Using Google Glass allows art gallery visitors to receive augmented information while looking at paintings. The Generic Learning Outcomes (GLO) framework was specifically designed to investigate visitors’ learning experience in museums and art galleries however, research on art galleries visitors’ learning experience through wearable computing and AR applications is scarce. This study aims to assess how Google Glass enhances visitors’ learning outcomes within the art gallery environment. Twenty-two visitors participated in a test of the Google Glass Museum Zoom application. Visitors were interviewed and the data were analysed using thematic analysis and revealed that Google Glass helps visitors to see connections and enhance the knowledge and understanding of paintings.

M. Claudia Leue, Timothy Jung, Dario tom Dieck

Examining the Cultural Differences in Acceptance of Mobile Augmented Reality: Comparison of South Korea and Ireland

Augmented Reality (AR) is one of the emerging technologies used in cultural heritage tourism sites around the world. However, the process of having behavioural intention to use AR can be varied in different culture. Thus, this study selected two different countries, South Korea and Ireland, having high smartphone penetration rates, but with very different cultural profiles, and investigated the impact of cultural difference on acceptance of AR application (app) in cultural heritage tourism sites. Further, this study focused on the aesthetic and hedonic characteristics of AR apps from the perspective of hedonic information system. The results showed that aesthetics of AR have the strongest influence on perceived enjoyment. Also, as expected, South Korea, having high power distance, collectivism, and high uncertainty avoidance culture, displayed stronger dependence on social influence and hedonic characteristics of AR. Based on these findings, we present theoretical and practical implications.

Hyunae Lee, Namho Chung, Timothy Jung

Investigating User’s Information Needs and Attitudes Towards Proactivity in Mobile Tourist Guides

In recent years mobile devices became the way of choice for consuming digital content. One of the areas in which this monumental shift has a great impact that creates a lot of opportunities and challenges is tourism. Proactive computing comes with the promise of providing a more engaging user experience. However, due to many practical challenges in areas of first choice, such as mobile tourist guides, proactivity does not yet create a noticeable impact. This motivates our explorative study that focuses on users’ information needs during different stages of travel and their attitudes related to different aspects of proactive systems such as privacy concerns, trust or their willingness-to-pay for such services. Analysis indicates some interesting and significant relations between these aforementioned concepts that reflect the users’ perspectives on proactive systems.

Adem Sabic, Markus Zanker

Mobile Technologies Effects on Travel Behaviours and Experiences: A Preliminary Analysis

The increased opportunity for tourists to be connected to the Internet during the trip, the development of social media, as well as advances in mobile technologies have profoundly affected travel experiences and behaviours. Travel stages (pre-trip, during-trip and post-trip) can overlap with a repositioning of some activities from the pre-trip and post-trip stages to the during-trip step. Therefore, the consumption of travel services becomes particularly important to be managed by travel operators, considering also the rapid progress of mobile tracking technologies. The present study explores the impacts of mobile technologies on travel experience with the purpose of understanding the most appropriate ways to interact with tourists. A qualitative research methodology was adopted to investigate how young adults employ mobile technologies in their travel experiences. The results of this pilot study will be the basis for identifying research questions to be tested in a subsequent research step.

Roberta Minazzi, Aurelio G. Mauri

Transportation Mode Annotation of Tourist GPS Trajectories Under Environmental Constraints

Tourist transportation usage analysis provides basic information for tourism policy making. With the technical advances of tracking devices, GPS-equipped smartphones sense the movement of tourists and generate extensive volumes of movement data detailing tourist trajectories. Many researchers study semantic annotation using machine learning. However, it is necessary for machine learning to label the data for training; this requirement is costly. It would be useful for GPS semantic annotation if labelling the substantial amounts of GPS data could be avoided. In this research, we propose a new, simple GPS semantic annotation method using environmental constraints without machine learning. We call this method Segment Expansion with Environmental Constraints (SEEC) and assume a tourist behaviour model in which tourists move by foot and public transportation in touristic destinations that include numerous locations of interest. SEEC inferred the transportation modes of the GPS trajectory data at a 90.4 % accuracy level in the experiment.

