The huge increase in available bandwidth, particularly wireless broadband (along with parallel enhancements in processing power and memory capacity), is facilitating access to the internet via a variety of media devices. This opens up a ‘new frontier’ for large scale electronic distribution – to visitors travelling to and within Destinations. Driven by the ability to access the internet from multiple ‘media gateways’, the internet is becoming integral to telecommunications, broadcast and publishing media, so that it will become the primary means by which most visitors will:
• Access information
• Access news – such as e-papers and magazines, TV and radio news
• Communicate – including email, phone, video mail, video conferencing, and blogging
From the perspective of visitor information provision, the new media access devices of greatest relevance are:
MP3 technology to allow download of podcasts such as city guides, in audio and/or video form.
Easy to use compact High defintion Digital Video Cameras such as FLIP devices that can directly upload content to the web in the correct format.
Smart web enabled Mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) for internet access by 3G or by WiFi. WiFi offers ‘hotspots’ that can cover a single room or many square miles overlapping with other hotspots, and allows PCs, phones or PDAs to connect to the internet. WiFi-enabled handheld devices, together with wide area WiFi network provision (including across whole cities) will be of particular interest in enabling low cost access to the internet for information and for voice over internet protocol (VoIP) calls. The convergence with SatNav capability is of great importance (see below) and new services and Apps for Smart phones that allow for “Augmented Reality”- in other words providing real location based services or information links onscreen based on where the device is- or even through recognition of structures or faces through a phone camera.
Hand held and in-car devices that combine internet access and a global positioning system (GPS) that enables satellite navigation (satnav), to provide local route finding and itinerary planning, relating routes of travel to attractions and facilities. The combination of satnav and tourist information on hand-held devices has already begun and will be widely available in the medium term.
An important related development is the advent of ‘location based services’ – to communicate specific information to people, via in-car or handheld devices, when they are in a particular location – for example, for a DMO to provide information about a particular place of interest to people when they are in the vicinity; or to transmit advertising, such as special offers, that are specific to the location.
Fixed internet access points within the Destination, which will become widespread
It is now possible to draw on a wide variety of third-party resources to supply live content for a website. Examples include:
• Online mapping
• Motoring, cycling and walking routes
• Weather forecasts
• News services
• Conditions for special interests, such as safaris, walking, diving and surfing
• Online carbon emissions calculators
• Currency calculator
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.
Customer Relations Management (CRM).
Gathering Customer Data.
Website Design & Management.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Content Management Systems.
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.