|dc.description.abstract||Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are claimed to provide
businesses with a competitive advantage, to the extent of reshaping entire industries.
In tourism, an information-intensive activity and the impact of ICT has been
extensively documented at the industry, destination and business level.
eTourism Capability refers here to the contribution of ICT to tourism business
performance. Therefore, the work is based within the Tourism domain. However, its
methods are mainly emerging from the adapted combination of previous research in
business and eBusiness.
Previous work has urged for the development of wide-angle studies, assessing the
eTourism Capability of a destination. However, existing research addressing this
issue, tends to place the focus on only one specific aspect of technology adoption, it
is not sector specific and/or does not take into consideration the different levels of
contribution to performance made by systems.
In order to develop an eTourism Capability Assessment Framework for Scotland,
and to provide the baseline for its strategic benchmarking with other tourism
destinations, the work included an extensive literature review of Tourism and
eTourism, developed of a conceptual framework. This supported the selection of key
tourism industry stakeholders, i.e. the accommodation sector within the established
context. An electronic questionnaire enabled the data collection. Through a mix of
statistical techniques, the data treatment provided answers to the research questions,
which related to the most suitable approach for ICT indexing in the accommodation
sector, the level of contribution to performance by the different ICT elements,
patterns describing the impact of business characteristics on ICT uptake, and the
predictive models for this uptake.
The results suggested the suitability of IT-based indexes for assessing the ICT uptake
of this sector. Additionally, the results suggested important differences in the
contribution that each system makes to business performance. This even varies
across systems supporting similar business functions. Furthermore, the results
emphasised the influence of the individual ICT on their own adoption, and suggested
several dimensions to describe systems, which underlie the association between
business characteristics and ICT adoption by the accommodation sector. These are
compatibility observability, physical accessibility, verticality of systems and whether
these support standardisation of processes across branches. Since the influence of
business characteristics on ICT uptake seem to be system-specific, the predictive
models are developed for each individual system. Finally, recommendations for
further research have also been made.||