Hidekazu Kasahara, Mikihiko Mori, Masayuki Mukunoki, Michihiko Minoh

User Personality and the New User Problem in a Context-Aware Point of Interest Recommender System

The new user problem is an important and challenging issue that Context-Aware Recommender Systems (CARSs) must deal with, especially in the early stage of their deployment. It occurs when a new user is added to the system and there is not enough information about the user’s preferences in order to compute appropriate recommendations. It is common to address this problem in the recommendation algorithm, by using demographic attributes such as age, gender, and occupation, which are easy to collect and are reasonably good predictors of the user preferences. However, as we show here, user’s personality provides even better information for generating context-aware recommendations for places of interest (POI), and it is still easy to assess with a simple questionnaire. In our study, using a rating data set collected by a mobile app called STS (South Tyrol Suggests), we have found that by considering the user personality the system can better rank the recommendations for the new users.

Matthias Braunhofer, Mehdi Elahi, Francesco Ricci

Spatiotemporal Analysis of Rambling Activities: Approach to Inferring Visitor Satisfaction

A method for investigating trajectories of rambling objects is proposed. The goal of this study is to infer people’s satisfaction with their experiences by using their trajectories. Two aspects of rambling activities—multi-stop and multi-purpose trips, and trips with unplanned stops at various destination—are examined using mathematical knot theory. A two-dimensional trajectory is transformed into a three-dimensional curve composed of geographical location and dwell time at the visited spots. The aspects of rambling activities are reflected in the shapes of the knots obtained by deforming the curve. An experiment using 135 participant trajectories obtained at a campus festival confirmed: (1) trajectories caused by rambling were effectively detected; and (2) our method reproduced the relation between rambling activities and a participant’s satisfaction with the festival. Namely, the more satisfied a participant was with the festival, the more likely he was to move around the venue. It is concluded that this method infers visitors’ satisfaction with their experiences and is useful for designing ideal spaces to induce rambling activities.

Masakatsu Ohta, Yuta Watanabe, Toshiaki Miyazaki

Tourists and Municipal Wi-Fi Networks (MWN): The Case of Lugano (Switzerland)

Being always connected is among the new needs of tourists, who are using more and more smartphones for that goal. Still, data roaming costs are a major obstacle to that end. If hotel Wi-Fi connections are offering part of the solution, municipal Wi-Fi networks are the most interesting offer for connectivity on the go, a connectivity offered both to own citizens and tourists. The touristic city of Lugano (Switzerland) has been offering an open Wi-Fi network since 2008. In the paper usage data, assessed via log files as well as via a survey automatically displayed to connecting users, are presented and discussed, providing a vivid profile of users (personas), and of their usage-patterns; they also offer insights about the difference between citizens and tourists when it comes to their usage of the Wi-Fi network.

Anna Picco-Schwendener, Lorenzo Cantoni

Tourism Website Analytics

Frontmatter

Drivers of Responsive Website Design Innovation by Destination Marketing Organizations

Mobile devices like smartphones and tablet computers are becoming an integral part of how people consume travel destinations. With the tremendous growth in mobile devices for travel planning and consumption purposes, this paper focuses on mobile and responsive website design and the organizational and environmental factors that drive mobile optimization strategies. Using a sample of United States state tourism offices, this research looked at mobile optimization techniques using different website emulators. The findings indicate that destination marketing organizations with lower budgets and organizations with higher website traffic have a greater likelihood of adopting responsive website design.

Chris Gibbs, Ulrike Gretzel

Perceived Usability, Attractiveness and Intuitiveness of Responsive Mobile Tourism Websites: A User Experience Study

Users increasingly access the internet through their smartphones creating the need for a different web design approach in order to meet the requirements of new user behaviour. Responsive Web design (RWD) is an approach to develop websites dynamically and adjust their layout and content to the screen size of a user’s device. This study investigates the impact of RWD on perceived usability, perceived attractiveness and intuitiveness through a user experience experiment of two touristic information websites (desktop and mobile versions) with varying levels of compliance to those guidelines. Results indicate that there are significant differences in perceived usability and user experience between desktop computers and smartphones in general. Additionally, mobile information services following a stricter approach to RWD are perceived as easier and more intuitive to use, yet they fail to create emotion and consequently are less recommended by users.

