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Aspects of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
developments in the growth of Tourism in India

,ssistant "rofessor
"ost -raduate Department of Economics( ..E.S ,smabi /ollege( ".'emballur("in 0$071

3ourism being a smo4eless industr5 is now a multi-billion( multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional activit5 in t6e
world. 3went5 first centur5 tourism 6as reac6ed up to space w6en a 7ussian roc4et carried t6e space ve6icle of
Dennis 3ito( an ,merican businessman and t6e world8s first space tourist( to t6e space station. 3ime is not too
far to carr5 tourists to moon and ot6er planets in speciall5 launc6ed ve6icles. 3ourism is being considered as an
agent of social c6ange bridging gaps among nations( regions and people and 6elping t6em to open up. It is a
promoter of development-material and spiritual bot6 at macro and micro level. 36e -eneral ,ssembl5 of t6e
9nited Nations( in designating t6e 5ear 1:07 as ;International 3ourism <ear8 recogni=ed t6e importance of
international travel as a means of fostering understanding among people( and giving t6em a 4nowledge of t6e
ric6 6eritage of t6e past civili=ations( a better appreciation of t6e values of different cultures( t6us contributing to
t6e strengt6ening of world peace. It adopted t6e t6eme >3ourism-"assport to peace?. &ur veteran national
leader and t6e first "rime .inister of India( Jawa6arlal Ne6ru 6ad said? welcome a tourist and send bac4 a
friend? w6ic6 indicates t6e need for e@tending friendl5 6ospitalit5 to t6e in bound tourists.
Keywords1 3ourism-"assport to peace( social mobilit5( "ercapita Income

36e revolution in I/3s 6as profound implications for economic and social development. It 6as pervaded ever5
aspect of 6uman life w6et6er it is 6ealt6( education( economics( governance( entertainment etc. Dissemination(
propagation and accessibilit5 of t6ese tec6nologies are viewed to be integral to a countr58s development strateg5.
36e most important benefit associated wit6 t6e access to t6e new tec6nologies is t6e increase in t6e suppl5 of
information. Information is s6ared and disseminated to larger audience. Secondl5 it reduces t6e cost of
production. Anowledge is produced( transmitted( accessed and s6ared at t6e minimum cost. Bit6 t6e reduction in
t6e transactional costs( t6ere is also a reduction in t6e degree of inefficiencies and uncertaint5. 36irdl5 it 6as
overcome t6e constraints of distance and geograp65. I/3s 6ave cut across t6e geograp6ic boundaries of t6e
nation states. Cu5ers and sellers are able to s6are information( specifications( production process etc across t6e
national borders. It enables all to 4now t6e comparative advantage in t6e mar4et econom5. It leads to t6e larger
mar4ets and increased access to global suppl5 c6ains. Dourt6l5 it 6as led to more transparenc5. Networ4ing and
information s6aring definitel5 leads to demands for greater openness and transparenc5. B6et6er 5ou want to
4now t6e status of t6e central ban4s8 foreign e@c6ange agenc5 or t6e cost pri=e of potatoes in t6e local mar4et(
I/3s empowers t6e individual wit6 t6e information access( w6ic6 is transparent. Efforts are under wa5 to
integrate I/3s to all sectors and developmental activit5. 3ourism is one suc6 potential area. 3ourism and
econom5 are closel5 interconnected. Discussion on 3ourism involves t6e discussion on economic enterprise also.
Development of Information and /ommunication 3ec6nologies !I/3# 6as transformed t6e contemporar5
business environment. It 6as led to new information econom5 w6ic6 is digital in nature. I/3 is a broad
terminolog5 referring to multiple communication tec6nologies w6ic6 range from simple and comple@ namel5
/ell "6one applications !S.S#( Digital /ameras( Internet( Bireless !BiDi and Bi.,N#( '&I"(-"S( -IS(
/onvergence !data( voice( media#( Digital radio(
36ese tec6nologies are creating a new global mar4et place( w6ic6 is more competitive. Bit6 e-
commerce and e business t6e mar4et 6as more opportunities and possibilities t6an ever before. 36e abilit5 to
reac6 a global audience( obtain instant mar4et information and conduct electronic business transactions 6as
increased economic efficienc5 and 6as opened mar4ets for goods and services from t6e developing world.
E- commerce is e@pected to benefit economic development in several wa5s1
1. 36roug6 allowing local business access to global mar4ets
2. C5 providing new opportunities to e@port a wider range of goods and services
*. C5 improving t6e internal efficienc5 wit6 in t6e firms.
Dirst( e-commerce allows business to reac6 a global audience. In ,frica( for e@ample( t6e tourism and
6andicrafts industries are reali=ing t6eir abilit5 to deliver t6eir product information directl5 to consumers. 3ourist
lodges( 6otels( and governments across t6e continent now maintain sop6isticated websites advertising t6eir
uniEue features( 6andling boo4ing order( and promoting specials to interested consumers. Similarl5( small
manufacturers of traditional 6andicrafts are discovering 6ow I/3s can assist t6e mar4eting and distribution of
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t6eir wares. Secondl5 opportunities created b5 e-commerce and its predecessor tec6nologies is t6at I/3s can
create digital mar4et places to manage suppl5 c6ains and automate transaction( increasing efficienc5 and opening
previousl5 closed mar4ets to firms in developing countries. 36irdl5( e-commerce is improving t6e culture of
business. 36ere are now better intra-firm communications( cost savings procedures( and reductions in t6e
inventor5 costs leading to better management.
36us I/3s are t6e bac4bone of t6e capital accumulation. 36e5 are connected wit6 new business opportunities(
increased trade and investment alt6oug6 t6e5 are ris4s involved sometimes. It suggests a positive relations6ip
between I/3 development and economic growt6. Indeed an often cited ac6ievements of Indian econom5 during
t6e last decade 6as been t6e emergence of an I/3 sector w6ic6 6as s6own remar4abl5 vibranc5 in terms of
output and e@port growt6. +owever( t6e contribution of I/3 to an econom5 can be viewed at two different levels.
36e5 are contribution on account on I/3 growt6 and contribution on account of I/3 diffusion. B6ile t6e former
refers to t6e contribution in output( emplo5ment( e@port earning etc on account of t6e production of I/3 related
goods and services( t6e later refers to I/3 induced development t6roug6 en6anced productivit5( competitiveness(
growt6 and 6uman welfare on account of t6e diffusion of t6is tec6nolog5 to t6e different sectors of t6e econom5
and societ5. !Aarmer and Deric4 1::2#.

