Tourism and information technologies: Past, present and future
Authors: Buhalis, D.
Journal: Tourism Recreation Research
Information Technologies (ITs) have revolutionized the tourism industry and altered the competitiveness of organizations and destinations. The rapid development of both tourism supply and demand makes ITs an imperative partner of the industry, especially for the marketing, distribution, promotion and coordination of the industry. In the late 1990s the proliferation of the Internet and the World Wide Web in particular revolutionized communications as it enabled organizations to demonstrate their offerings globally using multimedia interfaces. As a result, most of tourism enterprises and destinations had to readdress their strategic management and marketing and to redesign their practices in order to take advantage of the new tools. In addition, several new organizations emerged to satisfy the emerging demand. This paper examines the paradigm-shift experienced in the industry and illustrates the business reasons for ITs adoption as well as the emerging trends and opportunities. It is contended that organizations which fail to take advantage of the emerging tools will lose market share and perhaps suffer competitive disadvantages.