ENTER conference concludes that technology is transforming the tourism industry

Top Quote Technology is transforming the tourism industry as discussed at the prestigious 18th annual conference ENTER, 26-28 January 2011 in Innsbruck, Austria. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) February 02, 2011 - IFITT, the leading International Organization for Information Technologies in Travel and Tourism organized the event that attracted 343 participants from 63 countries and all 5 continents from practical and academic backgrounds. This year a number of critical topics were discussed about applicability of social media in destinations and industry, supported with several practical case studies and research papers, mobile technology support for destination attractions and context based serviced. IFITT President, Professor Dimitrios Buhalis indentified three main trends from this year's ENTER conference. Firstly, technology-enabled real time management and marketing will be required to offer excellent service. Secondly, every service, process, transaction shall be able to operate on different platforms, including most mobile devices. Finally, mobile technologies will bring Context awareness and context based services. Robert Govers, the author of the book on Branding destinations and Destination Track Chair stressed out that Destinations seemed to be on different levels, whereby social media will be playing a big role in the future. He saw clear potential to bridge the gap between academics and industry as far as the reviewing mechanisms of guest comments are concerned. He mentioned Mr. Jerome Touze from Wayn.com who suggested that instead of Social Media they should be better named Ego Media since people talk most about themselves.

    Interesting facts:
    343 participants in Innsbruck
    Almost 1000 participants including over 600 participants online
    280 contributors generated 1,994 tweets (in 7 days)
    o 284.9 tweets per day
    o 43.4% come from "The Top 10"
    o 26.8% retweets
    o 41.4% mentions
    o 22.6% have multiple hashtags
    2087 coffees needed to keep the meeting going

    Prizes in 4 different categories were awarded during the gala dinner on 27 January 2011.

    IFITT Thesis Excellence Award 2011 went to Brigitte Stangl for the best PhD thesis titled User-based website design in tourism with a special focus on web 2.0 websites. IFITT Outstanding Industry Contribution Award 2011 got Fondazione Sistema Toscana for its innovations in technology. ITT Article of the Year 2010 was presented to Tariq Mahmood, Francesco Ricci, and Adriano Venturini for the paper "Improving recommendation effectiveness: Adapting a dialogue strategy in online travel planning". For the first time in the history of the ENTER the Hannes Werthner Tourism and Technology Lifetime Achievement Award 2011was awarded to Arno Ebner, currently eCommerce Manager of Swarovski Crystal for his contribution in eTourism through his innovation that led to the development of Tiscover. As the first recipient of this award he decided to donate the prize money doubled with his own for the education of the children in one of the Himalayan schools he visited during his vacation there.
    Next year the conference will be organised in ENTER2012 Helsinborg, Sweden 25-27 January 2012
    IFITT is the global eTourism community incorporating researchers and practitioners innovating in tourism and technology

    For more information see www.ifitt.org email ifitt ( @ ) ifitt dot org or
    Contact Professor Dimitrios Buhalis at dbuhalis ( @ ) bournemouth dot ac dot uk
    More visual info:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/webatelier/collections/72157625719172459/
    http://ifitt.org/home/view/enter2011-videos

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