ICT and Tourism
/ontemporar5 information societ5 6as made 3ourism a 6ig6l5 information-intensive industr5 as I/3 6as a
potential impact on tourism business. 36e role of I/3 in tourism industr5 cannot be underestimated and it is
crucial driving force in t6e current information driven societ5. It 6as provided new tools and enabled new
distribution c6annels( t6us creating a new business environment. I/3 tools 6ave facilitated business transaction
in t6e industr5 b5 networ4ing wit6 trading partners( distribution of product services and providing information to
consumers across t6e globe. &n t6e ot6er 6and consumers are also using online to obtain information and plan
t6eir trip and travel. Information is t6e 4e5 element in t6e tourism industr5. I/3 pervades almost all aspects of
tourism and related industr5. Dor instance( we depend upon it rig6t from t6e scratc6 w6ile identif5ing and
developing tourisms site and destinations itself. 36e use of -eospatial Information 3ec6nologies in t6e recent
5ears across t6e globe for varied purposes is popularl5 4nown and 3ourism industr5 6as not been an e@ception in
availing its advantages. It can be used b5 tourist professionals to define t6e boundaries of t6e proposed tourist
site as well its surrounding areas and t6e communities living in it. It can also get information on roads lin4ing to
t6e sites and availabilit5 of ot6er utilities li4e water( power( mar4et etc. Suc6 tec6nologies are also useful for site
management and monitoring. 36e role of I/3 tools in t6e industr5 for mar4eting( operation( and management of
customer is widel5 4nown. .ar4eting tec6niEues can be more innovative t6roug6 I/3 tools. 36e table below
reveals t6e potential use of I/3 tools in t6e industr5.
Different aspects of industry: Application
Site development1 -IS used for identification of 3ourist site and destinations
.ar4eting1 ,dvertisement( promotion
&perations1 Cu5ing and management of supplies and services
/ustomer services1 .anagement of customer relations6ips t6roug6 boo4ing travel( lodge etc
.onitoring1 -IS and -"S is also used for managing and monitoring tourist sites.

