Role of Information Technology in Tourism
Anand V. Nath
The importance of information technology in tourism, especially of the World Wide Web, has increased tremendously over the past years and this trend will certainly continue. However, since the technology itself is now available to almost everyone, its use alone does not necessarily bring a competitive advantage anymore. The integration of IT into the organizational fabric of the destination marketing organization (DMO) is an important key to success. Integration means that technology, advertising strategy and overall organizational mission/goals are coordinated to achieve the desired effectiveness. Traditional advertising strategies should be reconfigured to reflect the new realities (i.e., availability, interactivity, and research capabilities) of Internet technologies and of the rapidly changing business environment.
It is difficult for most destination marketing organizations to keep pace with the evolution of new technologies, the emergence of innovative advertising strategies, the changes in the consumer market, and the growing competition due to increasing globalization. They often have to struggle with limited financial and human resources, a lack of technological expertise, and time constraints.
Accordingly, various high tech information and communication technologies are in use in the tourism sector around the world. They are used for tourism product development, marketing, distribution and training of tourism sector personnel. These technologies are so indispensable in order to find out and satisfy the ever-changing demands for tourism products.
One of the unique characteristics of tourism products is the need of the role played by the so-called travel intermediaries. These travel intermediaries are travel agents, tour operators, conference organizers booking agents etc. They
are so important because of the nature of the tourism product, perishablity and intangibility.
These travel agencies are performing this indispensable task of being intermediary by the use of computers and computer reservation systems (CRS). GDSs are systems, which distribute reservation, and information services to sales outlets around the world. Unlike the CRSs used solely by an airline or hotel chain, GDS distribute more than one CRS to users who are usually travel agents. GDSs were formed Facilitation is one important aspect of enhancing tourism business. Facilitation includes, issuing of visa, customs clearing and immigration check in ports. Lack of appropriate management in giving fast and efficient service to tourists in this area will deter the tourist flow substantially. Recently, development has come about in using electronic
Though there are many definitions for tourism, it could be simply defined as a “travel and stay of a non- resident”. In order to travel to a particular area there must be a reason. For example a person may travel for leisure, business, visiting friends and relatives, health, education etc. He/she chooses a destination for one or the other reason. Transport is necessary to travel and accommodation to stay at the destination. So, tourism as an industry has three major components: Attraction, Accommodation and Transport. In the developed world, today, all these components have reached at their zenith in satisfying their customers’ needs aided by modern technology. These components have also came a long way to offer a range of products which suit the needs of multitude tourists around the world, and are still working hard to cater to an ever changing test of them.
Tourism is ranking the top ahead of all other categories of international trade. This growth of
tourism activity clearly marks tourism as one of the most remarkable economic and social phenomena in the world.
1. The Tourism...
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