ognizant Communication Corporation

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & TOURISM

ABSTRACTS
VOLUME 11, NUMBER 4

Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 11, pp. 267-284
1098-3058/10 $60.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/109830510X12670455864168
Copyright © 2010 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

E-Business Adoption, Use, and Value Creation: An Austrian Hotel Study*

Matthias Fuchs,1,2 Christina Scholochov,1 and Wolfram Höpken1,3

1eTourism Competence Centre Austria (ECCA), Innsbruck, Austria
2The European Tourism Research Institute, Mid-Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden
3Hochschule Ravensburg-Weingarten-University of Applied Sciences, Weingarten, Germany

This article presents an approach describing how contextual conditions, like infrastructural, organizational, as well as environmental factors, determine e-business adoption and use and, in turn, positively affects value creation processes in hotel businesses. The research is grounded in Innovation Diffusion Theory and is empirically based on surveys undertaken in the Austrian hotel sector. Based upon Zhu and Kraemer's e-business impact model, data are analyzed by linear structural equation models and logistic regression. Results show that e-business adoption and related use intensity decisions in the hotel sector are affected by the availability of a modern ICT system, firm size, as well as management's conviction that core business processes are supported by information technologies and, that tourists and cooperation partners expect the latest information technologies. It was further found that online platforms are the most important e-business application for value creation in the three-star hotel segment. By contrast, in the four- and five-star hotel segment a property management system, a website with booking functionality, and e-mail marketing are crucial e-business applications for value creation.

Key words: e-Business adoption; Value creation; Hotel sector; Technology diffusion; Structural equation modeling

Address correspondence to Matthias Fuchs, eTourism Competence Centre Austria (ECCA), Technikerstraße 21a, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria. E-mail: matthias.fuchs@etourism-austria.at

*This article builds on and significantly extends the work presented in Fuchs, Witting, and Höpken (2009).




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 11, pp. 285-302
1098-3058/10 $60.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/109830510X12670455864203
Copyright © 2010 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Improving Recommendation Effectiveness: Adapting a Dialogue Strategy in Online Travel Planning

Tariq Mahmood,1 Francesco Ricci,2 and Adriano Venturini3

1Department of Information and Communication Technology, University of Trento, Trento, Italy
2Faculty of Computer Science, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy
3Adriano Venturini, ECTRL Solutions, Trento, Italy

Conversational recommender systems support a structured human-computer interaction in order to assist online tourists in important online activities such as travel planning. In this article we describe the effects and advantages of a novel recommendation methodology based on Machine Learning techniques that allows conversational systems to autonomously improve an initial strategy in order to learn a new one that is more effective and efficient. We applied and tested our approach within a prototype of an online travel recommender system in collaboration with the Austrian Tourism portal (Austria.info). In this article, we present the features of this technology and the results of the online evaluation. We show that the learned strategy adapts its actions to the served users and deviates from a rigid initial strategy. More importantly, we show that the optimal strategy is able to assist online tourists in acquiring their goals more efficiently than the initial strategy. It can be used by the system designer to understand the limitations of an existing interaction design and guide him in the adoption of a new one that is able to improve customer relationship, the usage of their website, and the conversion rate of their online users.

Key words: Recommender systems; Conversational recommender systems; Markov decision process; Travel planning; Dynamic packaging

Address correspondence to Francesco Ricci, Faculty of Computer Science, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Piazza Domenicani 3, Bolzano, Italy. Tel: +39-0471-016971; Fax: +39-0471-016009; E-mail: fricci@unibz.it




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 11, pp. 303-318
1098-3058/10 $60.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/109830510X12670455864249
Copyright © 2010 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Enhancing the Australian Regional Racing Experience for Tourists: A Betting Aid for Novice Punters

G. Michael Mcgrath1 and Joze Kuzic2

1Centre for Tourism and Services Research, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
2Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Racing (thoroughbred, harness, and greyhound) brings many visitors and economic and social benefits to regional areas in Australia. Many casual gamblers, however, have little knowledge of racing and of the fundamental rules that underpin its various forms (which, while reasonably consistent across both location and type, do differ in some respects). In this article, we describe a decision support system designed to assist and educate novice punters. A motive underpinning this research was a desire to produce a tool that might assist visitors wishing to experience the Australian provincial racing circuit to get the most out of their involvement.