Key factors for applying ICT in tourism
1. I3 education and training for polic5 ma4ers( managers and ot6er pla5ers in t6e industr5
2. Integration of various sectors li4e transport( lodge etc.
*. 3ec6nical Infrastructure
). +uman Infrastructure( w6ic6 includes s4illed people( vision and management.
%. Fegal Infrastructure
a. 7egulation of telecommunication providers
b. Subsides for Internet service providers
c. Fegal framewor4 for online advertisement or official endorsement for online mar4eting.
0. I/3 culture
a. /reate and sustain I/3 environment
b. .aintenance and updation of websites
c. I/3 training for all level of wor4ers
d. Establis6 electronic lin4ages between all related sectors
e!us between ICT and Tourism: A "eview
7ecent Studies on I/3 and tourism 6as revealed t6e transition in t6e industr5 as a result of I/3 impact and 6ave
e@plored its possibilit5 and potential. "oon !1::*# anal5ses some of t6e maGor c6allenges facing tourism industr5
and outlines t6e ne@us between tourism and I/3. +e traces t6e rapid s6ift-ta4ing place between ;traditional
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'ol.%( No.1% 21)

tourism sector8 and ;new tourism industr58. 3ec6nolog5 6as a strategic role in res6aping t6e value c6ain in t6e
industr5 and in t6e process( consumers are graduall5 adapting to t6e new values( lifest5les and new tourism
products( w6ic6 6as re-engineered b5 t6e new tec6nologies. ,lt6oug6 some of t6e tec6nologies described are
now obsolete( t6e implicit message is relevant and gives an overall review of t6e c6anging face of t6e tourism
industr5. In4pen !1::$# and S6eldon !1::7# 6ave e@amined t6e main c6aracteristics of t6e industr5 structure and
t6e operation of t6e new tec6nologies in it. I/3 applications in different sectors li4e airlines( 6otels( tour
operators( road and rail transport etc is dealt in detail wit6 informative case studies. Some of t6e world8s largest
-DS !-lobal Distribution S5stem# namel5 Sabre( -alileo( ,madeus and Borldspsan are e@amined. Cesides
anal5=ing t6e telecommunication tec6nologies in t6e industr5( t6e 6ospitalit5 sector( entertainment sector(
transport sector( management sector and ot6er intermediaries 6ave been diligentl5 e@plored.
Bert6ner !1:::# provides a more detailed and logical understating of t6e industr58s structure b5
focusing on t6e concepts( definitions( consumer be6avior( economic aspect( mar4et transactions( etc. Information
3ec6nolog5 ! 6ardware H software developments#( information management( intelligent applications and
s5stem integration etc are e@amined carefull5. ,dditional information on business strateg5 e@ploring t6e
relations6ip between I/3( strateg5 and organi=ation is also articulated. Cu6alis !2*# also stressed on strategic
management in 6is boo4 providing a compre6ensive overview of bot6 operational and strategic management.
/onnor;s !1:::# wor4 serves as a te@tboo4 on electronic distribution wit6 its logical e@planation and
case studies. -DS( /7S and D.S are anal5=ed wit6 e@ample of cases from across t6e western world. 36e
growing p6enomenon of travel distribution t6roug6 Internet and its impact on distribution c6annels structure and
functionalit5 is e@plored wit6 rigor. /arter H Cedard !21#and /arter H 7ic6er !1:::# 6ave focused on t6e
operators in t6e tourism industr5. Developments of t6e e commerce and D.& !Development .anagement
&rgani=ations # and t6eir c6anging value c6ains are anal5=ed intelligentl5 and clearl5 so t6at importance of
internet presence for consumers( intermediaries( travel media and ot6er pla5ers in t6e industr5 is noted and
understood t6roug6 t6eir wor4s. .arcussen !1:::# attempts to provide an overview of innovative developments
in distribution of travel and tourism services in Europe. It documents t6e wealt6 of statistical data on travel and
related transactions in t6e European tourism industr5. +owever( most of t6e e@periences are based on t6e
western developed world( w6ic6 could possibl5 a limitation w6ile tr5ing to understand t6e ne@us of I/3 and
3ourism in an Indian conte@t. Jennifer et al !2*# 6ave e@amined t6e wa5 I/3 and Internet 6ave graduall5
c6anged t6e tourism industr5 in /6ina. 36e5 6ave used t6e e@isting t6eoretical framewor4 on I/3 and e-tourism
developments in ot6er parts of t6e world namel5 Europe and ,merica to e@amine t6eir impact of I/3 application
in t6e tourism industr5 contemporar5 /6ina. 36ere 6ave been tremendous developments at t6e destinations
levels in t6e recent 5ears. Internet( Intranet etc 6ave been e@tensivel5 emplo5ed b5 t6e !D.&s# w6ic6 6as
integrated t6e functioning process and made t6e s5stem more efficient. Studies li4e !"oon 1::*( S6eldon 1::7(
Bert6ner H Alein 1:::( ,lford 2( Bert6ner and Alein 1:::( ,lford 2( B3& 21# 6ave revealed t6at
Internet and strategic implementation of I3 is now critical for companies to survive in t6e global econom5.
+owever( not man5 efforts are made to stud5 e-tourism developments in India and ot6er developing countries
, tourist life c5cle!see fig. # can be classified into t6ree p6ases - pre-trip( trip and post-trip. "re-trip !or
planning# is t6e p6ase during w6ic6 a potential tourist is considering tourism travel. In t6is planning p6ase(
tourism intermediaries !travel agents( tour operators( 6otels( airlines( etc.# pla5 a vital part in forming t6e opinion
of a potential tourist.


