The information-intensive nature of the tourism and travel industry suggests an important role for Web technology in the promotion and marketing of tourist destinations. With reports of travel purchases and reservations being one of the fastest growing segments of the Internet community (eMarketer, 2002), it is no surprise that the number of tourism operators on the Web has increased considerably over the past few years. This paper presents the results of a longitudinal study of the use of Web technologies by Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) in the Asia-Pacific tourism industry. The Websites of 195 RTOs in the Asia-Pacific Region were evaluated using eMICA over the period 2001 to 2004. The study revealed that over the three year period, all 195 RTOs had established more than a basic Internet presence. In 2001, there were 12 sites located within this stage. By 2004, the number of sites that had progressed from lower levels of functionality in the second stage of eMICA (promotion and online service and support) to higher level provision had increased from 36 to 113. Another significant finding is the increase in the number of sites offering full eCommerce facilities (an increase of 14 from the 2001 study). The results of the study add further support to the premise of the model, that is, in developing commercial websites, businesses in this industry sector typically start simply by establishing a presence on the Web and build on functionality over time, as their experience and expertise in the use of Internet technologies increases.
Burgess, Lois; Cooper, Joan; Alcock, Carol; and Uppala, Preeti, "A Longitudinal Study Of The Use Of The Web By Regional Tourism Organisations In The Asia Pacific Region" (2004). ACIS 2004 Proceedings. Paper 5.