Mainstreaming Innovative Instruments for SME development in Europe

 

Good Practice- “Innovative ICT applications to support the tourism sector of Ionian Islands”

by

Innovative ICT applications to support the tourism sector of Ionian Islands “Digital Ionian Islands”

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PRACTICE

1. TITLE OF THE PRACTICE
Innovative ICT applications to support the tourism sector of Ionian Islands  “Digital Ionian Islands”

2. LOCATION OF GOOD PRACTICE

Greece (Ionian Islands)

3. PRECISE THEME/ISSUE TACKLED BY THE PRACTICE

Regional development is a vital issue towards the accomplishment of the Lisbon Strategy goals. According to these goals, Europe must be “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-driven economy by 2010”. Under this perspective, EU regions need to maintain their economic prosperity and their regional development.

Information Communication Technologies (ICT) can be a key factor for promoting economic growth. Especially for tourism economy-based regions, the adoption of ICT in the tourism sector, assists the produced outcomes, introduces innovation and facilitates the shift to a knowledge-based economy. However, it must be pointed out that the pure use of ICT is not a panacea, neither a simple process to follow. Economic performance can be resulted from a synchronised set of actions, aiming to create the right conditions for growth and innovation, and not from a single technology policy or institutional arrangement. The presented work had as a main aim to investigte how ICT can be used so as to boost tourism economy growth towards regional economic growth. In particular, the main assumption is that the tourism entrepreneurs have to develop and adapt ICT applications (e.g. promotion portals, e-presence, mobile services) tailored to their needs. The “Digital Ionian Islands” information environment, developed under the framework of Innovative Actions Program.

4. KEY WORDS

Information and communication technologies (ICT), information systems, travel, tourism, internet, world wide web (WWW), competitive advantage, e-services, m-services.

5. OBJECTIVES OF THE PRACTICE

Create of an advanced technological platform for the promotion of Region’s tourism and cultural product and for the provision of services to the tourism sector (so called “Digital Ionian Islands” action), in order to:

  • Provide effective information to potential travellers
  • Assist tourism entrepreneurs in the promotion of their offerings
  • Provide useful and updated information to entrepreneurs

6. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRACTICE

The developed platform of information systems, includes several functionalities which are different, depending on the type of user. There exist three user groups having access to the system:

  • Tourism entrepreneurs
  • Content responsibles
  • General public (tourists)

For each of the user groups the following functionalities are provided:

A. General Public (tourists)

  • Search for cultural information (e.g. monuments, theatres etc)
  • Search for tourism information (e.g. hotels, restaurants, beaches etc)
  • Search for historical information
  • Search for thematic tourism possibilities (e.g. offerings and possibilities for agrotourism, mari-tourism etc)
  • Advanced search functionality (combinatorial queries, search for each island)
  • Virtual Reality subsets of information (e.g. gis routes, multimedia presentations etc)
  • Mobile services (specialised information provision through new generation mobile phones)

B. Tourism entrepreneurs

  • First level presentation of their company (easily searched by the tourists)
  • Advanced/specialised web presence of their company (easily searched by the tourists)
  • Promotion of specialised offerings (easily searched by the tourists)
  • E-consulting service (e.g. exhibitions, collaborations, programs, legislation etc)
  • Automatic created periodical useful information

C. Content responsibles

  • User friendly environment for the inclusion of information (tourism, cultural, historical) to the system
  • Levels of check and acceptance for the content uploaded by local entrepreneurs
  • Statistics concerning local companies and offerings

7. EVALUATION

There are 3 kinds of beneficiaries from the system actual usage. First of all tourists, who they can value such information environments. Within the last years, world widely, the usage of internet for the vacations organisation is increasing rapidly. The existence of an integrated and up-to-date environment providing all kinds of tourism information for the region of Ionian Islands will raise great interest.

Secondly, tourism entrepreneurs who have shown significant interest to the Digital Ionian Islands information environment can directly benefit from the services offered.  Until now, a significant raise of interest has been show. A high level amount of businessmen have submitted their interest to gain access and they have started uploading information. In the same time several information events have been organised in the Ionian Islands. In all these events the participation of local businessmen was very notable and the interest concerning the pilot use of the system and its future continuous presence was raised.

Last but not least, such projects are valuable tools for the regional administration in order to support their activities to further enhance their economy and promote the regional tourism and cultural product. The Regional Authority of Ionian Islands and the Regional Tourism Corporation consider the Digital Ionian Islands as a very important step towards Region’s economic growth and as a catalyst to help it achieve coherence with other EU regions.

8. OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION

www.e-ionia.gr
http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/conferences/od2006/documentation.cfm?nmenu=25#

9. CONTACT

Regional Content Manager 
Chrysostomos Stylios 
Tel: +302610911553 
E-mail: stylios@psp.org.gr

Contact Person 1
John Garofalakis 
Tel: +302610960317 
E-mail: garofala@cti.gr

Contact Person 2
Andreas Koskeris 
Tel:+302610960429
E-mail: Koskeris@westgate.gr







Feb, 8 2010 Comments Closed | Good Practices, Support for innovation, Western Greece

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