Small is Beautiful? ICT and Tourism SMEs: a Comparative European Survey
This paper presents the results of a two year research project — TOURIT — which has investigated the extent to which ICT applications have been taken up by small tourism firms in three European regions; the possible barriers to participation in ICT and their related enterprise support needs. This survey project forms part of a European Union LEONARDO DA VINCI study (UK/97/1/39005/EA/III.2.a/CONT) which focuses on the vocational training needs and business development opportunities that might be offered to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism and hospitality sector. The survey compares three region-types and scales of tourism activity — the World City-state of Greater London, UK; The Netherlands, and the Aragon province, comprising three districts in north-east Spain. The study therefore provides a contrast between capital city and national tourism system in northern Europe and rural/mountain-based tourism in a lesser-developed region of Spain. The research has also been conducted in the context of both national and European (EU) tourism and related policy regimes, and the global ICT and CRS tourism systems within which small tourism enterprises operate. Initial research findings based on the pilot survey in London, together with a review of literature and European policy interventions, were presented at the previous ENTER conference (Evans and Peacock 1999) — this paper therefore presents the final results of this comparative survey, including an assessment of the findings and implications for tourism SMEs.
KeywordsMedium Tourism Tourism Economy Information Society Technology Tourism Enterprise Destination Marketing
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