Application Standards for Tourism Products. Proposals for a programme of research
A number of commentators (for example Schertler, 1994) have drawn attention to the changes which occur when the trading of tourism products in the global electronic marketplace is no longer confined to the distribution of relatively highly priced items traded in proprietary systems, but extends towards universal availability of a full range of products from any point of offer (PoO) to any point of sale (PoS). In these circumstances the means by which consumers now obtain assurance about the product may well be absent or the available information may be misleading. This is particularly the case for hotels. As things are at the moment, the customer would be faced with a classification system which has superficial similarities to those which he or she is used to but which is in fact sufficiently different to mislead. These difficulties are exacerbated if these descriptive classifications are also used as keys for a database search across national frontiers. In the case of hotels, moreover, NTOs and others have made some attempt to provide a comprehensive classification system. Much less attention has been paid at a national level to restaurants; whilst even the effort put into restaurant classifications is substantial compared with other tourist attractions such as museums, theatres, etc. This makes the problem of database structuring for efficient retrieval more complex, whilst at least less likely to induce erroneous assumptions about the product once selected. This issue arose in the course of the Tourism Information Marketing (TIM) EU funded research, which tested the practicality of an electronic market in tourism products. Proposals were made to the EU fourth framework programme for a three year project, Services and Applications for a World Wide Market in Tourism(SAM), to do a series of trials to follow up the work of TIM, including proposals for a programme of research and development of applications standards methodology to deal with the problem.
KeywordsIntelligent Agent Tourist Attraction European Economic Community Electronic Market Tourism Product
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