Aleksander Groth, Daniel Haslwanter

Visual Appeal of Hotel Websites: An Exploratory Eye Tracking Study on Chinese Generation Y

With increasing recognition of experience as the essence of tourism, studying visual appeal of web design and striking a balance between usability and aesthetic considerations have elicited considerable attention from tourism and hospitality researchers. In this study, we attempt to explore visual appeal of hotel websites to Chinese Generation Y. Based on prior research, two preeminent web characteristics (i.e., a large main picture and little text) of hotel websites are identified that may be particularly preferable to Chinese Generation Y. A survey and an eye-tracking experiment are triangulated to validate the findings. Results show that web pages of hotel websites with large main pictures and little text are indeed visually appealing to Chinese Generation Y. The visual responses of participants captured by an unobtrusive eye-tracker further support our findings.

Jin-Xing Hao, Rui Tang, Yan Yu, Nao Li, Rob Law

Hotel Attributes and Visual Image: A Comparison Between Website and User-Generated Photos

The internet has greatly increased the variety and availability of travel-information sources. In particular, the development of the new Web 2.0 applications has meant the online visual image of hotels is no longer exclusively controlled by hotels themselves. Tourists have increased opportunities to define hotels’ visual image by creating and uploading photos to describe their hotel experience on media-sharing websites. This study intends to explore the differences between the visual images of hotels as presented on hotel websites and as perceived by hotels guests with the aim of analysing the gap that exists between what users consider is important in certain features of hotels and the information that hotels provide to users through photos on their website. This study employs content analysis as its primary method to analyse 1,710 images selected from hotel websites and a media-sharing website (i.e., TripAdvisor). The results demonstrate that website photos from hotels and user-generated photos tend to focus on different hotel attributes. This has important implications for academic research as well for managerial applications.

Francesca Negri, Vania Vigolo

Corporate Identity Communication on Corporate Websites: Evidence from the Hong Kong Hotel Industry

In today’s competitive business environment, corporate identity communication has become prominent and a useful strategy for gaining competitive advantage. The role of corporate websites in communicating corporate identity has also been underscored but there have been limited empirical studies investigating the actual usage of corporate websites in communicating corporate identities of hotels. To contribute to this scarce stream of research, this study identified the core elements of corporate identity from the literature and applied them to evaluate the websites’ content of 123 hotels in Hong Kong. The results indicated that, corporate identity elements relating to design such as logo and slogan were the commonly reported; but identity elements regarding corporate culture, corporate behaviour and corporate strategy were scarcely communicated by more than 60 % of the hotels. Significant differences were also found between chain-affiliated hotels and independent hotels. From a practical standpoint, these results can be used to enrich the contents of corporate websites.

Ibrahim Mohammed, Basak Denizci Guillet, Rob Law

How Effective Are Asian Hotels in Communicating CSR Efforts Through the Property Websites? The Case of Hong Kong

Among the areas in the field of hospitality, web-based CSR communication has been rarely investigated. Prior studies have identified various CSR content provided on hotel websites, but have not evaluated web-based CSR communication performance based on usability factors and interactive elements. Moreover, existing research focused more on Western-based hospitality organizations. Prior studies on Asian hotel industry have been minimal. This study was conducted to evaluate the web-based CSR communication practice in the Hong Kong hotel industry, and proposed a modified ICTR’s website evaluation model to evaluate the Hong Kong hotel industry’s web-based CSR communication performance. Results show that communicating CSR effort through the property website was not a popular practice among Hong Kong hotels and that international and local hotels tend to communicate CSR efforts through social media sites rather than through hotel websites. Most hotels in Hong Kong have poor overall performance in communicating CSR efforts through the property websites, especially the “Communication function” dimension, indicating that hotels in Hong Kong were not effectively communicating CSR efforts through the property websites.

