Information Technology & Tourism 13(4) Abstracts

Return to Information Technology & Tourism main page>

Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 13 pp. 269–283
1098-3058/12 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830512X13364362859812
Copyright © 2012 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Social Media and Crisis Management in Tourism: Applications and Implications for Research

Marianna Sigala

Department of Business Administration, University of the Aegean, Chios, Chios Island, Greece

Firms are increasingly facing crises events, while tourism is an industry that is highly vulnerable to numerous risks. Despite the wide adoption of social media in tourism and the previous research examining the use of the Internet for crisis, there is limited but emerging research on the use of social media for crisis management. This article aims to fill in this gap by reviewing the literature. The literature is critically analyzed with the aim to identify the use and the impact of social media for crisis management to both tourism suppliers/organizations and tourism demand. The implications of social media are exemplified with several examples. The literature clearly demonstrates how tourism organizations should exploit the inbound and outbound communication, networking, and collaboration capabilities of social media for including several other stakeholders into their crisis management strategies and activities. The article also discusses the practical and research implications of social media in crisis management for tourism policy makers, tourism suppliers, and researchers.

Key words: Social media; Crisis management; Internet; Crowd sourcing

Address correspondence to Marianna Sigala, Department of Business Administration, University of the Aegean, Chios, Chios Island, Greece. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 13 pp. 285–307
1098-3058/12 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830512X13364362859858
Copyright © 2012 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Behavioral Intention to Use Mobile Information Services in Tourism: The Case of the Tourist Guide DolomitiSuperski.mobi

Matthias Fuchs,* Wolfram Höpken,† and Jörg Rasinger‡

*European Tourism Research Institute (ETOUR), Mid-Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden
†University of Applied Sciences Ravensburg-Weingarten, Weingarten, Germany
‡University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria

Mobile information services show great potential both as an on-site information source for customers and as a communication and distribution channel for tourism providers. Although in nontourism domains the adoption rate of using mobile technologies has been growing exponentially, comparable figures are only moderate in travel and tourism. Moreover, relatively little research has been conducted to understand travelers’ behavioral intention to use mobile technologies. Thus, the article proposes a technology acceptance model which is especially designed for mobile information services in the tourism domain. The model is an extension of the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology, and is empirically tested through laboratory-based usage data obtained from users evaluating a mobile tourist guide developed for the ski resort DolomitiSuperski. Structural equation modeling (SEM) revealed that hedonic quality and social influence are main drivers of the behavioral intention to use mobile technologies in tourism, while monetary transparency and price fairness emerged as major usage barriers.

Key words: Mobile services; Use intention; Mobile UTAUT; Structural equation modeling (SEM)

Address correspondence to Matthias Fuchs, Professor, European Tourism Research Institute (ETOUR), Mid-Sweden University, Kunskapansvag I, Östersund, Sweden. Tel: +43 664 5345 702; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 13 pp. 309–325
1098-3058/12 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830512X13364362859894
Copyright © 2012 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Semantic-Based Context Modeling in Tourism

Carlos Lamsfus,* Aurkene Alzua-Sorzabal,* David Martín,* and Emilio Torres†

*CICtourGUNE, Cooperative Research Center in Tourism, Parque Tecnológico de San Sebastián, San Sebastián, Spain
†University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain

This article presents an approach to context awareness in tourism. It begins by focusing on the nature of context in the realm of tourism and providing then an adapted definition to context. This insight provides specific requirements for context modeling for the domain of tourism. Based on that, a new model for context information management based on a network of ontologies is presented. The innovation of this model is that as opposed to the existing examples it is focused on the dynamic part of context, that is, on the visitor, the personal sphere. In addition, using networks of ontologies instead of single or double level ontologies to model context increases the modularity, scalability, and interoperability of the model, thus addressing some of the major drawbacks found in the existing literature of context awareness. The reasoning process provides a mathematical model that enables to give each of the reasoning variables different weights, therefore, providing the way to a more natural reasoning process not merely based on true and false conception.

