Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Improved Internet tourism

The tourism industry is an extremely competitive field where destinations fight to attract tourists who are increasingly demanding in their expectations. In response, easyTrails was developed as a new GIS-based Internet application that helps industry professionals succeed while offering tourists added value services.
Improved Internet tourism
EasyTrails, a software suite, is beneficial to tourism destinations and their management organisations, individual tourism service providers, and tour operators. As this application provides innovative holiday items and unique marketing and promotional chances to tourism professionals, their competitiveness increases. EasyTrails is targeted at the increasingly popular Internet tourism, and it offers tourists many advantages that meet their demands. This innovation designs, promotes and markets added value and user-specific tourism services and products, thus making traditional and new destinations more attractive to on-line customers.

As a software suite, easyTrails comprises five different modules and functions that benefit both the industry and on-line tourists. The Integrated Tourism Destination Database formulates databases so as to connect tourism services available at a destination with the agencies' other facilities. The Holiday Itinerary Planning and Booking Facility is a multilingual map-based search tool that facilitates Internet users to plan their itineraries. Users access the tourism services offered by agencies within a geographical context and can then construct individual itineraries that meet their needs.

Another module is the Holiday Itinerary Management Facility that allows users to manage their itineraries by designing an individualised illustrated brochure or map of their travels. This module also facilitates porting the itinerary to a Pocket PC for further updating or reviewing during the trip. The Market Research and Statistical Facility offers data on a users' interaction with tourism service providers' websites and analyses users' responses to marketing requirements. The Destination Development and Management Facility relates tourism services marketing with their social, environmental, and cultural importance.

In fact, easyTrails offers many advantages to both tourism industry professionals and tourists who utilise the Internet as a tool. All the modules are beneficial as they provide many features that could assist in travel planning and marketing. All these aspects could make easyTrails a popular tool within the tourism industry and for potential travellers.
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