ROLE OF ICT IN TOURISM Mrs. Manisha L. Waghmode Assistant Professor Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Institute of Management and Rural Development Administration, Sangli Maharashtra, India.
Dr. Pallavi P. Jamsandekar Professor Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Institute of Management and Rural Development Administration, Sangli Maharashtra, India.
ABSTRACT: Tourism is travel and stay of non-resident. Tourism industry consists of three components attraction, accommodation and transport. Today ICT plays very important role in each field. Today through the internet anyone can get world wide information within a fraction of seconds. Frequent technological updates are adding new trends in different field which tend to improve a lot in respective fields. Use of ICT for tourism industry has increased enormously over past few years. Tourism is currently one of the fastest growing industries across the world. It is mostly a service industry because it renders services to various classes of people. Hence it is largely a information product. It is an combination of various interrelated industries and trade like food industry, transport industry etc. India has emerged as a single largest net earner of foreign exchange. Tourism industry is one of the largest sectors of service industry in India. This paper deals with concept of traditional tourism, problems in tourism, how ICT is useful in tourism, pros and cones of ICT in tourism, and innovative trends of ICT like CRS, GIS, Online WOM, DMS, etc., in tourism. Keywords: CRS, DMS, e-Tourism, GIS, ICT, Online WOM
INTRODUCTION Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes (UNWTO-1995) Last year alone, some 4.5lakh Foreigners and NRIs visited the Gujarat. This year Gujarat Govt. is going to plan poll tourism using this tourist will see total election process. Tourism is reputed to be the world’s largest service industry. Its revenues support a significant proportion of the economies of many nations and it is one of the largest employers worldwide. Its contribution to gross national product, employment and regional development are well documented. Tourists need information before going on a trip to help them plan and choose between options, and also increasingly need information during the trip as the trend towards more independent travel increases (Peter O'Connor). ICT plays an important role as a new method in increasing the demand in tourism industry, which in turn, results in attracting more tourists and generating more income, apart from further developing the tourism industry. Tourism has closely been connected to the progress of ICTs for over 30 years. The establishment of the Computer Reservation Systems (CRSs) in the 1970s, Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) in the late 1980s and the Internet in the late 1990s have transformed operational and strategic practices dramatically in tourism (Buhalis and Law, 2008). As Romain et al., (2010) stated, the link between customer and supplier has been shortened, 1
removing intermediaries. Hence, customers have the opportunity to directly access to the offers featured in the tourism industry. Since the 1980s, Information Communication Technologies (ICT) has enabled worldwide tourism industry (Buhalis, 2003). Nowadays, the Internet and ICTs are relevant on all operative, structural, strategic and marketing levels to facilitate global interactions among suppliers, intermediaries and consumers around the world (Egger and Buhalis, 2008). At present, it plays an important role in the tourism industry. The effectiveness of different sections of this service industry is being enhanced and improved quickly by ICT. According to the statistics published by World Tourism Organization (WTO), in the near future, countries without ICT infrastructures would not be able to keep up with the pace of tourism growth of other countries which have significant roles in ICT infrastructure. Travel and tourism industry has created more than 198 million jobs all around the world and has made 10% of gross national products (GNP) of many countries in 2002. With reference to World Travel and Tourism Council statistics (WTTC, 2005), travel and tourism which is a fast growing industry and is considered as the biggest industry in the world, would create 249 million jobs and share 10.6% of GNP in different countries all over the World (Paajarvi, 2004). There are historical monuments, beaches, places of religious interests, hill resorts, etc. that attract tourists. Every region is identified with its handicraft, fairs, folk dances, music and its people. The tourism industry employs a large number of people, both skilled and unskilled. Hotels, travel agencies, transport including airlines benefit a lot from this industry. Tourism promotes national integration and international understanding. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY To study types of tourism. To study problems in tourism before ICT. To study role of ICT (e-tourism) in tourism. E-tourism To study innovative trends of ICT in tourism. To discuss advantages and disadvantages of ICT implementation for Tourism. TYPES OF TOURISM There are different types of tourism such as Adventure tourism , sports tourism, water tourism, Geo tourism, Culture tourism, Eco tourism, business tourism, medical tourism, space tourism, pilgrimage tourism ,wildlife tourism, poll tourism etc., ADVENTURE TOURISM:In India, adventure tourism has recently grown in India. This involves exploration of remote areas and exotic locales and engaging in various activities. For adventure tourism in India, tourists prefer to go for trekking to places like Ladakh, Sikkim, and Himalaya. Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are popular for the skiing facilities they offer. Whitewater rafting is also catching on in India and tourists flock to places such as Uttranchal, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh for this adrenalin-packed activity. The various kinds of adventure tourism in India are: Rock climbing, Skiing, Camel safari, Para gliding, Mountaineering, Rafting in white water Trekking
