ICT Applications in Smart Ecotourism Environments
Radical technological developments and their applications can largely contribute to a more effective management of challenges currently faced by our planet. Nevertheless, the light has up to now been shed on urban environments, mainly due to the rapidly evolving urbanization trends and related consequences; while the implications of Information and Communication Technologies (ΙCT) in rural areas and communities, although quite promising, are less explored. In the present paper, the focus is on that type of environments, and more specifically on the role ICT can play for the protection of valuable ecosystems that are forming the ground for ecotourism development. Ecotourism embraces the principles of Sustainable Tourism (ST), as an alternative tourism form that is largely concerned for the economic, social and, most importantly, environmental impacts of this sector. Preserving ecosystems’ values in ecotourism destinations imply the need for steadily monitoring ecotourism developments and associated impacts in such destinations, with ICT offering important tools for accomplishing such a task. In this respect the paper aims, by reviewing a range of the academic reports and literature, at deriving crucial aspects that need to be dealt with in a variety of ecotourism dimensions; and matching them with a range of relevant ICT-enabled tools and applications. The results of this conceptual paper reveal the key ICT-enabled tools/applications for managing ecotourism destinations, thus setting the ground for case-specific policy directions towards an environmentally-responsible ecotourism development.
KeywordsRural areas and communities ICT tools and technologies Smart ecotourism development Policy
Community Multimedia Centers
Customer Relationship Management
Destination Management System
Decision Support Systems
Economic Impact Analysis Software
Environment Management Information System
Enterprise Resource Planning
Global Positioning System
Intelligent Transport System
Location Based Games
Location Based Services
Multipurpose Community Telecentres
Tourism Information System
Virtual Learning Environment
Weather Climate and Ocean Change forecasting Software
Wireless Local Area Networks
Electronic Word Of Mouth
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