36ere are some similar pre-trip reEuirements for t6e t6ree 4inds of tourists !inbound( domestic and outbound#.
36ese include information about t6e destination( boardingI lodging( mode of travel H pac4age tour!s#( advance
pa5ment mec6anism and securit5 concerns( etc. ,dditional pre-trip reEuirements specificall5 for inbound and
outbound tourists( include documentation for visa( currenc5 conversion issues( local travel s5nc6roni=ation wit6
international travel( etc. During pre-trip( a potential tourist see4s reliable and current information on t6e tourism
alternatives available. Information about mode of travel( budget trip prices( budget accommodation and its prices(
distance of t6e accommodations from t6e tourist spots( availabilit5 of an5 pac4age tour t6at ma5 ta4e care of t6e
boardingI lodging wit6 additional local site seeing. ,ppro@imate costing of t6e proposed trip can be provided to
potential tourists using some online calculators.

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'ol.%( No.1% 21)

Digure. 2

#$Tourism facilitates regional and tourism
E@tensive and intensive 7ural 3ourism can be promoted t6roug6 I/3 application. 7ural tourism can be main
economic activit5 and can be crucial for agribusiness and rural development. It gives an opportunit5 for t6e
farmers to profit from tourism directl5 besides generating new mar4et for t6e agrarian products in t6e region.
,ctivities revolving around rural tourism can be streamlined to support sustainable development and 6ence( it
can be user friendl5 and environmental friendl5.
7ural e-tourism is largel5 individual oriented and ma5 or mat not 6ave a mass appeal unli4e t6e industrial
tourism. Cudget constraints are bound to e@ist as small farmers ma5 lac4 resources for advertise and promote
t6eir products. 7ural e-tourism mig6t bring man5 ancient 6istorical monuments( galleries( museums( t6eatres and
sites into mainstream tourism. B6ile t6ose in ruins are rescued and renovated( un4nown 6eritages li4e old castles
6ouses( villages etc ma5 be rediscovered. It is essential to build a user-friendl5 model for rural tourism( 4eeping
in mind t6e I/3 tools( cultural polic5( state and local region. Information from t6e local communities can be also
protest and preserve cultural 6eritage.
36e use of I/3 in tourism can 6ave significant impact on t6e management and development of 6eritage sites.
+owever intervention of t6e state and cultural policies is essential to ma4e I/3 application meaningful. ,not6er
obstacle to t6e development of local cultural 6eritage t6roug6 I/3 tools is t6e fact t6at it is t6e subGect of
initiatives targeted on t6e local population. B6ile t6e maGor pla5ers in t6e tourism industr5 6ave adopted I/3
tools for sales and promotion( cultural sector are 5et to compre6end t6e potential of I/3 applications for
preserving cultural 6eritage. 36e5 are 5et to discover t6at 6eritage preservation is possible t6roug6 e-tourism.
Sustainable tourism can be t6e tool for preservation and development of natural and cultural 6eritage. I/3 can
open up new prospects for cultural and tourism policies t6roug6 t6e convergence of resources preservation and
development. , common I/3 based 6eritage tourism development strateg5 can be evolved using t6e points of
convergence between cultural sector and tourism industr5. Suc6 a strateg5 common to t6e culture and tourism
sectors on a regional level could be an appropriate solution to overcome maGor c6allenges associated wit6 I/3
based 6eritage tourism development. It enables a delicate balance between bot6 accessibilit5 to 6eritage and its

