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Mobility-based tourism services for tourists at final destination

Itinere will design and develop an ict tool that allows tourists at their final destination to access and download tourism content (both static and dynamic) via different mobile devices (phones, pdas, etc.) Through a wide choice of telecom networks.

As stated before, ITINERE is an extensive ICT (Information and Communications Technology) platform that makes it possible for tourists already 'en route' to access and download a wide variety of tourism content via different mobile handheld devices (cellular phones, PDAs (Personal Digital Assistant), i-phones, GPS (Global Positioning System) devices, etc.) regardless of telecommunications networks (GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System), WIFI (Wireless Fidelity), Bluetooth, etc.) they are connected to. Users having previously registered and accepted ITINERE terms and conditions will be eligible candidates for receiving on-line touristic data. The ITINERE platform will use a purpose built communication network (consisting mainly of Bluetooth beacons but also including other components) to establish connections and send personalised information to users’ mobile devices. In fact, an ITINERE Central Unit will be constantly monitoring these users, answering their requests for data and also deciding whether or not it should send them more useful information which has not been specifically requested. In this scenario, ITINERE users can get both general touristic information and/or more customised information according to two main criteria: their personal preferences (as stated by their specific profile, historic data and so on) and the geographical position they are located in at a given moment. These customising criteria also define two main ITINERE technological features: - Firstly, this ICT platform uses different positioning systems depending on the actual tourist location: Bluetooth beacons, WIFI, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and so on for micro positioning or micro location (when the en route tourist is inside a museum, a sport facility, an historic building, etc.), and more conventional GPS for macro positioning. - And, secondly, the ITINERE platform is a discriminating tool that can choose what kind of information is suitable for a specific individual at a given moment and place. To do so, this tool is built on a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) architecture that helps identify tourist relationships and enables public authorities to define and adjust tourism policies in a geographical area, thus implementing a highly rewarding 'one-to-one' tourism marketing scenario. ITINERE can therefore be included in two of the five EUREKA TOURISM main thematic areas: firstly in 'Content, creativity and personal development' and also in 'Support to public/private tourist companies and organisations'. This project's developments are indeed related to new forms of communication, information and knowledge management and its functional and technological features span practically all areas in information and knowledge management specifically identified as priorities by the EUREKA programme: ITINERE is designed as an online information and booking system, specifically designed as a tool for cooperation at destinations. Its main strength is its being well adapted to a destination’s natural and cultural heritage (and personal tourist preferences). ITINERE also falls under the 'Support to public/private tourist companies and organisations' thematic area as it is an online business platform through which different organisations can offer their tourism products and services in a collaborative environment. The original concept of this project stems from the conviction that sustainable tourism development in Europe has to be based not on (at least not only on) quantitative growth in numbers of tourists, destinations or resorts, but on the emergence and development of innovative business models heavily dependent on ICT. Tourism is widely considered as one of the industries with the biggest growth potential in developed economies. This is important for Europe, a world reference for the industry: currently almost 60% of the 680 billion US dollar international tourism receipts are spent in Europe and our continent welcomes more than 80% of the world’s international tourists, with European nations being among the five most visited countries (WTO (World Tourism Organisation) Tourism Market Trends, 2005). Responsible for 6.8-8.0 million direct jobs in Europe and circa 20 million of indirect jobs (Eurostat, 2004), this industry has to have a significant role in the move toward an 'information society' as defined by the Lisbon Agenda 2010, not only because of its huge economic dimension but also because it is such an intensive consumer of information and ICT services. Today in Europe we are seeing an ever increasing use of ICT-dependent tourism business models and services, where tourism information, planning and reservation on the Web are extremely common. Nevertheless, 'mobility' is usually a side-effect in these solutions, far from the core application they are built on. This makes no economic sense as these systems are mainly used by a new breed of users, keen also on mobility services and, if not willing to, at least used to paying premium prices for quality services. Given this, we believe that now is the right time for an ICT platform such as ITINERE, for the following reasons: - Firstly, mobility based services, which must be a minor feature in every tourism chain value ICT solution when users are not physically 'on the move' (solutions for tourism information, planning and reservation), can only fulfil their huge potential in ICT-based business models, which are thought and designed for tourists already 'en route'. - Secondly, all these business models will be successful only if they can accurately get, select and communicate the unending variety of cultural, physical or economic contents of the environment that 'en route' tourists are experiencing. All this information also heavily depends on where the user is positioned at a given moment, therefore by definition, mobility based tourism services are location-based services. - Thirdly, we face an exceptional market scene where all ICT components needed for building this ITINERE-platform are ready and mature: from i-phone marketing to the deployment of the GALILEO programme or the European annual selling of GPS devices by the hundred of thousands instead of tens of thousands, all suggest a market momentum like no other. We choose the word 'ITINERE' as acronym for this project because in Latin, ITINERE is the ablative form of ITER, meaning 'on the way' or 'on the move' which is exactly the feature we most want to highlight. ITINERE also stands for Information Technology services for INcoming En RoutE tourists. The ITINERE consortium initially comprises three companies, all of them SMEs. Being open to others in the future, this SME profile will be especially encouraged in potential new partners.
Acronym: 
ITINERE
Project ID: 
4 216
Start date: 
03-03-2008
Project Duration: 
20months
Project costs: 
1 830 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Software for tourism
Market Area: 
Amusement and recreational facilities

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.