Travel Agents and Destination Management Organizations: eLearning As a Strategy to Train Tourism Trade Partners

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Abstract:

This article offers an overview of the existing online courses run by national destination management organizations (DMOs) in order to better equip travel agents and tour operators in the sales activities of the tourism destinations. These online courses represent one of the B2B offers by DMOs and an interesting opportunity for travel agents, who are trying to find their identity and competitive advantage within the context of eTourism. All websites of National Ministries of Tourism/Tourism Boards of 192 officially recognized UN member states have been taken into consideration: 69 of them present such an eLearning offer, almost double that of 2009, when only 37 were available. DMOs' courses have been analyzed along a triangle-shaped framework, encompassing people involved, learning strategies, and content and learning goals. Courses present main characteristics of the destination, hospitality and tourism offers, and tips on how to sell it; most of them award an ad hoc certificate upon completion of a final test. When compared to the courses available in 2009, in 2011 more interactive features and multimedia contents are found, hence making those eLearning experiences more engaging for travel agents.

Keywords: DESTINATION MARKETING ORGANIZATION (DMO); ELEARNING; TOURISM TRAINING; TRAVEL AGENCIES

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830511X13167968595624

Publication date: January 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Information Technology & Tourism is the first scientific journal dealing with the exciting relationship between information technology and tourism. Information and communication systems embedded in a global net have profound influence on the tourism and travel industry. Reservation systems, distributed multimedia systems, highly mobile working places, electronic markets, and the dominant position of tourism applications in the Internet are noticeable results of this development. And the tourism industry poses several challenges to the IT field and its methodologies.
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