Skip to content

Categories:

The Story of Stuff: The Story of Change

Can shopping save the world? The Story of Change urges viewers to put down their credit cards and start exercising their citizen muscles to build a more sustainable, just and fulfilling world.

Help us caption & translate this video!
The Story of Change

Over the past several decades, many environmental and social change efforts have come to reflect the centrality of shopping in our culture, suggesting change can be made—or is even best made—through alterations in our individual consumption patterns. These efforts—buy Fair Trade or organic, use a reusable bag, screw in a CFL lightbulb—are a great place to start, but they are a terrible place to stop, ignoring the real source of our power: coming together as engaged citizens.

In The Story of Change, released in July 2012, Annie Leonard argues that it’s not bad shoppers who are putting our future at risk; it’s bad policies and business practices. If we really want to change the world, we have to move beyond voting with our dollars and come together to demand rules that work.

Annie takes viewers through an inspiring exploration of what effective changemaking has looked like through history—from Gandhi in India to the US Civil Rights movement to the environmental victories of the 1970s—and shares the things you’ll find whenever people get together and change the world: a big idea, a commitment to working together, and a whole lot of action. She also let’s viewers know that making change will take all kinds of people, offers a series of changemaker identities and ends the movie with a question for viewers: Which are you?

This fantastic educational film on the story of change was released July 2012 on The Story of Stuff .
The article is uploaded by Majbritt Magnussen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’

Be Sociable, Share!

Posted in Cooperation and network, Development, Education and qualification, Performance and management, Policy, Sustainability.

Tagged with , , , , , , .


A New United Front for Sustainable Tourism

Megan Epler WoodOur contributing writer for the column Point of View is Megan Epler Wood, Core Instructor for the graduate school for Sustainability and Environmental Management at Harvard University Extension and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University. She has led an international consulting practice EplerWood International since 2003. In this article, Megan builds the case for a definition for Sustainable Tourism that speaks to the market, includes the best ideas from the different schools of thought, and is representative of decades of work in this area.

Introduction
In September, I was proud to stand in front of an audience of over 300 ecotourism advocates from all over the world and receive The International Ecotourism Society’s (TIES) Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2013 Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. TIES was formed in 1990, at a time when tourism was still primarily viewed as a thoroughly unsustainable activity. The Society was the first non-governmental organization dedicated to developing the tools and methodologies to make tourism a tool for conservation and sustainable development. It was not until 1992, at the Rio Summit that sustainable tourism emerged on the global agenda.

Nature Megan Epler WoodDuring the Society’s early years, ecotourism was positioned carefully as a tool to build tourism in a new way, with ecological principles, allowing travelers to see that tourism need not be separate from nature, but rather in harmony with the earth’s natural resources. A myriad of innovative ideas were fostered by the Society to develop tourism near or within protected areas with a goal of supporting the cost of conservation around the world. And ecotourism practitioners worked from the get go to benefit local people, and help local communities around the world claim a larger share of tourism’s economic benefits.

Dr. David Western, TIES’ first Chairman who won its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, wrote to me after the event in Nairobi to say that he was thrilled that TIES had had so much influence over the years and attracted an ever growing group of advocates working to use ecotourism according to its principles. It is true that founding any organization, especially one that did not appear to have strong international support was an act of faith and some courage, and he believes we were both lucky to see how ecotourism has blossomed worldwide.

But ecotourism is not a broad based solution. It was always meant to address a niche market not the entire global tourism community. But because the term ecotourism had so much prominence early, it was challenged by others who felt that different definitions were needed. Even though sustainable tourism was defined in 1992 at the Rio Summit, it was quite slow to really begin to attract attention and was never viewed as a term the market understood or recognized.

Unfortunately, the field fractured around 2002 and new definitions of sustainable tourism emerged that are more broad based and consumer oriented. On November 14, 2013 at the Harvard On-Line Forum on Tourism and the Environment, Mauro Marrocu, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), stated that the sustainable tourism community seems to be in competition with itself. “There are so many denominations,” he said. “Do we really think customers understand? Is there any more than a 1% difference between these definitions?”

Flower Megan Epler WoodCan the Definition Problem Be Solved?
It is fair to say there has been a competition to properly define the field. There is ecotourism, sustainable tourism, geotourism and responsible tourism all with institutional affiliations competing for scarce resources. Different schools come from different continents, different organizational philosophies, and prominent institutions with different agendas. Marrocu of the GSTC, noted at Harvard, “we are far too fragmented, and this competition between definitions creates weakness.”

Sri Lanka Megan Epler WoodThe small difference between definitions could be solved, and the time is now to construct a more unified sustainable tourism approach. This is more than an academic exercise. As the global travel economy continues to expand, the need to focus on techniques and methodologies for managing growth, under one banner, with a unified approach is great.

Tensie Whelan, President of Rainforest Alliance, laid out a challenge at the Harvard Forum, asking the representatives of tourism businesses and governments to unite and work out commitments to lowering impacts from the tourism sector as a whole. She suggested tourism needs to shift from a “niche approach to a mainstream approach.” She called on the industry at large to set benchmarks for sustainable sourcing of products worldwide.

But is this possible if the field of sustainable tourism cannot agree on the definition of responsibility or sustainability? As Whelan pointed out at Harvard, many large tourism companies are only working on a project basis. They offer good examples but are not “proactively reducing the impacts of their supply chains.” Companies and governments define their own approaches to sustainability and work towards fulfilling benchmarks without unity.

Is the fracturing of the sustainable tourism definition the cause of the problem? If the strengths and weakness of each definition could be identified, could a more unified approach be adopted? The definition problem is a problem that has been perpetuated for so long, most are hesitant to address it for fear of fracturing the community further. And I certainly have long felt it should not take another moment of our time, after listening to conference deliberations on this for 10 years. But, as we enter into the century of rapid tourism growth, I believe it is necessary to try again to solve this problem.

