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Strategic Implications for Overcoming Communication Gaps in Tourism Caused by Digital Divide

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Abstract:

Based on the fact that information is nowadays commonly spread by means of digital media, poor access to any kind of digital information and communication technology can cause severe information gaps. Based on a literature review as well as expert interviews, this article assesses the phenomenon of the global digital divide, various reasons for the divide's existence, possible consequences, and strategic implications for reducing the gap. A hierarchical structure of four multiple digital divides (digital access, digital usage, digital skills, and digital attitude divide) between five stages of digital development composing the global digital divide was deduced and put into relation with the continuum from information to knowledge gap in the tourism context. It will be argued that the key impact of the digital divide on global tourism is on communication between demand and supply. Communication gaps are related in a digital communication matrix, which ought to be used for education among digitally underdeveloped destinations to support them in overcoming the digital divide.

Keywords: DEVELOPING COUNTRIES; DIGITAL DIVIDE; ICTS IN TOURISM; INFORMATION GAP

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830512X13283928066887

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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