Elise Wong, Rosanna Leung, Rob Law

Distribution Systems

Frontmatter

Distribution Channels for Travel and Tourism: The Case of Crete

The tourism distribution channels network is extremely complex. In particular, the emergence of technologies; the development of online social networks, online review sites as well as mobile location-based services has added additional channels of distribution. The awareness of new opportunities within the tourism distribution channels is essential for tourism professional in order to remain competitive and successful. Therefore, this study aims to update the tourism distribution channels model within the context of Crete, Greece. Twenty managers from hotels and tour operators were interviewed and the data were analysed using content analysis. Interviewees identified an increased importance of social media and mobile for today’s distribution market and the future decreased importance of incoming agents. Instead, the tourism industry has to start focus on Extranet/XML.

Paraskevi Fountoulaki, M. Claudia Leue, Timothy Jung

The Impact of Attribute Preferences on Adoption Timing of Hotel Distribution Channels: Are OTAs Winning the Customer Race?

The evolution of distribution channels in the hospitality industry has followed diverse paths over time depending on the technology used. Distribution channels can be clustered into three generations, starting with the pre-WWW era; the middle generation comprising Internet-based direct booking channels and the latest generation including online intermediaries. This research focuses on the comparison of rates of adoption across different generations of distribution channels in the Swiss hotel sector taking into account substitution effects. Data for the study are a series of annual surveys (2002–2013) monitoring the evolution of market shares of 15 individual distribution channels. The objective of this research is the analysis of the evolution of market shares of different generations using multi-generation diffusion methods. Results suggest that decaying traditional and web-based direct channels have low or inexistent imitation effect. This research adds the explanation of mixed effects (innovation and imitation) across generations in the adoption processes.

Miriam Scaglione, Roland Schegg

Travellers’ Intended Future Trip Arrangement Strategies for Things to Do During a Trip: Implications for Travel Distribution

Travel distribution is in constant change and has emerged into a complex structure. The emergence of a hybrid era of three screens—computer, tablet and smartphone—is further driving the change. Many travellers are nowadays connected to the Internet in all stages of the traveller life cycle. The activity and attraction sector of the travel and tourism market sets a focus primarily on at destination distribution and therefore the emergence of intelligent and context-aware mobile services and new intermediates with a heavy focus on mobile strategies may indeed change the distribution of these types of travel services. The aim of this paper is to investigate travellers’ intended future trip arrangement strategies for things to do during a trip and to discuss the implication this may have for travel distribution.

Niklas Eriksson

Offline Versus Online Intermediation: A Study of Booking Behaviour of Tourists Travelling to Sardinia

Researchers argue that the debate around the topic of disintermediation and reintermediation (both offline and online) is still open and needs further analysis. This study was therefore carried out, with a representative sample of 1,461 national and international tourists who visited Sardinia (Italy) in 2012. Its aim was to investigate how tourists book their holidays and whether significant differences exist in their channel strategy (online versus offline intermediation) based on: their socio-demographic characteristics; the type of tourism product they bought; their prior experience of travelling to the destination; the geographical distance they travelled; and the length and the time (low or high tourism season) of their stay. Findings reveal that all but four variables (gender, income, median length of stay and prior experience of travelling to the destination) are influencing their actual buying behaviour. Managerial implications are discussed and suggestions for further research are made.

Giacomo Del Chiappa, Andrea Zara

An Investigation of Hotel Room Reservation: What Are the Diverse Pricing Strategies Among Competing Hotels?

In the age of e-tourism, the Internet makes hotel room rates more transparent to customers. It is widely known that hotel room rates fluctuate frequently. However, no prior study has been conducted to investigate the pricing strategies of competing hotels. To address this deficiency, the current study examined this issue. Findings indicate that hotel room rates are low and steady during early reservation period (e.g., 2.5 months). However, during the last 10 days before the check-in date, hotel room rates fluctuate the most, indicating that hotels are currently adopting diverse pricing strategies. Results also show that the best reservation time period to obtain the best available rate is 30–20 days of advance purchase. Moreover, last-minute offers rarely exist among the investigated hotels. These findings can provide hotel managers with insights about effective pricing strategies and strategic management, enabling them to inform the customers about the best reservation time period to obtain optimal room rates.