I propose that there is a global effort to adopt a single definition for all forms of sustainable tourism. While a sustainable tourism definition already does exist, it does not incorporate the strengths of each of the sub-definitions into the larger definition. There has never been an effort to do this. It would be well worth the effort to bring the strengths of these new ideas to the larger definition of sustainable tourism to help unify the field.

For the main sub-areas of sustainable tourism here are the strengths.

Forest Megan Epler Wood1. Ecotourism addresses the challenge of managing tourism in wild lands, providing support to the conservation of biodiversity and parks and protected areas. It attracts a market interested in experiencing wild places and wildlife, while ensuring local people fully benefit.

2. Ethical, responsible tourism creates a better place for people to live in and better places to visit. It cannot be segmented into niche market vehicles that exclude “mass tourism.”

3. Geotourism addresses the protection of places. Destinations have more than ecological sustainability limits, they have geographic character that is the combination of both natural and cultural heritage.

These strengths divide the fields of responsible, eco and geotourism. Each is devoted to creating a set of tools that confirms the importance of their strengths. Each is equally important. But there is little doubt that the term sustainable tourism could easily include all of these strengths. The existing United Nations definition of sustainable tourism could be improved to incorporate the ideas above, and it is time this took place.

The current UN definition reads roughly as follows:

- Sustainable tourism makes optimal use of environmental resources and conserves the natural heritage and biodiversity.
- Sustainable tourism respects to socio-cultural features of host communities, conserves their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values and contributes to intercultural understanding and tolerance.
- Sustainable tourism ensures long-term economic viability providing benefits to all stakeholders and helps to reduce poverty.
In fact there is very little missing in this definition that does not honestly include the ideas of ecotourism, geo and responsible tourism, but it could be redone to make it a more accessible definition.

In an effort to retool the terminology used to define sustainable tourism, I suggest this revision:

“Sustainable tourism creates a better place for people to live, work and visit by providing long-term economic benefits to local people, protecting the environment and biodiversity, and preserving the cultural heritage, traditional values and character of destinations worldwide.”

Why Retooling is a Must?
To date, tourism has barely registered in the global lexicon of development challenges, likely because it is seen as a luxury – a leisure industry which is not required to make the global economy tick. But this view has been short sighted.

It is time to put tourism into the context of global industry. Its global business footprint has both social and environmental dimensions. Both need to be measured. Its role in current global development trends has additional importance. Tourism is part of the transformation of the world economy, both as a business and leisure industry. It thrives on the growth of the global economy and will grow at an accelerated pace as air travel becomes an increasingly essential tool for business in countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China. These (BRIC) countries have high rates of tourism growth and are symbols for how the global economy is being transformed.

At the Harvard Forum Geoffrey Lipmann, CEO of Gate Trip and GreenEarth.Travel stated that “We need to change how we power the industry, how we ensure social inclusion and conserve biodiversity.” He stated that the tools to be employed need to go “beyond certification, beyond awards and beyond indicators.” I would add the field needs to go beyond niche definitions that have left the field of sustainable tourism fractured and limited in influence.

Can we not reach a firm, global agreement on one definition that can be used in all presentations and media discussions around the world? Would it not advance our field in every way?

A one sentence definition is essential and would be 100% more useful than a long set of bullet points. If sustainable tourism experts from the different camps can agree on this simple step, it would be powerful.

Sustainable tourism needs a definition that speaks to the market, includes the best ideas from the different schools of thought, and is representative of the last 20 years of work.

About Megan Epler Wood
Megan Epler Wood is a Core Instructor for the graduate school for Sustainability and Environmental Management at Harvard University Extension and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University. She is a published author and editor of many titles, including Ecotourism; Principles, Practices and Policies in 2002 for the United Nations Environment Program. Her numerous academic papers investigate sustainable tourism markets, certification, economic growth, alleviation of poverty and environmental conservation. www.eplerwood.com

This article published 26th December 2013 is quoted from SOST .

The article is uploaded by Majbritt Magnussen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’. Please join the online Views On Tourism network and discussion group in order to achieve personal goals as well as encourage a sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh and South Asia. Read more about this group and how to become a member here.

Be Sociable, Share!

Posted in Best practice, Cooperation and network, Development, Education and qualification, Market knowledge, Performance and management, Policy, Sale and marketing, Sustainability, World.

Tagged with , , , , , , , , .


A world first for Scandic – checking out by mobile at all hotels

Scandic Online Check OutScandic is the first hotel chain in the world to offer digital check-out at all its hotels. The system was tested in the spring and is now available at all hotels in the chain. With just a few simple clicks on their smartphone or computer, guests can quickly pay their room, minibar and restaurant bill when it suits them, gaining a welcome bit of extra time in the morning.

Scandic estimates that in the first year it will see half a million digital check-outs. In the following year, Scandic expects to see that number double. This is because the service is so simple to use that it gives guests immediate added value, not least since the people of the Nordic region tend to be so mobile literate.

Over the summer, Scandic conducted a pilot project at Scandic Park in Stockholm, where the new mobile check-out solution was evaluated and finetuned. The pilot project was warmly received and now the mobile check-out system is being rolled out at all Scandic’s hotels. All that is needed to check out with a smartphone is for the guest’s telephone number or email address to be registered at check-in. The night before check-out, guests receive a text message and can check their bill, add purchases from the minibar, update their address details and pay for their stay. The receipt is forwarded by email and the keycard can simply be dropped off at reception on the way out.

“It feels great to be the first to make this move, but the important point is that this is something guests have been waiting for,” says Frank Fiskers, Scandic’s CEO. “Checking out is seen by many guests as the tiresome part of a hotel stay and it is sometimes associated with queues and morning stress. Now we are offering guests a smart shortcut that gives them a more pleasant start to the day. They can check out when it suits them, and some guests will no doubt check out the evening before so they can enjoy a more leisurely breakfast.”

