ognizant Communication Corporation

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & TOURISM

ABSTRACTS
VOLUME 11, NUMBER 2

Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 11, pp. 95-110
1098-3058/09 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2009 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Usability Evaluation of a Calabrian Tourist Visitor Information Center Website

Rocco Servidio, Antonio Feraco, and Eleonora Pantano

Department of Linguistics, University of Calabria, 87036 Arcavacata di Rende (CS), Italy

This study investigates the usability of a Calabrian (Italy) tourist Visitor Information Centre (VIC) website to evaluate whether its organization satisfies tourist needs. The website measurements were based on the time spent by the subject in finding specific information and on subjective usability evaluation. The results of this research show that the Calabrian tourist VIC website does not satisfy the usability criteria and manifests some usability problems. We have summarized these problems in two categories: user interaction with information and the management of information contents. The results of these measurements enable us to develop some guidelines to improve user interaction.

Key words: Usability; Task completion time; Tourism websites; Internet; Information services

Address correspondence to Rocco Servidio, Department of Linguistics, University of Calabria, 87036 Arcavacata di Rende (CS), Italy. Tel: +39 0984 494359; Fax: +39 0984 494110; E-mail: servidio@unical.it




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 11, pp. 111-128
1098-3058/09 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2009 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Destination Image Projection on Consumer-Generated Content Websites: A Case Study of the Flinders Ranges

Doris Schmallegger1,2 and Dean Carson2

1School of Business, James Cook University, Carins, Australia
2School for Social and Policy Research, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia

This article examines destination image projection on consumer-generated content (CGC) websites. A case study of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia was conducted to assess the destination images presented by two different markets. Blogs, review sites, and special interest forums were analyzed against a common destination image framework. The retrieved images were then compared to official images promoted by the destination marketing organization (DMO). The research revealed considerable differences between consumer images and DMO images. The results suggest that different types of CGC websites encourage different levels of information exchange. Future research will need to focus on the impact that various types of CGC websites can have on consumers as a form of word of mouth.

Key words: Destination image; Consumer-generated content; Word of mouth; Destination marketing; Internet

Address correspondence to Doris Schmallegger, School of Business, James Cook University, PO Box 6811, Carins, QLD 4870, Australia. E-mail: doris.schmallegger@jcu.edu.au




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 11, pp. 129-138
1098-3058/09 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2009 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Stages of Integrated Market Communication in Tourism

Tom Rosendahl and Petter Gottschalk

Department of Leadership and Organizational Management, Norwegian School of Management, Oslo, Norway

This research presents a stage model for integrated market communication. The four stages are labeled integrated media approach, integrated attraction approach, integrated industry approach, and integrated region approach, respectively. Both academics and practitioners can apply this model to determine both current state as well as direction for future integrated market communication. This is illustrated with the case of tourist attractions in Norway.

Key words: Integrated market communication; Destination marketing; Tourism attraction; Cultural attraction

Address correspondence to Petter Gottschalk, Department of Leadership and Organizational Management, Norwegian School of Management, Nydalsveien 37, 0442 Oslo, Norway. E-mail: petter.gottschalk@bi.no




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 11, pp. 139-156
1098-3058/09 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2009 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Constraint-Based Recommendation in Tourism: A Multiperspective Case Study

Dietmar Jannach,1 Markus Zanker,2 and Matthias Fuchs3,4

1Department of Computer Science, TU Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany
2Institute of Applied Informatics, University Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria
3The European Tourism Research Institute, Mid-Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden
4eTourism Competence Centre Austria (ECCA), Innsbruck, Austria

In many business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce scenarios, recommender systems (RS) have been shown to be valuable tools both for the online customer and the merchant. Such systems help customers find interesting items in large product assortments, increasing the chance of immediate online purchases and fostering long-term customer loyalty. However, standard technologies from classical RS application domains such as books and movies cannot be directly adopted in the tourism domain. This article presents a case study of a constraint-based RS that was integrated into a travel advisory system for an Austrian spa resort. The study analyzes the system and its environment from three perspectives. First, technological aspects of system development and maintenance are discussed; second, corresponding to the supplier's view, the end user's perspective is analyzed based on the findings of a study of the system's usability and the perceived customer utility. Finally, the effectiveness of the system's ability to positively affect user behavior is evaluated and discussed. The findings show that constraint-based RS not only help positively influence tourist behavior, but such systems can be built cost-effectively when using appropriate knowledge acquisition and maintenance tools.

Key words: Recommender systems; Constraint-based recommendation; Conversational recommender systems; Web personalization

Address correspondence to Markus Zanker, Institute of Applied Informatics, University Klagenfurt, Universitätsstraße 65-67, 9020 Klagenfurt, Austria. E-mail: markus.zanker@uni-klu.ac.at




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 11, pp. 157-168
1098-3058/09 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2009 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

An Exploratory Study of Travelers' Use of Online Reviews and Recommendations

Lixuan Zhang,1 Bing Pan,2 Wayne Smith,2 and Xiang (Robert) Li3

1Hull College of Business, Augusta State University, Augusta, GA, USA
2School of Business and Economics, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA
3School of Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA

Travelers are increasingly turning to online reviews and recommendations to plan trips. This article investigates the sources and types of online travel reviews and recommendations, and examines the heuristics used by subjects when making travel decisions. The results of this study indicated that those reviews and recommendations come from peer travelers, third parties, or travel companies; they can be categorized into text-based recommendations, symbolic recommendation, numerical ratings, or narrative reviews. Also, the results indicated that the subjects used several heuristics to make their decisions.

Key words: Online reviews; Recommendations; Decision heuristics; Trip planning; Online tourism

Address correspondence to Lixuan Zhang, Hull College of Business, Augusta State University, Augusta, GA 30904, USA. Tel: (706) 737-1560; Fax: (706) 667-4525; E-mail: gzhang@aug.edu




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 11, pp. 169-176
1098-3058/09 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2009 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

RESEARCH NOTE
Language Representation in Search Engines of US State Tourism Websites

Heejun Kim1 and Zheng Xiang2

1Department of Dietetics, Fashion Merchandising and Hospitality, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL, USA
2School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA

Search engines serve as an important channel for tourism destinations to communicate with prospective visitors. This study assessed the language representation of the search results for the 50 state tourism offices in the United States by three major search engines (e.g., Google, Ask, and Yahoo!). The findings indicate that Google and Ask were similar to each other, while both were different from Yahoo! This study provides useful insights for developing more effective search engine marketing strategies for marketing destinations online.

Key words: Online destination marketing; Search engines; Language representation; Search engine marketing

Address correspondence to Zheng Xiang, School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management, University of North Texas, P.O. Box 311100, Denton, TX 76203, USA. Tel: 940-369-7680; Fax: 940-565-4348; E-mail: philxz@unt.edu