CULTURAL TOURISM The most popular states in India for cultural tourism are Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal. India is known for its rich cultural heritage and an element of mysticism, which is why tourists come to India to experience it for themselves. The various fairs and festivals that tourists can visit in India are the Pushkar fair, Taj Mahotsav, and Suraj Kund mela. WILDLIFE TOURISM India has a rich forest cover which has some beautiful and exotic species of wildlife – some of which that are even endangered and very rare. This has boosted wildlife tourism in India. The places where a foreign tourist can go for wildlife tourism in India are the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, and Corbett National Park. MEDICAL TOURISM Tourists from all over the world have been thronging India to avail themselves of cost-effective but superior quality healthcare in terms of surgical procedures and general medical attention. There are several medical institutes in the country that cater to foreign patients and impart top-quality healthcare at a fraction of what it would have cost in developed nations such as USA and UK. It is expected that medical tourism in India will hold a value around US$ 2 billion by 2012. The city of Chennai attracts around 45% of medical tourists from foreign countries. PILGRIMAGE TOURISM India is famous for its temples and that is the reason that among the different kinds of tourism in India, pilgrimage tourism is increasing most rapidly. The various places for tourists to visit in India for pilgrimage are Vaishno Devi, Golden temple, Char Dham, and Mathura Vrindavan. ECO TOURISM Among the types of tourism in India, ecotourism have grown recently. Ecotourism entails the sustainable preservation of a naturally endowed area or region. This is becoming more and more significant for the ecological development of all regions that have tourist value. For ecotourism in India, tourists can go to places such as Kaziranga National Park, Gir National Park, and Kanha National Park. The types of tourism in India have grown and this has boosted the Indian economy. The tourism sector contributed to the nation’s GDP. PROBLEMS IN TOURISM BEFORE ICT: Traditionally, the travel distribution role has been performed by outbound travel agencies, tour operators (TOs) and inbound travel agents or handling agencies (Buhalis & Laws, 2001). Time required for doing complete transaction was more. Availability of resources was limited. Cost required per transaction was more. 3
Given that millions of people travel every day, it can be seen that the communication of accurate, current and relevant information is essential for the efficient operation of the tourism industry. And hence it was not continent for getting complete information when required. Tourism suppliers had provided this information in the form of print-based media such as brochures or flyers, and through listings published in local or regional guides which is costly, time-consuming and labour-intensive. Suppliers, face a challenge, which is described as trying to gain identity with untold millions of potential customers covering the whole spectrum of income, interests, knowledge, sophistication and needs. Pricing and other conditions locked down for up to 2 years Very limited ability to access the market directly ROLE OF ICT IN TOURISM Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is umbrella term for technological developments for the Umbrella term for technological developments for the Production, analysis, storage, search, distribution and use of information ICT includes a combination of hardware, software, telecommunications, Netware, groupware Human-ware. ICT enables effective data processing & communication, organisational benefit, ICT, provide enormous capabilities for consumers. ICT played an outstanding role for development of modern tourism It has provided new tools and enabled new distribution channels, thus creating a new business environment. ICT tools have facilitated business transaction in the industry by networking with trading partners, distribution of product services and providing information to consumers across the globe. On the other hand consumers are also using online to obtain information and plan their trip and travel. Information is the key element in the tourism industry. It can be used by tourist professionals to define the boundaries of the proposed tourist site as well its surrounding areas and the communities living in it. It can also get information on roads linking to the sites and availability of other utilities like water, power, market etc. Such technologies are also useful for site management and monitoring. The role of ICT tools in the industry for marketing, operation, and management of customer is widely known. Marketing techniques can be more innovative through ICT tools. The Internet, in particular, has been useful in many regards to the travel and tourism sector. It is used to provide multimedia information about destination to prospective travelers. It also affects auxiliary industries, such as the transport sector, which plays a major role in the tourism industry. With the aid of ICT applications, prospective travelers can view a destination, book accommodation, book the flight and other forms of transport and pay for all these without leaving their homes. The use of ICTs has spread the travel and tourism industry. ICTs in this industry consist of various components that include computerized reservation systems, teleconferencing, video, video brochures, management information systems, airline electronic information systems, electronic funds transfer, digital telephone networks, smart cards, mobile communication, e-mail, and Internet (Mansell & When, 1998).
