Entrepreneurial Networks in the Italian eTourism
Authors: Buhalis, D. and Molinaroli, E.
Journal: Information Technology & Tourism
Information technology and tourism are both driven by a consistent change in structures, players, and products in order to adapt to fast changing consumer behavior as well as adaptation of ICT tools. The key objective of this study is to explore to what extent the domestic, inbound, and outbound Italian tourism sector is ready to adopt a common and more flexible technological infrastructure that can facilitate the development of entrepreneurial networks at a local level. Destinations can increasingly be seen as local “clusters” of tourism businesses, consisting mainly of small and medium-sized tourism enterprises (SMTEs). Through new Web technology tools and interoperability SMTEs can develop entrepreneurial networks and supply to provide a “complete” tourism experience by delivering complementary products. Results of extensive Web research, email questionnaires, and in-depth interviews in Italy suggest that both SMTEs and larger enterprises have so far developed only basic e-commerce activities. As far as incoming tourism is concerned, destinations, such as Italy, that lack a comprehensive destination management system (DMS) need to maintain their attractiveness by interconnecting all tourism suppliers. Through entrepreneurial networks they can empower e-commerce and e-business activities to assist Italian tourism enterprises to interact with their clientele, offer value-added products, and assist travelers arriving at the destination.
Preferred by: Dimitrios Buhalis