Smart Tourism: Concepts and Insights from Central Europe

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Abstract

Nowadays, tourism sector needs to adapt to a very fast changing environment and stronger competitiveness. Smart tourism describes the current stage of tourism development influenced by the evolution of information technologies and is becoming a promising way how to face the new market conditions. The aim of the paper is to review the conceptual foundations of smart tourism and to analyse the development of smart tourism initiative in Central Europe, specifically in Slovakia. The paper adopts an exploratory multiple case study methodology, focusing on information technologies used by Central European tourists, willingness of data sharing and the use of the state-of-the-art technologies in tourism businesses. Moreover, the smart concept is examined based on the (SA)6 framework in three tourism destinations. The paper concludes that smart tourism should not be the ultimate goal, but with the help of technology, innovation, and cooperation, it should bring better tourist experience, wellbeing of residents, enhance effectiveness and competitiveness of businesses and destinations, and lead to overall competitive sustainability.

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