E-Tourism Developments in Greece: Information Communication Technologies Adoption for the Strategic Management of the Greek Tourism Industry
Authors: Buhalis, D. and Deimezi, O.
Journal: Tourism and Hospitality Research
Information communication technologies (ICTs) have revolutionised the travel industry in the last decade. E-tourism reflects the digitalisation of all processes and value chains in the tourism, travel, hospitality and catering industries. It emerges as a term describing the entire range of applications of ICTs on tourism and the implications for the tourism value chain. Major opportunities and challenges have emerged and need to be addressed by all industry players. The level of e-tourism developments, however, varies between regions, countries and continents. The key objective of this research has been to examine the e-tourism developments in Greece as a country that is gradually embracing e-commerce. In particular the research examines the level of ICT diffusion in small and medium-sized tourism enterprises (SMTEs) as well as whether the level of online presence is sufficient to make up for the lack of a destination management system (DMS). Results indicate that the Greek online travel market is at the early stages of its e-commerce deployment, but that it demonstrates great potential for further e-tourism developments. The low level of cooperation between SMTEs, however, and the serious doubts about the ability of the National Tourism Organisation to coordinate the destination makes the prospect of a DMS development in Greece doubtful. The research concludes that ICT-enabled local cooperation can potentially assist SMTEs to enhance their competitiveness and increase their global presence. © 2004, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.