Sunny Sun, Rob Law, Markus Schuckert, Lawrence Hoc Nang Fong

Dynamic Pricing Patterns on an Internet Distribution Channel: The Case Study of Bilbao’s Hotels in 2013

The price is the single, most efficient tool that hoteliers have to adjust the demand and the offer in the short term. Dynamic pricing is the practice of changing the price charged for a product based on time. Using hotel room price data collected from an Internet distribution channel, this paper presents the research carried out to investigate the dynamic pricing practices of the hotels in Bilbao. The analysis shows that these hotels favour two price-changing patterns. The first pattern refers to the practice of changing a number of prices for contiguous, future target dates on the same date. The second pattern refers to the practice of changing the price a set number of days in advance of the target date (i.e. at a specific lag-day).

Noelia Oses Fernandez, Jon Kepa Gerrikagoitia, Aurkene Alzua-Sorzabal

Using Technology to Align the Needs of Corporate Travel Managers with the Functions of Travel Management Companies

This paper investigates how technology affects the functions and role of travel management companies (TMCs). In depth interviews with corporate travel managers of organisations are used to ascertain what the role of the corporate travel manager is, how the TMC supports the travel manager in effectively managing the travel process, and the potential effects of technology on the TMC in the corporate travel process. Findings show that technology is increasingly being used in the travel management process, but that the TMC could still add value in the management of corporate travel if they continue to reinvent themselves, and use technology to their advantage.

Anneli Douglas, Berendien Lubbe, Jarmo Ritalahti

An Examination of the E-Bookers and E-Browsers in Emerging Markets: Online Browsing Behaviour in Independent Hotels in Hoi An

This paper reviews the e-browsing and e-booking behaviours and drivers in the context of a newly emerging market where much of the distribution landscape remains traditional and OTAs have yet to dominate the market. It uses a quantitative approach and the findings indicate that e-bookers and e-browsers share more commonalities than differences, except in their usage of hotel sites. Recommendations are made to retain direct online bookings, avoid commissions from agents and engage with customers directly. The managerial implications focus on improved website performance for both e-browsers and e-bookers.

Hilary Catherine Murphy, Yung Dang, Meng-Mei Chen

ICT and Tourism Experiences

Frontmatter

Changing Practices/New Technologies: Photos and Videos on Vacation

Tourists increasingly record video during their vacations. By introducing tourist videography as a distinct practice from tourist photography, this conceptual paper starts to develop the foundation for a theory of tourist videography. It contributes to the literature on visual culture in tourism by exploring the differences related to the technology as well as social practices of presentation between tourist photography and videography. The key differences are displays of visual continuity and multiple moments in time, multiplicity of cues (audio-visual), and motion as well as high-profile editing, the concept of digital distance, and emphasis on tourist practices. The paper further contributes to the literature on technology-mediated experiences by conceptualizing videography’s impact on the structure of tourist experiences. The key differences in mediation are tourists’ increased immersion in the experience, interaction with the screen, ongoing performativity and extension of the experience.

Anja Dinhopl, Ulrike Gretzel

Technology as a Catalyst of Change: Enablers and Barriers of the Tourist Experience and Their Consequences

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have had a major impact on the way people experience travel. Tourism research and management have been increasingly interested in exploring the role of ICTs as a potential catalyst of change that enhances tourist experiences. While generic technology adoption barriers are known, there is little knowledge about the specific technological enablers and barriers that determine the potential enhancement of tourist experiences. This paper thus addresses a timely matter as it identifies the key enablers and barriers as well as their implied consequences that shape the enhancement of tourist experiences. Through an exploratory qualitative approach, this study contributes by developing a two-factor model of experience enablers and barriers. Theoretical implications are discussed and strategic implications for tourism management and policy are provided on what actions need to be taken to convert existing ICTs insufficiencies into potential experience enablers.

Barbara Neuhofer, Dimitrios Buhalis, Adele Ladkin

Disconnected and Unplugged: Experiences of Technology Induced Anxieties and Tensions While Traveling

The purpose of this study is to explore the experience of being disconnected while traveling for technologically savvy travelers. This paper will explore how new technologies ‘separate’ travelers from the physical and embodied travel experience, and how experiences and tensions caused by being disconnected or unplugged are negotiated. For this study, travelers’ experiences were elicited through a series of online interviews conducted primarily through email and Facebook. Pearce and Gretzel’s (Int J Tourism Sci 12(2):1–20, 2012) technology-induced tensions and recent literature on internet/technology addiction provide a conceptual framework for the analysis.