Table 1. DEVELOPMENT PHASES OF ICT Time period
Early electronic computers
Information processing inside a company Host systems, PC, networks, Communication communication protocols between Companies Distributed systems, multimedia, Communication WAN, worldwide networks between Companies Mobile computing, Grid Secured and handy computing, Cloud computing communication
Time sharing (multi user) Multi user
Distributed computing Distributed computing
ELECTRONIC TOURISM (E-TOURISM) Electronic tourism or e-tourism is part of electronic trade, which encompasses the fastest developing technologies, such as communication and information industry, hospitality and management\marketing of strategic planning industry. The “e” stands for the electronic and represents the e-marketplace, where the e- business meets e- consumers, e-governing, epartners and other e-business on e-platforms. The specific activities of e-tourism must rely on tourism operators, tourism agencies and other organisms directly interested in virtual tourism using a specialized website. The phenomenon itself involves both the consumer and the provider of tourism.( Amelia Badica; Georgeta Soava) E-tourism is the digitisation of all the processes and value chains in the tourism, travel, hospitality and catering industries that enable organisations to maximise their efficiency and effectiveness. (Buhalis 2003). E-Tourism is one of the most important sectors in eBusiness which involves acceptance of online orders and Marketing and sales processes. The e-tourism concept includes all business functions (i.e., e-commerce, e-marketing, efinance and e-accounting, eHRM, e-procurement, eR&D, e-production) as well as e-strategy, e-planning and e-management for all sectors of the tourism industry, including tourism, travel, transport, leisure, hospitality, principals, intermediaries and public sector organisations. Hence, e-tourism bundles together three distinctive disciplines: business management, information systems and management, and tourism (Buhalis 2003). E-tourism is the digitisation of all the processes and value chains in the tourism, travel, hospitality and catering industries that enable organisations to maximise their efficiency and effectiveness. E-tourism comes to support the tourists by providing specialized sites and software which reduce the time necessary for the touristic destinations , making easier the process of booking or renting a car or help planning the trip and making a decision. A tourism portal can be seen as an infrastructure of a business community which offers a transparent environment to promote tourism business. It joins the providers of tourism service (hotels and pensions, holiday resorts), tourism agencies and the consumers of services in the virtual environment of the World Wide Web. All the participants are transparent by using the tools of the Internet. 5
Internet and electronic Commerce developments in the late 1990s and the emergence of Tourism as one of the prime Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumers (B2C) applications have changed the situation rapidly (O’Connor, 1999; Smith et al., 1998). Internet has become a major tool and one that is widely used by the tourism sector. ICT enable travelers to access reliable and accurate information as well as to make reservations in a fraction of the time, cost and inconvenience required by conventional methods (O’Connor, 1999). A real challenge for the tourism companies is re-organizing and raising productivity by using the internet on a competition market and to find their name on the world market. The electronic systems play an important part in the management of any e-business in tourism, as in the services sector it represents 90% of all operational information. Therefore, the management systems are designed to have multiple tasks, as storing or planning, researching and implementing. ICTs have been changing the way in which tourism companies conduct their business. E-tourism therefore emerged as a term describing the entire range of applications of ICTs on tourism industry. Tour operators, travel agencies, hotel enterprises, car rental companies, cruise companies etc. can benefit from the ICTs Table 2 gives information about some innovative trends of ICT used in tourism , which describes how ICT is helpful to meet the requirements quickly. Through these technological updates everyone can connect worldwide without any detailed knowledge. Table 