Information Technology & Tourism 13(1) Abstracts

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Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 13 pp. 3–12
1098-3058/11 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830511X13167968595624
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Travel Agents and Destination Management Organizations: eLearning as a Strategy to Train Tourism Trade Partners

Nadzeya Kalbaska

Faculty of Communication Sciences, Università della Svizzera italiana, 6900 Lugano, Switzerland

This article offers an overview of the existing online courses run by national destination management organizations (DMOs) in order to better equip travel agents and tour operators in the sales activities of the tourism destinations. These online courses represent one of the B2B offers by DMOs and an interesting opportunity for travel agents, who are trying to find their identity and competitive advantage within the context of eTourism. All websites of National Ministries of Tourism/Tourism Boards of 192 officially recognized UN member states have been taken into consideration: 69 of them present such an eLearning offer, almost double that of 2009, when only 37 were available. DMOs’ courses have been analyzed along a triangle-shaped framework, encompassing people involved, learning strategies, and content and learning goals. Courses present main characteristics of the destination, hospitality and tourism offers, and tips on how to sell it; most of them award an ad hoc certificate upon completion of a final test. When compared to the courses available in 2009, in 2011 more interactive features and multimedia contents are found, hence making those eLearning experiences more engaging for travel agents.

Key words: eLearning; Travel agencies; Destination marketing organization (DMO);Tourism training

Address correspondence to Nadzeya Kalbaska, Faculty of Communication Sciences, Università della Svizzera italiana, 6900 Lugano, Switzerland. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 13 pp. 13–26
1098-3058/11 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830511X13167968595660
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Overcoming Barriers to SME E-Commerce Adoption Using Blended Learning: A Swedish Action Research Case Study

Christer Kuttainen* and Maria Lexhagen†

*Self-Employed Consultant, Educator, and Researcher, Sweden
†Mid Sweden University/ETOUR, Östersund, Sweden

The purpose of this article is to demonstrate a model for blended learning for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), featuring information technology and face-to-face meetings. Using an action research approach data were collected from almost 70 Swedish SMEs, half of them in the tourism industry. Semistructured telephone interviews with 17 SME owner-managers were used to identify effects from a project using blended learning to support e-commerce adoption. Findings indicate that blended learning can improve SME owner-managers’ knowledge of and proficiency in using web technology to expand their business. The model consists of three main components: face-to-face meetings, online support, and an online learning platform. A project team is required to supervise and anchor the project work of the participating SMEs in established best practices and also to provide strategic perspectives. The model reduces and/or bypasses several barriers to e-commerce adoption, such as perceived lack of time and financial resources. SMEs in the tourism industry and organizations promoting SME development can adopt and refine the proposed blended learning model.

Key words: e-Learning; Blended learning; Virtual platforms; e-Commerce adoption; Small and medium enterprises (SMEs); Tourism

Address correspondence to Christer Kuttainen, Ph.D., E-handelsdoktorn, Acusticum 4, S-941 28 Piteå, Sweden. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 13 pp. 27–37
1098-3058/11 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830511X13167968595705
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Tourism Capacity Building in Developing Geographies:A Case for Open Educational Resources

Sanjay Nadkarni* and Magiel Venema†

*Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, Dubai, UAE
†NHTV Breda University for Applied Sciences, Breda, The Netherlands

This is a conceptual article that brings into focus the context-sensitive nature of tourism and its impact on knowledge transfer models from developed to developing geographies. Challenges in customization of content and the implications for pro-poor tourism (PPT) capacity-building interventions are discussed and interpreted within the context of development theories. The concept of digital open educational sources in tourism is proposed and its potential to address the challenges of customization and inclusiveness in the developing economies context is explored. The feasibility of implementing the tourism open educational resources (TOER) concept is examined and an alternative model for PPT capacity-building interventions is proposed.

Key words: Capacity building; Pro-poor tourism; Digital learning; Tourism open educational resources (TOER)

Address correspondence to Sanjay Nadkarni, Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, Dubai, UAE. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 13 pp. 39–49
1098-3058/11 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830511X11X13167968595741
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

MySwitzerland.Com: Analysis of Online Communication and Promotion

Alessandro Inversini,* Christoph Brülhart,† and Lorenzo Cantoni*

*Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland
†Swiss National Tourist Office, Zürich, Switzerland

This research investigates the current state of technology adoption of a popular tourism destination: Switzerland. This case study has been elaborated leveraging on existing literature, public documents, and private statistics; it describes the importance of technology-mediated communication and promotion within the Swiss National Tourism Board, highlighting the achievements and envisaging the future steps. Thanks to an online communication model, the website of the Swiss Tourism Board (MySwitzerland.com) has been investigated, taking into account the following dimensions: content functionalities, graphical user interface, people who administrate, people who visit the website, and information market. The analysis shows the importance of the online channel and the technology adoption of this destination management organization.

Key words: Destination management organization (DMO) online communication;Destination management systems; Switzerland

Address correspondence to Alessandro Inversini, Università della Svizzera italiana, Via Buffi 13, 6900 Lugano, Switzerland. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it