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The Role of DMS in Reshaping Tourism Destinations: An Analysis of the Portuguese Case

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The growing competition among tourism destinations, the diversity of tourism suppliers, and the sophistication of the tourism demand bring new challenges to destination competitiveness, making it a more dynamic and ongoing process. The emergence of the Internet as the main vehicle of promotion and distribution of tourism destinations' offerings has been presenting considerable advantages, but also challenges, to destination managers. Among the several Internet-based solutions aiming at enhancing destination competitiveness, destination management systems (DMSs) have emerged as a relevant tool to increase destination competitiveness. The present article extends previous research by providing a literature review on the advantages of DMSs and by presenting a diagnosis analysis of potential benefits of creation of DMSs in Portugal and of the current conditions to establish these systems in this country. The analysis reveals that the adoption of DMSs may provide a wide range of advantages for destination management organizations (DMOs), the tourism industry, and potential visitors, namely, at the coordination, disintermediation, and promotion levels. The study also suggests that DMSs may bring several benefits to the Portuguese tourism system, such as the diversification of tourism destinations, products, origin markets, and distribution channels. Although some constraints seem to exist for creating DMSs in Portugal, the country's current tourism policies, the recent restructuration of regional tourism boards, and some data concerning the e-Readiness of the Portuguese tourism industry seem to favor the creation of these systems.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 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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