Summary of Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2001

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Editors Pauline J. Sheldon, Karl W. Wöber and Daniel R. Fesenmaier present 40 papers from the International Conference on Information and Communication Technology in Tourism, now in its eighth year. At this conference, tourism and information technology (IT) experts, practitioners and researchers made presentations in 14 categories. Their research, which reflects their individual approaches, covers innovative IT solutions for tourism, knowledge management and change in the tourism industry, electronic communications, Internet marketing, business to business tourism, how consumers use destination web sites, intelligent recognition systems, tourism education and the hotel industry’s IT challenge. These highly technical, sometimes even mathematical, articles are targeted to a specific market - those immersed in IT and tourism. suggests this expert compilation to information officers, IT academics and tourism executives interested in IT for their companies. If you are interested, but not an insider, you’ll like the chapter abstracts that summarize key articles (but, then again, we do have a soft spot for abstracts).

About the Authors

The editors - Pauline J. Sheldon of the University of Hawaii, Karl W. Wöber of Austria’s Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration and Daniel R. Fesenmaier of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - are members of the Research Program Committee of the Eighth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism held in Montreal, Canada April 24-27, 2001. Wöber and Fesenmaier contributed or co-authored conference articles.



Using IT for Industry Comparisons

Information technology is meeting diverse needs in the tourism industry. For example, competitive analysis between destinations has moved to new technological heights with the advent of the Group Decision Support System (GDSS), which helps identify subjective and objective factors about destinations that are targeting the same markets. This can help businesses compete effectively and it can assist tourists in selecting appropriate destinations.

Traditionally, such an analysis is either supply-based or demand-based. A supply-based analysis compares the attributes of the competing destinations and the degree to which they might replace each other. A supply focus assesses the destinations’ similarities in terms of technology, strategy, products and other factors. A demand-based approach involves classifying competitors on the basis of their attributes as perceived by customers.

Today, the Internet offers new possibilities for GDSS research because of its network and platform independence and its low software, installation and maintenance costs. A GDSS analysis is based on a flow chart with four steps:

  • Identification of...

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