Tourism: %rom Information to Knowledge industry
36e d5namics of Information e@c6ange among t6e tourism industr5 pla5ers 6as drasticall5 c6anged in t6e recent
5ears. 36e industr5 is now more complicated as t6ere 6as been considerable c6anges in t6e distribution and sales.
Distribution cooperation is e@panding. B6ile transport companies now provide opportunit5 to boo4
accommodation( destination management organi=ations are developing internet portal to distribute information.
It is essential for t6e tourism professional to understand t6e 3ourism 'alue Net. 36e5 also need to 4now t6e
main pla5ers in t6e industr5. Statistical database s6ould be developed and researc6 s6ould be underta4en.

36e industr5 is generating e@cessive information and indeed information is t6e strategic and important resources
for t6e industr5. I/3 tools are providing new means for anal5=ing t6e information for t6e industr5. Emp6asis
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s6ould be upon converting t6is valuable information to 4nowledge s5stem. 36ere s6ould be gradual transition
from data s5stem to profound 4nowledge s5stem for t6e benefit of future generations. Educational institutions
s6ould 6ave access to suc6 4nowledge. Educational institute s6ould promote I/3 based courses. It s6ould be
supported wit6 tec6nical training as well as field based training and practical e@perience in t6e industr5.
Educational institute speciali=ed on 3ourism education( I3 educational institutions and tourism industr5 pla5ers
li4e travel agencies( tour operators( 6otels( tec6nolog5 providers etc s6ould 6ave a networ4 and 6ave constant
interaction in order to develop a s4ill base for successful tourism industr5 and a successful navigation.

Cu6alis( D H Faws( E. !eds# !21#. Tourism Distribution Channels-Practices, Issues and Transformations(
/ontinuum "ublis6ing( Fondon.
Cu6alis( D. !2*#. e tourism Information Technology for strategic tourism management( "rentice +all( +arlow(
/arter 7 H Cedard( D. !21#. E-Business for Tourism-Practical Guidelines for Tourism Destinations and
Business, B3& Cusiness /ouncil( .adrid.
/arter 7 H 7ic6er ". !1:::#. Mareting Tourism Destination !nline( B3& Cusiness /ouncil( .adrid.
European e- business mar4et Batc6( Sector 7eport( No 1* IIIJul5 !2*#.
-upta( S H Cansal( S.". !21#. Tourism To"ards #$
Century, Deep and Deep. New Del6i.
In4pen( -. !1::$#. Information Technology for Tra%el and Tourism( ,ddison Besle5 Fogman( Esse@ 9A .
Jennifer J. .( Dimitrios( C H +ai5an( S. !2*#. Information Journal of Information .anagement. 'ol 2*. Issue
0. "g. )%1-)07.
Aramer( A.F H Deric4( J. !22#. Information 3ec6nolog5 and Economic Development1 7esults and "olic5
Implications of /ross-/ountr5 Studies( in "o6Gola .. !ed# Information Technology, Producti%ity and
Economic Gro"th( &@ford 9niversit5 "ress.
.arcussen( /. !1:::#. Internet Distribution of Euro&ean Tra%el and Tourism 'er%ices( 7esearc6 /entre of
Corn6olm( Denmar4.
&8/onnor( ". !1:::#. Electronic Information Distribution in Tourism and (os&itality( /,CI "ublis6ing( 9A.
"oon ( ,. !1::*#. Tourism, Technology and Com&etiti%e 'trategies( /ab International.
Sabado( &. !2%# www.estig.blogspot.comI2%I1Irole-of-ict.6tml.
S6eldon( ". !1::7#. Tourism Information Technology( /, International( Ballingford( 9A
Bert6ner( + H Alein( S. !1:::#. Information Technology and Tourism ) Challenging *elationshi&( Springer(
Bien and New <or4.

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