2. INNOVATIVE TRENDS OF ICT IN TOURISM: Innovative Trends Description / Uses S. No. 1 Collaborative filtering Through this data mining software from customer database, it is easy to identify customers with similar interest, preferences, travel pattern etc., based on previously accommodated customer knowledge. E.g. Amazon.com, skyMall 2 Computer reservation Basically used for inventory management by airlines, hotels, and system other tourism and hospitality enterprises. (CRS) 3 Destination DMS attempt to utilise a customer centric approach in order to management System manage and market the destination as a holistic entity, typically (DMS) providing strong destination related information, real-time reservations, destination management tools and paying particular attention to supporting small and independent tourism suppliers 4 E-payment It enables electronic transaction 5 GIS application in Data entry, storage and manipulation, Map production, Database Tourism planning integration and management, Data queries and searches, Spatial analysis, Spatial modelling, Decision support 6 Global distributed A GDS provides all kinds of tariffs and tourism services to system (GDS) subscribers every day, allowing the users to make, change and cancel reservations, as well as to print tickets and avail themselves of any kind of rights related to services and products. 7 Knowledge- based This software takes criteria set by customers and goes into software digital databases. It then gets available choices for the consumers and it also narrows down the choices and lets 6
customer find the best deal. Online word of mouth Based on the definition of WOM by Westbrook (1987), (WOM) monitoring electronic Word-of-Mouth eWOM can be defined as all informal communications directed at consumers through Internet-based technology related to the usage or characteristics of particular goods and services, or their sellers. This includes communication between producers and consumers as well as those between consumers themselves – both integral parts of the WOM flow, and both distinctly differentiated from communications through mass media (Goldsmith 2006; Lazarsfeld, Berelson, and Gaudet, 1944). Personalization This data mining software tracks and monitors the preferences software and purchasing behaviors of consumers and perform direct marketing Video-conferencing The tourism sector can take the help of this amazing technology for introducing new places and promoting the culture of different tourist spots online. The vivid description of the place will become more effective with the help of video conferencing where the tourists can witness the real beauty before actually experiencing it. This will obviously help in building a long lasting relation of trust and loyalty. These days the tourists want to be sure whether the money spend on the vacation is worth it or not. Virtual reality and It displays three dimensional worlds. Web casting provides web casting online live videos and events.
Some of the e-tourism sites and e-mediaries are given in the table3. Table 3. New eTourism e-Mediaries New eTourism eMediaries Principals Airlines
Hotels Destinations Switch companies Travel Agencies
Lastminute Bookings Portals Vortals
www.flybmi.com www.airfrance.com www.opodo.com www.orbitz.com www.marriott.com www.oscar.gr www.tiscover.at www.holland.com www.utell.com www.lunnpoly.com www.expedia.com www.travelocity.com www.lastminute.com www.yahoo.com www.lycos.com www.tennis.com 7
www.Igolf.com Travel.telegraph.co.uk cnn.com www.qxl.com www.ebay.com The World Tourism Organization reports the following ten countries as the most visited in terms of the number of international travelers. In 2011, Turkey overtook the United Kingdom to become the sixth most visited country. International tourism receipts grew to US$1.03 trillion (€740 billion) in 2011, corresponding to an increase in real terms of 3.8% from 2010(UNWTO. 7 May 2012 ). The World Tourism Organization reports the following countries as the top ten tourism earners for the year 2011, with the United States by far the top earner. Newspapers News Media Auction sites
Table 4. TOP TEN TOURISM EARNERS FOR THE YEAR 2011 Rank