Cody Morris Paris, Edward Alexander Berger, Simon Rubin, Mallory Casson

An Exploratory Study on Drivers and Deterrents of Collaborative Consumption in Travel

Due to the rise of businesses utilizing the sharing economy concept, it is important to better understand the motivational factors that drive and hinder collaborative consumption in the travel and tourism marketplace. Based on responses from 754 adult travellers residing in the US, drivers and deterrents of the use of peer-to-peer accommodation rental services were identified. Factors that deter the use of peer-to-peer accommodation rental services include lack of trust, lack of efficacy with regards to technology, and lack of economic benefits. The motivations that drive the use of peer-to-peer accommodation include the societal aspects of sustainability and community, as well as economic benefits. Based on the empirical evidence, this study suggests several propositions for future studies and implications for tourism destinations and hospitality businesses on how to manage collaborative consumption.

Iis P. Tussyadiah

Senior Travellers as Users of Online Travel Services: A Qualitative Enquiry

Importance of senior travellers as travel segment for the tourism industry increases continuously as the number of pensioners increases. These new senior travellers differ from earlier generations in many ways, one being increasing use of Information and Communication Technologies as part of their information search process. This study examines senior travellers as users of online travel services such as websites. A qualitative approach is chosen to provide insights into the topic and nine Finnish pensioners are interviewed. The results are analysed using content analysis. The results show that the senior travellers are a very heterogeneous segment regarding online travel services. However, there is no special marketing or website design that senior travellers really need but a good website also caters for the needs of younger as well as older consumers. More attention has to be paid to use of pictures and colours on websites as well as instructions.

Juho Pesonen, Raija Komppula, Annina Riihinen

e-Learning

Frontmatter

Online Learning and MOOCs: A Framework Proposal

Decades of distance learning evolution and innovation, particularly due to the Internet and recently, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), have led to industry and academic confusion about online learning nomenclature. This study takes a preliminary step in reducing the confusion, proposing a conceptual framework for categorising online learning. Drawing on content structure and interactivity, the paper proposes four categories of online learning: resources, tutorials, courses and MOOCs. These four categories serve as a base for illustrating five online learning variables—open versus closed access, cost, interactivity, recognition and assessment—which subsequently help clarify the framework of the four somewhat overlapping categories. The resultant framework gives industry and academia common ground for discussing online learning and for future research such as MOOC types and additional variables to consider, i.e., synchronicity, learning outcomes, openness, and self-direction.

Jamie Murphy, Nadzeya Kalbaska, Laurel Horton-Tognazzini, Lorenzo Cantoni

The Evolution of eTourism Research: A Case of ENTER Conference

Using bibliometric analysis approaches this study aims to extend the existing literature about the evolution, structure and spectrum of eTourism research by analysing the major themes and trends of the papers published in the ENTER conference proceedings from 1994 to 2014. Analysing the subjects and research themes of 972 research papers published in this series, the authors propose a structural model for the categorisation of eTourism research. Through a longitudinal observation of the frequently addressed research subjects and technologies, this paper reveals four different phases of the evolution of eTourism research on applying information and communication technologies in tourism. This study contributes to the better understanding of the different stages of the evolution of eTourism research and its future trend.

Shahab Pourfakhimi, Tianyu Ying

Investigating E-learning Effects on Continuance Intentions of Hospitality Management Students

The last decades have understood growing importance place on research of e-learning in education. In recent years, there has been a dramatic proliferation of research concerned with the effectiveness of e-learning in higher education. The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of e-learning on hospitality management students’ perceived behaviours, satisfaction and continuance intentions. The study surveyed undergraduate hospitality management students who completed online classes. The findings of this study showed that (1) students’ continuance intention of e-learning was strongly determined by satisfaction and confirmation of the learning management system (LMS). (2) Students’ expectations were confirmed by their satisfactions of e-learning management system. (3) Students’ satisfactions and confirmations of e-learning strongly predicted by perceived usefulness and perceived playfulness. Implications of findings for using e-learning in hospitality management education are suggested.

Tsong-Zen Liu, Tai-Yi Huang, Chia-Shiang Hsu
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