Developing an effectiveness evaluation framework for destination management systems
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Horan, P. (2010) Developing an effectiveness evaluation framework for destination management systems, no. 202.
The ever-increasing use of the Web as a channel of distribution within the tourism industry naturally leads to a situation where its effectiveness needs to be examined and justified. While there is a growing realisation of the need to assess the effectiveness of a Destination Management Systems (DMS) based websites, research into this area in the tourism domain has been quite limited and narrow in focus. This situation is further compounded by the fact that currently there is little in the way of appropriate models and techniques in place to manage a DMS based websites effectively and that there is a general lack of consensus when it comes to defining and understanding its standards and concepts. This thesis describes a methodology for the development and evaluation of a comprehensive set of weighted dimensions and criteria for measuring the effectiveness of DMS based websites. Ultimately, from a DMS perspective, website effectiveness depends on how well a website performs with respect to the related business goals. The scope of the research was limited to assessing the impact of DMS effectiveness on the accommodation sector. This research began by employing a Delphi study to generate, validate and prioritise a comprehensive set of dimensions and criteria for measuring the effectiveness of a DMS. The Delphi study successfully identified a total of 12 dimensions and 105 criteria required to assess DMS based websites effectiveness. These components were incorporated into a comprehensive evaluation framework applied specifically to evaluate the effectiveness of a DMS based websites using a diverse range of approaches and perspectives. The evaluation phase of the research took place over an eight month period and concentrated on testing this framework using VisitScotland.com as a test bed. The outcomes from the evaluation phase successfully demonstrated that the framework provides DMS management with a comprehensive method to measure and manage the effectiveness of their Web presence by not only identifying areas of the website and website strategy that needed attention but also by providing advice and suggestions on how to improve these areas.