Empirical Evidence of Contribution to E-Tourism by Application of Personalized Tourism Recommendation System

Saso Koceski, Biljana Petrevska
2012 Analele Ştiinţifice ale Universităţii "Al.I. Cuza" din Iaşi: Ştiinţe Economice  
This article examines the necessity of applying recommendations by introducing web portal in the line of enriching e-tourism. It argues the dramatically change of tourist motives and interests due to the rapid usage of Internet. In order to cope with ever-changing tourist preferences and to contribute to tourism and economic development, a tourism recommendation system is proposed. Hence, a software module is developed based on collaborative filtering method which accuracy testing performed
more » ... sting performed satisfactory outcomes. Moreover, acting as a national tourism web portal it enables to be introduced as a tool for assisting tourists in identification of a tailor-made tourist place. So, the study indicates a solution for generating personalized list of interesting tourism items by matching them to the tourists' preferences. In this line, "MyTravelPal" is strongly recommended as a way-out in increasing the awareness for certain tourist destination that is capable of fulfilling travellers' favorites. 364 Saso KOCESKI, Biljana PETREVSKA Yet, attracting a bigger number of tourists is not a trouble-free process, particularly in times of ever-changing travel preferences. The rapid development of Internet, particularly in the past two decades, has changed tourism consumer behaviour dramatically (Mills and Law, 2004) . It had an enormous impact on tourism industry, specifically to the way how tourists search for information. Moreover, the Internet has influenced tourism in significant manner by providing a great variety of services and products on-line (Kabassi, 2010) . So, the Web became the leading source of information particularly important in times of increased number of competitors in tourism market. It was detected as the only way-out to be steady-ready to take prompt action. With the increased importance of search in travellers" access to information, tourist destinations and businesses were forced to detect more adequate approaches to adapt to the fast-pace change in the environment (Pan et al, 2011) . This particularly addresses the on-line tourism supply since tourist destinations have a strong need to acquire data for potential and present tourists and travellers. By the mediation of digital environment, it is noticeable the obvious tourists" transformation from "passive audiences" to "active players" (Prahalad and Ramaswamy, 2000) . A noteworthy transformation was made from just passive searching and surfing to creating content, collaborating and connecting. Hence, the development of the Internet empowered the "new" tourists who became knowledgeable and ask exceptional value for their money and time (Buhalis and Law, 2008) .In this line, the web-booking systems gain in interest as a direction for detecting differences in the ways that active/passive tourists use the Internet for seeking different kinds of information, booking trips, paying and so forth. Despite the variety of options regarding tourist destination or attraction, tourists frequently are not capable to cope with such a huge volume of choice. Moreover, they need advice about where to go and what to see. In e-tourism, recommendations may refer to indicate cities to go to, places to visit, attractions to see, events to participate in, travel plans, road maps, options for hotels, air companies, etc. Such scope of work is very often a robust and needs a facilitating factor. Then, a recommendation system is introduced with a main aim to assist the tourists in finding a way-out in the e-tourism "chaos". The main idea of the recommendations is to contribute by facilitating personal selection and prevent tourists and travellers from being overwhelmed by a stream of superfluous data that are unrelated to their interest, location and knowledge of a place. So, it is much easier for tourists to access the information they need thus resulting in shorter lead-time for bookings, making lastminute decisions and generally, tailoring their own packages from a suite of options. Solution is seen in personalization of the information delivery to each traveller, together with the travel history. Yet, the advanced tourist information systems must offer more than just relatively static information about sights and places. The way out is detected in application of recommendation systems as a promising way to differentiate a site from the competitors. So, user-generated content will gain in significance thus enabling developing more accurate recommendation systems. Generally, the contribution of this paper lies in the fact that it enriches the poorlydeveloped empirical academic work within this scientific area in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Additionally, the empirical investigation may alarm the relevant tourism-actors in the country, that the time has changed and that the on-line experience has shifted from searching and consuming to creating, connecting and exchanging. Previously passive consumers and web surfers are now generating content, collaborating and commentating. So, this research proposes development of national tourism recommen-Unauthenticated Download Date | 7/29/18 4:49 PM
doi:10.2478/v10316-012-0025-6 fatcat:xverrkwsjjamjja3yu32edjtua