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“Digitalisation in Tourism: In-depth analysis of challenges and opportunities” by Dredge, D., Phi, G. T. L., Mahadevan, R., Meehan, E., & Popescu, E., report commissioned by Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), European Commission, and prepared by the Tourism Research Unit of Aalborg University (2019).

Digital technologies have brought significant transformation to the tourism industry, revolutionising tourism enterprises, products and experiences, business ecosystems, and destinations. Digitalisation has also transformed the traditional roles of tourism producers and consumers, with new roles, relationships, business models, and competencies emerging. The rise of digital platforms has increased the variety and volume of tourism products, services, and experiences, with on-demand functionality accelerating the speed of economic transactions, market awareness and feedback. These shifts have created new opportunities, as well as challenges, for tourism SMEs as they strive to meet consumer demands and reach new markets. Coordinated efforts to foster an innovative digital culture in tourism SMEs can ensure European destinations are globally competitive. The diversity and complexity of tourism’s sub-sectors, the different challenges in urban, rural, and island destinations, and the different challenges that manifest in different institutional systems across Europe, present capacity-building and regulatory challenges for the digital tourism ecosystem. The objective of this report was to analyse the challenges and opportunities of digitalisation in tourism, how these challenges and opportunities affect different stakeholder groups, and to discuss how they might be addressed. The authors drew from a quantitative survey of 2.897 SMEs, 73 public administrations, and 85 professional associations conducted in 2016 by third- party consultants. This current analysis was conducted under a separate tender procedure and draws from additional secondary data sources, qualitative interviews, and scholarly research.