More services expected
The hotel industry has so far been cautious and rather slow with its digital services, mostly focusing thus far on making it easy to book hotel rooms by computer and mobile. However, these days many Nordic guests take it for granted that they can manage their bank accounts and shop for, book, rearrange and pay for travel on their smartphone. Scandic saw check-out as a natural place to start and is happy to report that already 10% of all invited guests have tried out the service. The feedback from the guests has also been positive.
“It’s definitely time for us to give guests added value they appreciate by exploiting the almost infinite possibilities that digital technology now offers,” says Johan Michelson, Vice President Brand & Products at Scandic. “We will continue adding more digital services, and right now we’re looking at check-in and conference booking, although as I said, this is all at an early stage.”

For further information, please contact:
Johan Michelson, VP Brand & Products Scandic, tel: +46 8-517 350 26
Anna-Klara Lindholm, PR Manager Scandic, tel: +46 709-73 52 31

This article published 25th November 2013 is quoted from Scandic .

The article is uploaded by Majbritt Magnussen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’. Please join the online Views On Tourism network and discussion group in order to achieve personal goals as well as encourage a sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh and South Asia. Read more about this group and how to become a member here.

Be Sociable, Share!

Posted in Best practice, Denmark, Development, IT, Norway, Performance and management, Sale and marketing, Sweden.

Tagged with , , , , , , , .


ADB: National and Regional Actions Required to Realize Growth Benefits of Integration

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA – Governments in Asia must undertake national as well as regional actions to reap the full benefits of integration initiatives like the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and be in a strong position to face global economic volatility going forward, says a new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

adb-infographic-aeim-24oct13“Strengthening regional integration will help developing Asia become more productive and efficient at a time when the global economy still in flux,” said Iwan J. Azis, Head of the Office of Regional Economic Integration which produced the report. “To do that and to avoid falling prey to domestic protectionist pressures, governments must act now to ratify, implement, and enforce regional agreements.”
The latest Asian Economic Integration Monitor. (AEIM), a semi-annual report from ADB, notes Asia has seen mixed progress in regional cooperation and integration recently against the backdrop of a shifting economic and financial landscape. Cross-border trade and equity flows have slowed modestly despite improvements in cross-border foreign direct investment, bond purchases, bank credit, and tourism flows.

Progress toward the AEC has been steady but slow. The region needs to work harder on tackling barriers to trade in economically sensitive sectors such as agriculture, steel, and motor vehicles as well as reducing the non-tariff barriers that are increasingly replacing tariffs as constraints to international trade.
Liberalizing trade in services and enacting competition policy and intellectual property rights protection – all difficult areas of reform – require national rather than regional actions. As such, 2015 will be a milestone rather than an end-point in fully achieving the AEC goals laid out by the ASEAN.

Work needs to continue beyond 2015, the report says, particularly to increase labor mobility so that unskilled as well as skilled workers can move across borders more easily. Greater labor mobility will allow the region to reap the full benefits of all its other reforms.
There is a need to address other impediments to trade including fees, excessive paperwork at customs, and trade finance. Tackling these issues are where the main trade benefits lie. Every 1% saving in trade-related transaction costs is estimated to yield a worldwide benefit of $43 billion. National actions combined with a multilateral agreement on trade facilitation — expected to be signed at the World Trade Organization’s 9th Ministerial Conference in Indonesia on 3-6 December — are key to realizing these gains.
The report says regional cooperation can address economic uncertainties and other cross-border challenges such as climate change, health issues, and territorial disputes. This can be achieved notably through greater policy dialogue, stronger regional institutions, better transport links, deeper regional capital markets, and financial safety nets.
Economies also need to be aware of rising exposure to borrowing from Japanese and Australian banks, given the size and behavior of bank credit flows in the region, particularly as they replaced European banks in providing a substantial amount of the region’s funding needs after the Eurozone crisis.

Follow the link to see the video Economic Volatility Spurs Asia to Greater Cooperation. Lei Lei Song, Principal Economist in ADB’s Office of Regional Economic Integration, says volatility in global financial markets is leading to greater regional cooperation.

Read about ADB.

This article is quoted from World Bank South Asia. The quoted newsletter article was published 24th October 2013. Go to the original article here.

The article is uploaded by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’.

Be Sociable, Share!

Posted in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cooperation and network, Development, Education and qualification, India, Maldives, Market knowledge, Nepal, Pakistan, Policy, South Asia, Sri Lanka, Sustainability.

Tagged with , , , , , , .


The Story of Solutions

The story of solutions, released in October 2013, explores how we can move our economy in a more sustainable and just direction, starting with orienting ourselves toward a new goal. In the current ‘Game of More’, we’re told to cheer a growing economy – more roads, more malls, more Stuff! – even though our health indicators are worsening, income inequality is growing and polar icecaps are melting. But what if we changed the point of the game? What if the goal of our economy wasn’t more, but better – better health, better jobs and a better chance to survive on the planet? Shouldn’t that be what winning means?

The Story of Solutions was written by Annie Leonard and Jonah Sachs, directed by Louis Fox and produced by Free Range Studios.

This fantastic educational film released by The Story of Stuff .
The article is uploaded by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’.

Be Sociable, Share!

Posted in Best practice, Cooperation and network, Customer opinions, Development, Education and qualification, Performance and management, Policy, Sustainability.

Tagged with , , , , , , .


ONLINE ADVERTISING

Online advertisingPaying for Clicks

Paid-for search engine marketing

Paid-for search (or search engine marketing (SEM) or pay per click (PPC) marketing is the bedrock of most online marketing campaigns. In the UK market, for instance, it accounts for nearly 60% of online media spend across all sectors. It is widely regarded as the most cost effective method of generating qualified traffic, customer registrations and incremental sales. PPC differs from search engine optimisation (SEO) in that there is no technical process required to ensure placement on the search engine. PPC is a purely commercial exchange:
• The advertiser bids for a specific keyword
• Based on the price they are willing to pay, a text ad or sponsored link is ranked and displayed accordingly
• The advertiser pays the cost per click(CPC) fee each time a user clicks on their text ad
PPC can be bought from websites as well as from search engines. A network such as www.miva.com uses your chosen keywords to select the sites in its network on which to place your text ads, and then charges a PPC.

