امروزه، صنعت گردشگری به یکی از صنایع بزرگ دنیا تبدیل شده است. رشد فناوریهای اطلاعاتی و ارتباطاتی، طی چند دهه گذشته در رشد این صنعت بیتاثیر نبوده است و موجبات رشد گردشگری در بستر الکترونیکی را فراهم نموده است. باتوجه به این جایگاه، ضروری است تا حوزه گردشگری الکترونیکی به صورت یک صورت مسئله در کشور تبیین و راهکارها و مکانیزمهای ارتقاء و توانمندسازی این صنعت از طریق رویکرد گردشگری الکترونیکی تقویت گردد. لذا در این مقاله، مدلی مفهومی در زمینه شناسایی عوامل موثر بر ارتقاء گردشگری الکترونیکی ارایه شده است. در ادامه تحلیل عاملی تاییدی با استفاده از دادههای جمعآوری شده از جامعه آماری تحقیق که عبارت از مدیران عامل و یا مدیران فنی دفاتر خدمات مسافرتی و گردشگری (خصوصی/ دولتی) فعال در تهران بودند، انجام شده است. براساس نتایج تحلیل عاملی تاییدی، عوامل موثر بر ارتقای گردشگری الکترونیکی در کشور بهترتیب اولویت عبارتند از: سیاستهای دولتی و مدیریتی، نرمافزارها و برنامههای کاربردی، سختافزار و زیرساخت، عوامل فرهنگی و اجتماعی و در نهایت عامل سیستمهای اطلاعاتی پشتیبان. در انتها به منظور استفاده از نتایج تحقیق، توصیههای سیاستی، مدیریتی و اجرایی در جهت ارتقاء گردشگری الکترونیکی در کشور ارایه شده است.
Identification and Classification of Affecting Factors on E-Tourism in Iran
Information and communication technology have greatly improved the efficiency of this industry among customers and tourism enterprises and organizations (Dimitrios Buhalis & Law, 2008; Michopoulou, Buhalis, Michailidis, & Ambrose, 2007). Therefore, tourism enterprises can introduce themselves to potential customers without geographical and time limit and tourists can acquire what they need with appropriate speed and accuracy and pay for such services (Büyüközkan & Ergün, 2011). These countries do not have enough capabilities for enforcing their e-tourism infrastructures, and lack of these facilities and communication services in the world today means not being aware of commercial and tourism destinations of such countries (Dimitrios Buhalis & Law, 2008).
Therefore in this study, regarding the priorities of e-tourism to traditional channels, and examining the research in this context, we need to detect significant distinctions based on those differences, we identify and prioritize the factors affecting the development of e-tourism in country.
Materials and methods
After studying the literature and background for the issue, we can categorize these factors based on conception and content listed below.
· IT Infrastructures (Hardware-Software): E-tourism service delivery with appropriate quality, needs preparation of proper software, hardware and network infrastructure, and the related interfaces for supporting processes that are related to e-tourism services (Berger et al., 2006; D. Buhalis & O'Connor, 2005; Kim, 2004). Such development can be facilitated to some extent by governments.
· Information Systems (IS): With the development of new technologies, information systems are trying to make their way on this industry. These systems, with complex structures and databases have access to tourists.
· Governmental and managerial policies: Governments and governmental managements play a significant role in tourism development, especially official and public tourism. Today, on average, 7 to 10 percent of careers in the world are based on tourism industry. But in Iran, absence of governmental management policies focusing on provisions and practical infrastructure of tourism prevents the proper effect of tourism industry on national income.
· Cultural and social elements: In this section, we consider the main elements of this research. Surely, elements such as religion and culture are among critical and substantial factors in all practical fields, but these elements are not fully controllable.
The Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) approach was used to validate the research model. Here, Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) using LISREL 8.54 is employed to perform the analysis. Prior to factor analysis, a test was conducted to verify the adequacy of the 174 questionnaire data for CFA. The research sample consists of CEOs or technical managers of tour and travel agencies (private/public) working in Tehran.
Discussion and Results
Although it was said that there is a shortage of studies regarding detection of factors affecting e-tourism in the world, conclusions drawn from this study support previous studies, especially in developing countries (e.g. Alghafri, 2009; Kamel & El Sherif, 2001)) or in Iran (e.g. Farzamnia, Nasserzadeh, & Nalchigar, 2009)).
A) Governmental and managerial field: In this field, elements such as "national encouraging tools" and "security of Tourism business atmosphere" are among the most important issues affecting tourism improvement. Also, the support senior of management in private and public sectors is an influential variable on e-tourism. So, it is suggested that practitioners in e-tourism policy making provide provisions in order to create encouraging packages and security in tourism business atmosphere.
B) Software and applications field: the second priority in the evolution of tourism is the development of software and applications in virtual tourism environment. Elements such as 3D pictures and games based on virtual trips in this regard are considered important. So, it is suggested that tourism organizations go through the development of digital and virtual content and use virtualization technologies and digital games for making this field attractive for tourists.
C) Hardware and infrastructures: Regarding infrastructures and hardware as a prerequisite in every technology, we can see how important it is. In this field, according to weight factors, variables such as network infrastructures, interfaces and med wares are suggested.
D) Cultural and social factors: According to priorities reached in data analysis, Internet and computer permeability rate, alongside with economic power, can lead to e-tourism and virtual tourism, so it is suggested that in order to cultivate culture, using electronic services and virtual tourism, appropriate programs in national and regional levels must be planned and implemented.
E) Supporting information systems: According to statistical information systems and priorities of parameters such as application of semantic web in virtual and electronic tourism and the importance of supporting systems such as inventory and planning of destinations and reservations, it is suggested that public and private departments should be improved before entering e-tourism, they must invest on supporting systems such as reservation, inventory planning and trip planning.
In this study, with the aim of factors affecting e-tourism evolution, and with literature review, while identification of parameters and variables of tourism evolution; we draw a conceptual model on factors affecting tourism evolution. Theoretical studies show that new trends in tourism in developed countries, based on integration of software and hardware through network, using diverse information systems, support of public sectors for e-tourism and cultural and social infrastructures are greatly enhancing the importance of tourism as a new industry in the world. The results show that Iran needs planning, development and more investments on these factors in order to improve this industry.