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Information Technology and Tourism

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Information Technology and Tourism

A Challenging Relationship


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Disloyal, picky, price-wary travelers turn information technology into the tourism industry’s primary saving grace.

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


Information technology (IT) fits the tourism industry like those three-fingered white gloves fit Mickey Mouse - but you have to really understand what you are doing if you want to hang out with the big thinkers. Just ask authors and researchers Hannes Werthner and Stefan Klein, specialists on IT applications for the tourism trade. They teach a complex class, here, about getting destination and attraction information to travelers and about getting tourism data back to service providers. This IT theme park is a place where insiders give the professional scoop to other insiders. The language is highly technical, theoretical and complex (perhaps, now and then, even more complex than the ideas at hand warrant). Casual visitors will like the extensive source documentation, charts, graphs and arrow-filled diagrams, but the text is written for folks who live in this industry day in and day out. If you already know info technology and tourism, invites you to enjoy this expert rundown on how all the internal mysteries relate. There’s nothing Mickey Mouse about it.


How Information Technology Abets Tourism

The tourism industry can make specific use of information technology (IT) by customizing products, such as tour programs, and by using IT to facilitate the distribution and marketing of travel products. Tourism is a hybrid industry, combining both information and a physical product, so it is an apt market for IT. Ironically, although it depends on a tangible product, tourism is more dominated by information than other service industries. Customers depend on advance details about scheduling, pricing, destinations and tour packages. Using IT to bundle information can reduce the expenses of a tourism business, since producing and distributing additional units of information is not costly. IT enables the field to provide quality service at reasonable prices. This intersection of tourism and IT should be profitable, since tourism and IT are among the 21st century’s three most important industries.

Themes and Laws of the New Network Economy

The major ideas and principles that characterize the new network economy apply specifically to tourism. These 12 major themes - and the concepts they embody - are:

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About the Authors

Hannes Werthner is a researcher at the Institute for Statistics, Operations Research and Computer Methods at the University of Vienna, Austria, and Stefan Klein is a researcher at the Institute for Information Systems at the University of Munster, Germany.

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