All the search engines allow you to buy keywords and have your web link listed in the search results on their site when the keywords are used. These results are shown as ‘Sponsored links’ or similar wording, and appear either at the top of the main search results or on one side. The individual search engines give ample online information about their offers. Google sell keywords to advertisers as Adwords, Yahoo as Sponsored search, and Microsoft as Adcenter. Always check their latest terms at the time you are planning PPC. Effective PPC marketing needs diligent monitoring, analysis and optimisation to deliver the best return on investment.

Most businesses will be wise to employ an e-marketing agency to plan and manage their campaigns. This can include management of all keywords, listings, and bids across multiple outlets, with monitoring that allows optimisation of conversions and thus of ROI across all PPC keyword campaigns.
The agency will advise on:
• Keyword insights and selection:
• Brainstorm the keywords relevant to your business from the customer’s perspective
• Use online tools such as Hitwise and KeyWord Discover to research search terms and synonyms. These are equally used for natural SEO
• Build a matrix of search terms
• Ad/sponsored link copywriting
• Testing a variety of headlines and body text
• Setting up different ad versions to represent different keyword themes
• Dedicated landing pages
• Ensuring that relevant search terms and ads drive customers to equally relevant pages. Good landing pages achieve site stickiness and conversion
• Establishing bid thresholds and bid management. Agreeing daily, weekly and monthly budgets
• Managing the spread of traffic according to budget and the client’s demand requirements
• Campaign management and optimisation

Evaluation includes:
• Daily optimisation of high-performing key words and text ads
• Monitoring performance relative to day part. Time of day can impact on CPC and site conversion
• Monitoring performance relative to ranking. Often, a text ad delivers better ROI further down the rankings
• Feeding keyword performance back into the original insight and selection process
• Monitoring can be set up to work in real time, subject to the cost of the system and manning of it.
• It is also important to feed back this knowledge into the website natural SEO work.
• Frequent analysis and testing is the secret of a robust PPC campaign.

Display advertising

This is where online marketing really started – a replication of the print advertising model, but with the benefits of interaction, animation and tracking.
Online advertising is familiar to us as the border surrounding most web editorial that we read on commercial sites. However, the choice of media has become ever more sophisticated in order to remain an attractive option for marketers in the face of search marketing’s rise to dominance. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has produced global standards and guidelines for online advertising. Banners, buttons, skyscrapers, and other variations such as animated GIFs have long been the norm for online ads. The standards for the various types and sizes are at www.iab.net/standards/adunits.asp.

Ads in new windows, such as pop-ups

‘Interstitials’ are ads that load when the user has clicked to move to a new page. They may need to be closed before the page that was originally required appears. They are therefore intrusive and should only be used when it is essential to communicate an important message that cannot effectively be placed on a standard page. Many users turn on their browser’s pop-up blocker, so they will not see your message at all. But this does not necessarily make pop-ups an uneconomic advertising option: only delivered pop-ups are paid for. They can produce high responses (and thus are sometimes charged at a high rate per thousand delivered)

etourismfrontiers E-Tourism Frontiers Resources
Staying ahead of the game in the dynamic world of e-tourism can be a real challenge, especially for those of us in emerging markets. E-Tourism Frontiers aims to provide tourism and ICT professionals with the resources and guidance they need to succeed online. The material in this section is a general overview of the topics covered and resources provided in our training courses.

To gain full understanding and make maximum use of these resources, join on of our training seminars, which provide attendees with intensive hands training in online sales, marketing and management skills for both destinations and tourism companies. Our trainers are experienced professionals with extensive experience working in online tourism around the world, including first hand experience of working in emerging markets. We use live demonstrations of working websites and technologies and will give you the skills, resources and support to begin making changes to your business and use the web to improve your organization and business. For full information on our training seminars please see our training section.

The following is a basic overview of the topics that we cover, complete with more information and advice on each area:
What Does Social Media mean for Tourism?.
Online Travel Trends.
Social Networking and Travel.
Travel Social Networks.
New Technologies for Tourism.
Tourism eMarketing.
Destination Management.
Customer Relations Management (CRM).
Gathering Customer Data.
Email Marketing.
Website Design & Management.
E-Commerce.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Web Content.
Content Management Systems.
Online Advertising.

E-TOURISM FRONTIERS Who We Are
E-Tourism Frontiers is a global programme to develop online tourism in emerging markets around the world.
Our aim is to open the developing world’s tourism trade to the world of online travel distribution and marketing- a sector in which the region has been left far behind- with very little inventory available to the online travel shopper. This situation threatens the sustainability and diversity of Tourism and the communities and environment that it supports.
We hold pro-active business driven conference events and training seminars featuring leading online tourism companies, experts and trainers- as well as regional road-shows targeting the travel trade, destination managers and National and regional tourism offices in all emerging markets, including the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.

The success of our events speaks for itself and is changing the way both the public and private sector do business, manage their resources and market themselves globally, and creating new business relationships with leading international players and technology providers. We work with a range of major international sponsors to be sure that these events are of the highest international standards, as well as accessible and affordable to the complete spectrum of tourism players, including Small to Medium Enterprise (SMEs), Community and Eco-Tourism projects.
Our sponsor partners to date have included major global brands includingMicrosoft, VISA, Safaricom, Vodacom and Coca-Cola and many more together with regional tourism and ICT authorities. Our events have been attended and opened by Ministers and Vice Presidents- and attended by a diverse range of tourism players, from Multinational CEOs to University tourism students.