Key words: Mobility; Context awareness: Ontology; Internet

Address correspondence to Carlos Lamsfus, CICtourGUNE, Cooperative Research Center in Tourism, Mikeletegi Pasealekua, 56, 201, Parque Tecnológico de San Sebastián, 20009 Donostia, San Sebastián, Spain. Tel: +34 943 010 885; Fax: +34 943 010 846; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 13 pp. 327–339
1098-3058/12 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830512X13364362859939
Copyright © 2012 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Extracting Destination Representation and Competitiveness From Online Content

Astrid Dickinger and Clemens Költringer

Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, MODUL University Vienna, Austria

There is an abundance of blogs and reviews available which marketers can use to extract relevant knowledge. These insights can be used for marketing intelligence. However, it is uncertain if the topics and the language used in blogs reflect what researchers traditionally investigate in conventional studies. This article provides an overview of a method to automatically analyze thousands of blog entries. Within this context it compares the findings of a conventional image study with the content mining approach to provide insights into destination image representation in the online and offline world. The results indicate that automated content analysis reproduces the findings from image studies to a great extent, and therefore, the findings lend themselves for city benchmarking. Thus, it is concluded that blogs are a valuable additional source of information for destination marketing organizations.

Key words: Text mining; Blog analysis; Destination image; Destination competitiveness

Address correspondence to Astrid Dickinger, Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, MODUL University Vienna, Am Kahlenberg 1, 1190 Vienna, Austria. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 13 pp. 341–351
1098-3058/12 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830512X13364362859948
Copyright © 2012 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Harvesting User-Generated Picture Metadata to Understand Destination Similarity

Alessandro Inversini* and Davide Eynard†

*webatelier.net, Università della Svizzera italiana, Faculty of Communication, Lugano, Switzerland
†Università della Svizzera italiana, Faculty of Informatics, Lugano, Switzerland

Pictures about tourism destinations are part of the contents shared online through social media by travelers. User-generated pictures shared in social networks carry additional information such as geotags and user descriptions of places that can be used to identify groups of similar destinations. This article investigates the possibility of defining destination similarities relying on implicit information already shared on the Web. Additionally, the possibility of recommending one city on the basis of a given set of pictures is explored. Flickr.com was used as a case study as it represents the most popular picture sharing website. The results indicate that it is possible to group similar destinations according to picture-related information, and recommending destinations without requiring users’ profiles or sets of explicit preferences.

Key words: Destination similarity; Folksonomies; Geotagging; Social media; Recommender systems

Address correspondence to Alessandro Inversini, webatelier.net, Università della Svizzera italiana, Faculty of Communication, via buffi 13, 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. 353–364
1098-3058/12 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830512X13364362859975
Copyright © 2012 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

A Mixed-Method Study of User Behavior and Usability on an Online Travel Agency

Bing Pan,* Lixuan Zhang,† and Kevin Smith*

*Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, School of Business, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA
†Hull College of Business, Augusta State University, Augusta, GA, USA

Online travel agencies (OTAs) play a more and more important role in the tourism and hospitality industry by contributing to a large volume of transactions and revenue. Many studies have evaluated tourism websites through different research methods. Website usability in general has improved dramatically but problems remain. Very few studies focus on the user behavior and usability of a single OTA website. This research uses a mixed-methods approach, including eye tracking methodology to study information search strategy and the usability problems of a major OTA site with a predefined information search task. The results show that users’ information search is mostly utilitarian in nature; the complex interface and advertising messages either confuse or were ignored by most users. The study calls for a simpler and more intuitive interface.

Key words: Online travel agencies; Information search; Website usability; Eye tracking

Address correspondence to Bing Pan, Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, School of Business, College of Charleston, 66 George St., Charleston, SC 29424-001, USA. Tel: 843-953-2025; Fax: 843-953-5697; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 13 pp. 365–376
1098-3058/12 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830512X13364362859984
Copyright © 2012 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Assessing the Global e-Readiness of Hotel Chain Websites

Peter O’Connor

Essec Business School, Cergy Pontoise, France

Companies serving a truly global customer base need to adapt their websites to take the linguistic, culture, and social differences of local markets into account. This study benchmarks hotel chains’ efforts to incorporate appropriately adapted content and facilities on their consumer websites as an indication of their commitment to servicing international markets. Both individual findings and the summary Global e-Readiness Index suggest that most are not thinking globally in their e-commerce efforts. While many provide content in languages other than English, even the best performers fail to take their internationalization efforts deep enough into the purchase process to facilitate international clients.

Key words: e-Commerce; Globalization; Hotel sector

Address correspondence to Peter O’Connor, Professor, Essec Business School, Av. Bernard Hirshc, B.P. 50105, 95021 Cergy Pontoise Cedex, France. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it