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Research paper “ICT and sustainable tourism development: an innovative perspective”

The aim of this study is to foreground information and communication technology (ICT) as an innovative approach for sustainable tourism (ST) development of destinations. ICT is the technology required for information processing which facilitates data processing, information sharing, communication, searching and selection. This paper concentrates on the Abernathy and Clark model and its usefulness in applying ICT as innovative in managing ST. An online survey was administered to destination managers and to eTourism experts. Destination managers were selected as they were identified as the person responsible for the overall management of a Destination Management Organisation. eTourism experts were identified as someone who possesses special expertise, knowledge and skills on ICT applications to tourism and offered expertise on which ranged from such areas as electronic distribution, recommender systems, user-generated content, online communities, mobile technology, technology acceptance, tourism networks and Web 2.0. This was followed by semi-structured interviews. These ICT tools were found to be innovative for information management and distribution for critical decision-making. Innovation was fostered through the use of ICT for ST by leading to a better understanding of the tourism product, monitoring, measuring and evaluating, forecasting trends, developing partnerships, and engaging and supporting stakeholder relationships. ICT would provide novel ways of approaching marketing, energy monitoring, waste management, and communication for destinations.