This article is quoted from E-TOURISM FRONTIERS.

The article is uploaded by Majbritt Magnussen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’. Please join the online Views On Tourism network and discussion group in order to achieve personal goals as well as encourage a sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh and South Asia. Read more about this group and how to become a member here.

Be Sociable, Share!

Posted in Best practice, Development, Education and qualification, IT, Market knowledge, Performance and management, Sale and marketing.

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , .


CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

CMSYour CMS

A content management system (CMS) enables businesses to create, store and organise content, and to publish it to digital platforms. This may include their own and other people’s websites, mobile phone websites and digital interactive television. A CMS separates content and its presentation.

Content comes from databases. These may be editorial content (often called ‘articles’) from the CMS database, or structured product databases containing media such as text, images, audio and video files, and document files. They may come from the business’s own CMS and databases, or from those of external partners. Presentation is carried out by templates, which are stored separately from the content. It is the combination of selected content – usually several content items – and a selected template that defines how it is presented to the customer on any given platform
All reasonably complete CMSs will:
• Reduce the work needed to create and maintain a website. If text, a name or a picture needs changing, it is changed only once in the CMS system, even though it may appear in many different places
• Enable you to share content across a range of separate websites. These may include all your language/market/theme sites for customers
• Allow many authors throughout an organisation to contribute and maintain content, without needing technical skills. Users can be given any combination of access and permission, so security and quality of the output can be controlled
• Maintain consistency of layout, by the use of standard input templates
• Help the users to insert meta data (tagging) for content items. This is essential for search engine optimisation, internal search, and accessibility. It also helps with site management, for example by noting the author and approval level, as well as quality control, for example by specifying the review date
• Help the editor to organise the content:
- To see where a piece of content is to be used
- To look at a complete page and see where the pieces of content are coming from, even if they do not have rights to edit all the pieces
• Items can be given an in-house name within the system that makes sense to the system users even though it may not to the outside audience, who will not see it
• Relations between items can be set and will not be broken even if names are changed (which should be avoided nevertheless), because every item has a unique identifier within the system
Content can be annotated, with the notes being visible in some published versions but not others. For example, there may be a contact address in an organisation that is for staff use only. The template used for an intranet page can show this information, but the one for the customer-facing site hides it. Allow the creation and amendment of templates for pages or parts of pages into which the content is fed. This provides consistency of style as well as saving time. The task usually requires more advanced skills.

More sophisticated CMSs will:
• Provide a workflow system that defines the authoring and approval process for different kinds of user and content
• Provide staging before publishing, to synchronise interdependent new items
• Output the same content to other formats, for example to web, mobile device, or digital television
• Allow one site to be copied for other sites, using a master or ‘parent’ page or site to form the basis of a number of subsidiary ‘child’ sites (sometimes known as ‘blueprinting’). The child can then be maintained in line with the parent
• Make version control easier, and provide ‘roll-back’ if needed, so that a site can revert to previous content, for example after an event. Audit trails will also record what content was authored and approved, when and by whom
• React to the website user actions, and serve content and presentation to rules set by the editor
etourismfrontiers E-Tourism Frontiers Resources
Staying ahead of the game in the dynamic world of e-tourism can be a real challenge, especially for those of us in emerging markets. E-Tourism Frontiers aims to provide tourism and ICT professionals with the resources and guidance they need to succeed online. The material in this section is a general overview of the topics covered and resources provided in our training courses.

To gain full understanding and make maximum use of these resources, join on of our training seminars, which provide attendees with intensive hands training in online sales, marketing and management skills for both destinations and tourism companies. Our trainers are experienced professionals with extensive experience working in online tourism around the world, including first hand experience of working in emerging markets. We use live demonstrations of working websites and technologies and will give you the skills, resources and support to begin making changes to your business and use the web to improve your organization and business. For full information on our training seminars please see our training section.

The following is a basic overview of the topics that we cover, complete with more information and advice on each area:
What Does Social Media mean for Tourism?.
Online Travel Trends.
Social Networking and Travel.
Travel Social Networks.
New Technologies for Tourism.
Tourism eMarketing.
Destination Management.
Customer Relations Management (CRM).
Gathering Customer Data.
Email Marketing.
Website Design & Management.
E-Commerce.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Web Content.
Content Management Systems.
Online Advertising.

E-TOURISM FRONTIERS Who We Are
E-Tourism Frontiers is a global programme to develop online tourism in emerging markets around the world.
Our aim is to open the developing world’s tourism trade to the world of online travel distribution and marketing- a sector in which the region has been left far behind- with very little inventory available to the online travel shopper. This situation threatens the sustainability and diversity of Tourism and the communities and environment that it supports.
We hold pro-active business driven conference events and training seminars featuring leading online tourism companies, experts and trainers- as well as regional road-shows targeting the travel trade, destination managers and National and regional tourism offices in all emerging markets, including the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.

The success of our events speaks for itself and is changing the way both the public and private sector do business, manage their resources and market themselves globally, and creating new business relationships with leading international players and technology providers. We work with a range of major international sponsors to be sure that these events are of the highest international standards, as well as accessible and affordable to the complete spectrum of tourism players, including Small to Medium Enterprise (SMEs), Community and Eco-Tourism projects.
Our sponsor partners to date have included major global brands includingMicrosoft, VISA, Safaricom, Vodacom and Coca-Cola and many more together with regional tourism and ICT authorities. Our events have been attended and opened by Ministers and Vice Presidents- and attended by a diverse range of tourism players, from Multinational CEOs to University tourism students.

This article is quoted from E-TOURISM FRONTIERS.

The article is uploaded by Majbritt Magnussen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’. Please join the online Views On Tourism network and discussion group in order to achieve personal goals as well as encourage a sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh and South Asia. Read more about this group and how to become a member here.

