Emerging technologies and their role in developing a marketing information system(MKIS) for tourism and hospitality products
Destination management systems are in operation in several global locations, though recently their effectiveness in marketing tourism and hospitality for SMEs has been questioned in terms of cost/ benefit analysis. Also their connectivity and inclusion of SMEs within their systems have been neglected in many cases. As individual enterprises, there is evidence that SMEs fail to focus on strategic issues, such as marketing planning and intelligence gathering, as they are preoccupied with the tactical and operational running their businesses and consequently have neither the time nor the resources to focus on developing a role within a Marketing Information system, either at destination level or individual enterprise level.
There are many definitions of what constitutes an MKIS, Thierauf describes an effective management information system as one that allows the decisionmaker(i.e. the manager) to combine his or her subjective expertise with computerised objective output to produce meaningful information for decision making. The ability to use management information systems effectively is essential to the successful operations of most organisations. Information is now considered to be a sixth major resource for most businesses and in this information age could be described as the most important resource for some industries and certainly for the tourism and hospitality sector it is a crucial resource, that is frequently poorly managed.
This paper seeks to identify the flow of information within a destination with particular reference to SMEs. Qualitative data was gathered by conducting semi-structured interviews within the destination with key stakeholders at micro and macro level regarding the current flow of information and determining the usefulness/ appropriateness of technology applications as an enabler to supply information in /out of the marketing information system and as a storage device. This paper will particularly focus on emerging “smartcard” technology as a source and channel for information flow and storage. This particular technology has gained wide acceptance in other business sectors as a tool for micro marketing and mass customisation as the cost is decreasing and does not require real- time connectivity, which makes it particularly appropriate for SMEs. A model will be developed to identify key flows of information, highlighting technology as an enabler to these flows and demonstrating cost/ benefit analysis to SMEs and the destination.
KeywordsSmart Card Mass Customisation Tourism Sector Bank Market Marketing Decision
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