Key words: Tourism; Gambling; Gaming; Decision support systems (DSS)

Address correspondence to G. Michael McGrath, Centre for Tourism and Services Research, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. E-mail: Michael.mcgrath@vu.edu.au




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 11, pp. 319-327
1098-3058/10 $60.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/109830510X12670455864285
Copyright © 2010 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Topological Analysis of a Tourism Destination Webspace: The Importance of Hyperlinks

Rodolfo Baggio and Magda Antonioli Corigliano

Master in Economics and Tourism, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy

Hyperlinks are the essence of the World Wide Web. Their importance is very high due to their ability to provide a visitor with a wealth of good quality information and for the role they play in the ranking of sites by modern search engines. This article provides a network science approach to provide evidence to the importance of hyperlinking. We examine the webgraph of a tourism destination using graph theoretic methods to highlight the effects that the topological structure has on its navigability. Moreover, through a series of simulations performed on the representation of the real web network we show how a modest increase in the number of links may improve the visibility and the navigability of the destination's webspace.

Key words: Web navigation; Webgraph; Hyperlinks; Complex networks; Random walks; Tourism webspace; Destination marketing

Address correspondence to Rodolfo Baggio, Master in Economics and Tourism, Bocconi University, via Sarfatti, 25, 20136 Milan, Italy. Tel: +39 02 58365437; Fax: +39 02 58365439; E-mail: rodolfo.baggio@unibocconi.it




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 11, pp. 329-340
1098-3058/10 $60.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/109830510X12670455864320
Copyright © 2010 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

A Comparison of Chinese and International Online User Perceptions of the Usefulness of Hotel Websites*

Shanshan Qi,1 Rob Law,1 and Dimitrios Buhalis2

1School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
2School of Services Management, Bournemouth University, UK

The Internet has had a large impact on the tourism industry in which many travelers have been, and will be, using it to search for travel products and compare prices. The unprecedented growth of China's online market renders more online Chinese users to use the Internet to search and purchase tourism-related services and products. Hence, it is crucial to understand China's online users and how they act as compared to international users. The aim of this research is to do an initial study to compare the difference in perceptions of functionality and usability between China and international online users on the usefulness of hotel websites. Empirical findings revealed that the two groups of users do not exhibit significant differences in perceptions in most of the included attributes. Additionally, many users would like to use weblogs or social networks to share their travel experiences. Findings of this study would be beneficial to readers from better understanding the Chinese online users. Industrial practitioners may also consider using the recommendations to improve their websites.

Key words: Hotel; Hotel website; Website design; Usability; China

Address correspondence to ShanShan Qi, School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong. Tel: 34003147; Fax: 2362 9362; E-mail: Shan.qi@polyu.edu.hk

*An earlier version of this article was published in the proceedings of ENTER2009.




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 11, pp. 341-354
1098-3058/10 $60.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/109830510X12670455864401
Copyright © 2010 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Automated Semantic Annotations of Tourism Resources Based on Geospatial Data*

Markus Zanker,1 Markus Jessenitschnig,1 and Matthias Fuchs2,3

1Institute of Applied Informatics, University Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria
2The European Tourism Research Institute, Mid-Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden
3eTourism Competence Centre Austria (ECCA), Innsbruck, Austria

Web 2.0 applications, now common in the tourism domain, make it easy to share travel-related experiences and opinions, thus leading to the creation of enormous amounts of user-generated content. This type of tourist information must, however, be preprocessed by structuring and aggregating it in order to avoid overwhelming users. In this article we propose a knowledge-based approach that exploits spatial proximity to annotate resources with qualitative semantic concepts for tourism products such as proximity to a lake or opportunities for specific sporting activities. Finally, the article describes the successful implementation of the proposed technique and provides insight into a practical usage scenario.

Key words: Data extraction; Semantic annotation; Geospatial information; Recommender systems; Knowledge discovery; Tourism webspace

Address correspondence to Markus Zanker, Institute of Applied Informatics, University Klagenfurt, Universitätsstraße 65-76, 9020 Klagenfurt, Austria. E-mail: markus.zanker@uni-klu.ac.at

*This article builds on and significantly extends the work presented in Zanker et al. (2009).