Be Sociable, Share!

Posted in Best practice, Development, Education and qualification, IT, Market knowledge, Performance and management, Sale and marketing, Sustainability.

Tagged with , , , , .


WEB CONTENT

Web contentContent is King

In Web 20 Content is king, so make it a primary and long-term investment. Content means information – whatever format it is held in (for example, text, audio, images, video, and Flash animations). It is what the medium ‘contains’ rather than the format in which it is held- and is what will stimulate and satisfy the needs of end-customers.

Social Networks are a new and powerful arena for tourism marketers. Identify your market segments to decide the priority audiences and topics, and be clear about which publishing channels you will use, and what formats these channels need. Don’t do it all yourself, work with partners to achieve quality content. Images and video are becoming paramount, both to motivate and inform.

An open data platform to take in and feed out content, and a good content management system with well-trained users, are essential investments. Content is stored separately from the various ways in which it is delivered –your websites and other people’s, via print, contact centres, mobile phones, radio and TV. Some of the information may be collected with a specific medium or target market in mind, but the guiding principle is that wherever possible it should be capable of being formatted for any need.

In daily practice there is a distinction between data and editorial content:
• Product data (including geocodes), stored in structured databases, with someone originating or procuring the data, and monitoring the quality of it.
• Editorial content created in, or imported into, a content management system (CMS), with a web editor and other staff responsible for this.
The division is practical, but it can lead to duplication unless the two work closely together, within the same overall marketing team.

The customer’s first and favoured source of information seems likely to become user-generated content (UGC). Some 70% of Internet content is forecast to be created by individuals as opposed to publishers and brands within three years. UGC is set to rapidly shift from a budding consumer trend to a serious business over the next five years. Despite the ongoing challenges facing UGC sites to find a business model that works, and despite continued hesitancy among some major brands to even go near the explosive space, eMarketer predicts that category leaders such as YouTube, MySpace, Facebook and Photobucket will lead the charge in terms of legitimizing the medium over the next five years.

The nearly tenfold increase in UGC advertising spending in the US reflects optimism in the ability of companies like YouTube, MySpace and Facebook to continue to build and retain vast audiences. Plus, users have shown no indication that creating their own Web content for others to consume is a passing fad, found eMarketer. By 2011, the researcher estimates there will be 95 million Web users creating content online, up from 64 million in 2006.

Video is vital. Consumers have already adopted do-it-yourself video, and the sharing of it on sites like YouTube, in massive numbers. Video is likely to be the key tool for creating awareness and projecting brand values. Done well, it is powerful, emotive, personal and persuasive. The combination of UGC video and professionally-produced video will be the mainstay of online travel communication between tourism businesses and their customers, and between visitors.

Establishing identity and trust with the customer are vital in online marketing. These are qualities that are hard to establish and easy to lose. Your content therefore needs to be:
• Accurate
• Timely
• Attractive and motivational

Be transparent about who produced the content, whether your own or that of third parties. This applies to everything from weather forecasts and hotel reviews to blogs containing personal opinions. Advertorials and sponsored content should be identified as [Sponsored Article] or [Advertisement]. It should always be clear who is talking. Do not hesitate to use the logo of a partner where it is justified.
For internal quality control, set standards and then audit them at regular intervals – frequently if for volatile types of content, and annually for the rest.
etourismfrontiers E-Tourism Frontiers Resources
Staying ahead of the game in the dynamic world of e-tourism can be a real challenge, especially for those of us in emerging markets. E-Tourism Frontiers aims to provide tourism and ICT professionals with the resources and guidance they need to succeed online. The material in this section is a general overview of the topics covered and resources provided in our training courses.

To gain full understanding and make maximum use of these resources, join on of our training seminars, which provide attendees with intensive hands training in online sales, marketing and management skills for both destinations and tourism companies. Our trainers are experienced professionals with extensive experience working in online tourism around the world, including first hand experience of working in emerging markets. We use live demonstrations of working websites and technologies and will give you the skills, resources and support to begin making changes to your business and use the web to improve your organization and business. For full information on our training seminars please see our training section.

The following is a basic overview of the topics that we cover, complete with more information and advice on each area:
What Does Social Media mean for Tourism?.
Online Travel Trends.
Social Networking and Travel.
Travel Social Networks.
New Technologies for Tourism.
Tourism eMarketing.
Destination Management.
Customer Relations Management (CRM).
Gathering Customer Data.
Email Marketing.
Website Design & Management.
E-Commerce.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Web Content.
Content Management Systems.
Online Advertising.

E-TOURISM FRONTIERS Who We Are
E-Tourism Frontiers is a global programme to develop online tourism in emerging markets around the world.
Our aim is to open the developing world’s tourism trade to the world of online travel distribution and marketing- a sector in which the region has been left far behind- with very little inventory available to the online travel shopper. This situation threatens the sustainability and diversity of Tourism and the communities and environment that it supports.
We hold pro-active business driven conference events and training seminars featuring leading online tourism companies, experts and trainers- as well as regional road-shows targeting the travel trade, destination managers and National and regional tourism offices in all emerging markets, including the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.

The success of our events speaks for itself and is changing the way both the public and private sector do business, manage their resources and market themselves globally, and creating new business relationships with leading international players and technology providers. We work with a range of major international sponsors to be sure that these events are of the highest international standards, as well as accessible and affordable to the complete spectrum of tourism players, including Small to Medium Enterprise (SMEs), Community and Eco-Tourism projects.
Our sponsor partners to date have included major global brands includingMicrosoft, VISA, Safaricom, Vodacom and Coca-Cola and many more together with regional tourism and ICT authorities. Our events have been attended and opened by Ministers and Vice Presidents- and attended by a diverse range of tourism players, from Multinational CEOs to University tourism students.

This article is quoted from E-TOURISM FRONTIERS.

