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Intelligent tourist organisation

The aim is to develop an advanced integrated tourist
recommendation/tourist industry management support system.
ulixes is a knowledge organisation based on intelligent
systems, multimedia, web and mobile phone technology.

In few other industries are the generation, gathering, processing, application and communication of information as important for day-to-day operation as they are for the travel and tourism industry. The importance of the ULIXES project for the EU has already been identified by EUREKA (in the MULTIMEDIA and EUROTOURISM umbrella projects) and in the Fifth Framework Programme (Quality of Life and management of living resources - Quality of Life, and User-friendly Information Society IST). This project also addresses major issues identified by the WORLD TOURIST ORGANISATION Global Forecasting Study (Tourism: 2020 Vision), namely globalization, localisation, electronic technology, fast track travel, polarisation of tourist tastes, destination as fashion accessory, product development and marketing that should be mirror images of each other, etc. Additionally the Artificial Intelligence community has also identified the technology of second generation intelligent systems that this project has to reach. Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of the global economy. Trends are predicting that non-European countries will have higher rate of growth. The solution for European countries could be a creation of high quality product, with many added values based on a deeper understanding of multi- cultural visitors. Tourism is also able to derive great benefits from Internet technologies Currently applications with simple functions like reservation, payment and information presentation dominate. More complex applications, that would contain advisory and planning functions, are far less common. This is one reason, among others, that customers behave more as 'lookers' than 'bookers', visiting tourists Web sites. Tourism is a very complex industry. Due to its complexity, inappropriate research methods and a lack of thorough surveys in the field, models that would be extensive and precise enough have not been developed to date. Nevertheless, our recent research undertaken in this direction has showed that there are many possibilities of improving the degree of tourist satisfaction. Intelligent models of tourists' satisfaction have been created with a mean error of 6%. It has been shown that tourists often do not choose their destination wisely, and it is possible to improve the degree of satisfaction for 90% of Croatian tourists in a range from 25% to 160% by giving them a recommendation about more suitable destinations and hotels according to their profiles. A USA company called SKI EUROPE that first introduced a simple recommendation system on Internet recorded in January 2001 a 70% increase in the lead conversion rate compared with the previous period. Research is focused on the personalization of tourist product, for which developing new theories and practical knowledge on both quality management of tourist products and resulting customer satisfaction is indispensable. Whereas tourists need a more reliable way of choosing and using services, the tourist industry needs a more efficient way of creating tourist products and satisfying clients' needs. The results of our previous research have demonstrated that by combining several information technologies, Artificial Intelligence, global networks and multimedia these goals could be reached. The ULIXES project introduces a new concept for the tourist industry - intelligent organisations that upgrade the idea of the knowledge organisation with intelligent systems. This intelligent organisation is the integration of many virtual destinations (Web presentations of real tourist destinations). This project is focused upon developing the system that will upgrade and integrate many facets of existing tourists service providers: agencies, tourist boards, travellers and destinations. Moreover, this system is intended to cover all aspects of tourist consumption, before and during the destination visit. The System will assure consumer optimization choice will occur according to the customers' personal needs. ULIXES will connect tourist service providers with tourists with the aid of artificial intelligent models. These models have been created with the help of results of the survey of satisfaction with different tourists products. Similar tourists experience similar degrees of satisfaction, communicate and make decisions in a similar way. This fundamental premise enables mechanization of the described process with the aid of information technology. It is possible to obtain high-grade knowledge on tourist satisfaction through surveys. Their experience can be subsequently incorporated in intelligent models. Tourists' experience is distributed to other potential customers. That is a very convenient way of predicting their degree of satisfaction with the product. ULIXES has been communicating with users in many ways: through Web technology, with the help of local DVD reach multimedia contents added to the Web-based services and contents and also mobile phone services. Having delivered their profile the tourists will then be provided with assistance during all the steps of product consumption. The tourist could use these services of ULIXES in tourist agencies, at home, or during the vacation. The project stresses the importance of obtaining a virtual experience with the destination, so the process of choice of a product will be incremental. It is envisaged that the presentation will take the form of the richest multimedia ad hoc versions as an interface between the system and the user. Knowledge on tourist satisfaction can be used for product adaptation and optimisation to suit the tourist (destination management, government strategy). Instead of creating uniform products suitable for only a few tourist profiles, it is possible to consider the interaction of many tourist profiles with many personalized products. The ULIXES project will provide methods and tools for comprehensive systems surveys of tourist consumption with innovative ways to incorporate this in tourist management. Intelligent models will be created and used as models in group decision supported processes for the purpose of destination management and government strategy development. Additional application of technology will be obtained with the help of innovative systems (Web-based Intelligent Multimedia Mass-Group Decision Support Systems) that enable mass group of consumers and the local population to be involved in the process of the creation of tourist products, for example, destination management. Keywords: intelligent systems, e-commerce, tourism.
Acronym: 
ULIXES
Project ID: 
2 584
Start date: 
01-06-2000
Project Duration: 
54months
Project costs: 
2 150 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Software for tourism
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.