International tourism receipts (2011) 1 United States North America $116.3 billion 2 Spain Europe $59.9 billion 3 France Europe $53.8 billion 4 China Asia $48.5 billion 5 Italy Europe $43.0 billion 6 Germany Europe $38.8 billion 7 United Kingdom Europe $35.9 billion 8 Australia Oceania $31.4 billion 9 India Asia $27.8 billion 10 HongKong (China) Asia $27.2 billion Source: "World's top destinations by international tourism receipts". World Tourism Barometer. UNWTO. May 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2012. ADVANTAGES OF ICT USAGE IN TOURISM Optimal product information for customer o Multimedia, global search engines, recommendation Reduction of effort for information gathering and travel planning (transaction costs) Reduction of product complexity Information about customer for supplier o Customer profiles and preferences ( eCRM ) o Customer behaviour and needs (web mining ) Flexibility of tourism offers o Customization of products o Yield Management & dynamic pricing o Dynamic packaging ICT tools have facilitated business transaction in the industry through networking with trading partners, distribution of product services and providing information to consumers across the globe. Consumers can directly obtain information and plan their trip and travel with www. ICT pervades almost all aspects of tourism and related industry. Internet offers the potential to make available information and booking facilities available to large number of tourists at relatively low costs. 8
Internet also provides a tool for communication between tourism suppliers, intermediaries, as well as end-consumers. ICT is useful to increase efficiency, reduce cost and improve customer service. DISADVANTAGES OF ICT USAGE IN TOURISM Some tourist are not able to use websites(ICT) effectively because of number of different causes like lack of knowledge, trust literacy, language skills and content availability of credit card and low bandwidth. Inexperienced Internet users may not be able to easily reach online suppliers or tourist portals, search engines, and online travel agencies to receive information on flights, hotels and tourist destination or to book travel service. CONCLUSION: India is a largest hub for tourism. People are coming to India from every part of world for different purposes. ICT is advantageous for activities in almost all types of tourism and every level of it. Not only major stakeholder of tourism industry; consumer and supplier get tremendous benefit of new technology but service providers like Hotel, Transporters, Shopping Mall also. ICT has become a boon for day to day life of person. The services are available at the tip of figure. We plan to design a knowledge based system for e-tourism which will have all the facilities including information gathering to tour planning. REFERENCES: 1. Amelia Badica; Georgeta Soava , ELECTRONIC TOURISM 2. Buhalis, D. & Laws, E. (2001). Tourism distribution channels. London, Continuum. 3. Buhalis, D. and R. Law, 2008. Progress in information technology and tourism management: 20 years on and 10 years after the Internet – The state of e-tourism research. Tourism Management, 29(4): 609-623. 4. Buhalis, D., 2003. E-tourism. Information technology for strategic tourism management, Prentice Hall 5. Chulwon Kim E-Tourism: An Innovative Approach For The Small And Medium-Sized Tourism Enterprises (Smtes) In Korea 6. Deepthi Shanker ICT and Tourism: Challenges and Opportunities Conference on Tourism in India – Challenges Ahead, 15-17 May 2008, IIMK 7. Egger, R. and D. Buhalis, 2008. E-tourism case studies: management and marketing issues. Burlington: Elsevier Ltd. 8. Frew, A.J. and Horan, P (2007) Destination Website Effectiveness – A Delphi Study-based eMetric Approach, Proceedings of the Hospitality Information Technology Association Conference, HITA 07, Orlando, USA 9. Hooman Tahayori , Masoomeh Moharrer, E-Tourism : The Role of ICT In Tourism Industry, 10. Innovations and Challenges 11. "International tourism receipts surpass US$ 1 trillion in 2011" (Press release). UNWTO. 7 May 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 12. Markus Gratzer, Werner Winiwarter , A Framework for Competitive Advantage in eTourism 13. O’Connor, P. & Frew, A. (2000). Evaluating electronic channels of distribution in the hotel sector: A Delphi study. Information Technology and Tourism, Vol. 3, No.3/4, pp.177-193. 14. Paajarvi, M., 2004. Future mobile date services for tourism. In Business administration and social science Lulea University of technology, Lulea. 15. Peter O'Connor, "Electronic Information Distribution in Tourism and Hospitality"; CABI Publishing, 1999. 9
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