Inderscience Publishers

Evaluation of cyber-tools in cultural tourism

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Nowadays, e-services technology has demonstrated a pervasive character in the modern tourism industry. E-services implemented by the tourism industry, e.g., e-tourism, appeared to produce significant cost reductions and market efficiencies. Since online services are continuously accessible, time and geographic differences do not hinder the interaction between tourism service providers and their customers anymore. By using ICTs, (small) tourism organisations can enlarge their markets or operate in niche markets by serving a specific group of customers. The increased use of ICTs has thus resulted in a significant change in the structure of the tourism industry. The present paper aims to provide an overview of experiences and findings that address the socioeconomic impacts of e-services for the (cultural) tourist industry, on the basis of a systematic impact analysis. We use a SWOT approach to organise a systematic evaluation of various e-services effects, which are specifically differentiated for e-services and e-tourism (including cultural heritage) of socioeconomic importance. The main sources to identify the strengths and weaknesses of e-services are the academic and management literature that describes the experience in practice of various stakeholders.

Keywords: cultural economics, economic development, tourism development, cultural heritage, cybertools, e-services, evaluation, SWOT analysis, cultural tourism, electronic services, online services, e-tourism, electronic tourism, ICT, socioeconomic impact

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