The article is uploaded by Majbritt Magnussen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’. Please join the online Views On Tourism network and discussion group in order to achieve personal goals as well as encourage a sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh and South Asia. Read more about this group and how to become a member here.

Be Sociable, Share!

Posted in Best practice, Development, Education and qualification, IT, Market knowledge, Performance and management, Sale and marketing.

Tagged with , , , , , , .


Poor Tourism – An emerging trend!

IMG_3814As adventures fall short for the international travelers, a new trend emerges out of the graves and debris of the meager slums in the world. They call it “Slum Tourism” OR “Poor tourism”. For those who fancy a chance to see how the other half of the world lives without the luxurious amenities of life, goes to these special tours to the underprivileged neighborhood of the world. The impoverished areas in the world like the African countries or the remote areas in the Indian sub-continent top the chart of this innovative travel trend, popularly called as poor tourism. Some examples of the poor tourism trends include a trip to the Bronx, Brazil’s Favelas, the townships of South Africa and New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. While this type of tourism strives for authenticity, some are coming out and saying it is unethical and exploitative voyeurism.

According to the World Tourism Organiza­tion (UNWTO), international tourist arrivals in developing countries are increasing and tourism is gaining importance as a driver of development, exports and jobs. Tourists increasingly look for cultural and natural attractions in rural areas, thereby increasing the scope for poverty reduction in developing countries due to their comparative advantage. In addition, UNWTO argues that more women and young people, who are proportionally more disadvantaged, find jobs within this poor tourism structure.

IMG_3523With the advent of “Poorism” or Poor tourism, it arguably becomes unethical and exploiting at times. Consider a situation where a group of travelers get inside the house of a local family to experience their living standards. Isn’t it really pathetic and demeaning for that family? With the boom of this tourism comes a wave of disapproval. The way the tours are run becomes especially questionable when the tours are led with no interaction with the people and when none of the profits are put back into the community. It’s not all tours to impoverished areas that are misrepresenting the area that they’re visiting, several slum tours have won prizes for their responsible and sustainable tourism because they actually try to improve the local situations and they try to paint a different picture and show people that it’s actually an area where people live. And while some people are motivated to slums via their quest for something exotic, there are still people who go because of moral reasons and who want to see the whole context of a country they love.

With pros and cons of the poor tourism coming in the fore front of the world and the educated society, it becomes the duty of the affluent class to monitor and influence the practices which will inevitably augment the growth of the rural areas in the world. The implementation of sustainable tourism, adventure tourism in the remote areas should be blended in the right proportion to bring in the best results. UNWTO and the other travel association of the world should take keen interest in this developing travel trend of the world, popularly indicated as “Poor Tourism”.

This article is quoted from Travel and Tour . Follow this link to read the original article published June 20, 2013.

The article is uploaded by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’. Please join the online Views On Tourism network and discussion group in order to achieve personal goals as well as encourage a sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh and South Asia. Read more about this group and how to become a member here.

Be Sociable, Share!

Posted in Africa, Americas, Asia, Asia Pacific, Caribbean, Central America, Customer opinions, Development, East Asia, Education and qualification, Europe, Market knowledge, Middle East, N11, North Africa, North America, Northeast Asia, Oceania, Performance and management, South America, South Asia, Sub Saharan, Sustainability, World.

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .


E-COMMERCE

ecommerceFrom Getting Attention to Getting Paid
E-commerce is a marketplace on the internet where buying and selling transactions are carried out. Like a traditional marketplace, there is a place – one or more websites – where this happens. E-commerce also means being able to select, book and pay in ‘real time’ – so the system has to know that the product is available to buy at that moment. Systems can talk to each other in real time to enable this.

Africa faces a massive challenge in the worlds e-commerce marketplace. In the majority of African countries- ecommerce is neither possible nor legal. Basic banking regulations block online payments, and along with it, block business, growth and development. It is vital that Governments and the financial sector across Africa enact e-commerce laws and facilitation for the benefit of their economies, their tourism sector and their future.

There are however solutions for companies that do wish to begin using e-commerce. In countries where E- commerce is legal, such as South Africa, e-commerce solutions have been established that are thriving and now offer services to businesses in other countries. Alternatively, business can partner with offshore e-commerce providers via specific tourism solutions that they house in their own site.

These solutions are usually targeted towards smaller businesses which do not have an in-house e-commerce system- and work like this:
• The customer enters their credit card details on a page of the merchant’s website (a hotel, for example)
• The website encrypts the information before it is sent from the customer’s browser to the hotel’s website server, usually using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption
• The hotel’s web server forwards the transaction to their payment gateway service, such as Worldpay . This gateway service has provided the credit card form that the buyer has filled in
• The gateway forwards the transaction information to the hotel’s bank (the acquiring bank)
• The acquiring bank then forwards the information to the bank that issued the credit card to the customer (the issuing bank) for authorisation
• The issuing bank sends a response back to the payment gateway (via the acquiring bank) with a response code to approve or decline the transaction
• The payment gateway forwards it to the website, where it is interpreted and a response is sent to the customer, on the website and usually also via an email
• The process should take only a few seconds. The banks settle up with each other separately, at the end of their settlement periods.

An additional payment method is PayPal.(owned by eBay). PayPal users sign up with PayPal to send, receive and hold money online. Their PayPal account can be linked to their bank account, and it can be in a number of currencies. However, Paypal does not currently allow users from most African countries and many other emerging destinations.

As in pre-internet days, there is constant competition online between those who sell direct and those who are intermediaries. Most tourism businesses will opt to do both. Like the display in a walk-in shop, any e-commerce offer needs to be put in front of enough of the right potential customers. So it is vital to consider how much distribution can be achieved, beyond whatever your own website can provide, and at what cost.

Direct Sale
The first channel of distribution is when the merchant (a hotel, for example) acts as their own e-commerce direct seller. Every large business, and a rapidly increasing number of small businesses, now do this. The options may include:
• Using one of the many commercially-available booking systems that specialise in your kind of tourism business
• Subscribing to one of the commercial networks that provide e-commerce systems to buy or rent, such as Guestlink or Frontdesk
• Joining the local, regional or national tourist office e-commerce system, if one is offered. This may itself utilise one of the commercial networks
• Selling via intermediaries

The issues for businesses are:
Are the bookings worth the commission cost?
How can your inventory be delivered automatically to such resellers?

Via resellers who sell online direct to the public
Thanks to the internet, the distinction between tour operators and agents is blurred. Examples of resellers that tourism busineses may want to sell through are eBookers in Europe, Orbitz in the USA, Expedia , Opodo , Lastminute , Superbreak in the UK, and Wotif in Australia and New Zealand. There will be different market leaders in each of your target markets. These offers are often summarised in price comparison websites such as Kayak . In the UK, Travel Supermarket users can compare prices of more than 3,000 B&Bs in the UK from over 20 accommodation websites including SME specialist eviivo (which runs Frontdesk), as well as eBookers and Opodo .

The more specialist retail travel agents sell fully independent tours (FITs), whether bespoke or pre-packaged. Their sales outlets may include websites and walk-in shops. They may also have a central call centre, or distribute calls from a central telephone number to their shops. They buy their stock direct from hotels and carriers, and from wholesalers.

Via wholesalers who sell to specialist retail travel agents
Wholesaler websites give retail travel agents an easy view of a large number of supplier websites’ content, and allow the agent to pick and mix to assemble the FIT. Examples are www.travelcog.com and www.agents.octopustravel.com Online agents now sell local services that were previously only bought direct by the visitor locally, so there is a need for small businesses to gain diistribution via them. These wholesalers generally deal with any suitable business that will give them an allocation of their inventory.

Via the Global distribution systems
The global distribution systems (GDS) are Amadeus, Sabre, Galileo and Worldspan. These are the linked computer systems that, before the internet arrived, allowed over 450 airlines, 50 major car rental companies and ‘only’ 37,000 hotels to be booked by around half a million travel agents anywhere in the world. The hotels they sell are mostly those of the major chains. Costs for the travel suppliers in maintaining their ICT links to the GDSs are high, and so is commission on bookings to the GDS and the agent. They remain very strong for business travel – for example, the new Silverjet low-cost business-class airline expects 60% of bookings from agents via the GDS.
GDS distribution is highly significant for medium-size hotels and for groups of smaller hotels that have a common reservation system. Also, they help to power much of the content of the global website brands, especially those they own: Sabre owns Travelocity and LastMinute, for example, and Galileo’s parent Travelport also owns Expedia and Octopus. An example of the onward distribution they achieve is that Octopus is providing hotel accommodation, and call centre back-up, on the 40 websites of Singapore Airlines. Because most of the GDS product is in big hotels, there is a market gap for e-commerce services sold through the GDS that offer a good choice of small, lower-cost accommodation bookable online in real time.

etourismfrontiers E-Tourism Frontiers Resources
Staying ahead of the game in the dynamic world of e-tourism can be a real challenge, especially for those of us in emerging markets. E-Tourism Frontiers aims to provide tourism and ICT professionals with the resources and guidance they need to succeed online. The material in this section is a general overview of the topics covered and resources provided in our training courses.

To gain full understanding and make maximum use of these resources, join on of our training seminars, which provide attendees with intensive hands training in online sales, marketing and management skills for both destinations and tourism companies. Our trainers are experienced professionals with extensive experience working in online tourism around the world, including first hand experience of working in emerging markets. We use live demonstrations of working websites and technologies and will give you the skills, resources and support to begin making changes to your business and use the web to improve your organization and business. For full information on our training seminars please see our training section.

The following is a basic overview of the topics that we cover, complete with more information and advice on each area:
What Does Social Media mean for Tourism?.
Online Travel Trends.
Social Networking and Travel.
Travel Social Networks.
New Technologies for Tourism.
Tourism eMarketing.
Destination Management.
Customer Relations Management (CRM).
Gathering Customer Data.
Email Marketing.
Website Design & Management.
E-Commerce.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Web Content.
Content Management Systems.
Online Advertising.

E-TOURISM FRONTIERS Who We Are
E-Tourism Frontiers is a global programme to develop online tourism in emerging markets around the world.
Our aim is to open the developing world’s tourism trade to the world of online travel distribution and marketing- a sector in which the region has been left far behind- with very little inventory available to the online travel shopper. This situation threatens the sustainability and diversity of Tourism and the communities and environment that it supports.
We hold pro-active business driven conference events and training seminars featuring leading online tourism companies, experts and trainers- as well as regional road-shows targeting the travel trade, destination managers and National and regional tourism offices in all emerging markets, including the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.

The success of our events speaks for itself and is changing the way both the public and private sector do business, manage their resources and market themselves globally, and creating new business relationships with leading international players and technology providers. We work with a range of major international sponsors to be sure that these events are of the highest international standards, as well as accessible and affordable to the complete spectrum of tourism players, including Small to Medium Enterprise (SMEs), Community and Eco-Tourism projects.
Our sponsor partners to date have included major global brands includingMicrosoft, VISA, Safaricom, Vodacom and Coca-Cola and many more together with regional tourism and ICT authorities. Our events have been attended and opened by Ministers and Vice Presidents- and attended by a diverse range of tourism players, from Multinational CEOs to University tourism students.

This article is quoted from E-TOURISM FRONTIERS.

The article is uploaded by Majbritt Magnussen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’. Please join the online Views On Tourism network and discussion group in order to achieve personal goals as well as encourage a sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh and South Asia. Read more about this group and how to become a member here.

Be Sociable, Share!

Posted in Best practice, Development, Education and qualification, IT, Market knowledge, Performance and management, Sale and marketing, World.

Tagged with , , , .