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Destination Management System

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par Inan Elmerini
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach - Executive MBA 2001
  

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Chapter 1

INTRODUCTION

Tourism clearly counts as one of the social and economic phenomena of the last century. According to WTO, the number of international tourists traveling in the world reached 698 millions in 2000. International tourism receipts for the same year have been estimated at US$ 476 billion. Today, Tourism is perceived as an eminently global industry with a worldwide network of producers, suppliers and intermediaries. This industry is also characterized by its fragmentation and heterogeneity, thus a complex product with different components. Moreover, Tourism is information intensive industry, with worldwide heterogeneous consumers communities with constant changing needs.

Recognizing the benefits of tourism, many countries have created coordinating agencies at national level, to address tourism related services. Often, these agencies, such as Tourist Boards tend to be state organizations in charge of marketing their country as a «brand». Historically, Tourist Boards have marketed their destinations by communicating their countries' tourism offer to the international markets through various media, including direct contact with the consumers through physical offices in the world's major cities. They also

promote their destinations by distributing printed and video materials and taking part in tourism trade shows or «similar live activities». However, in recent years, tremendous changes that have occurred in the travel industry have driven Tourist Boards all over the world to adapt their missions, and sharpen their marketing strategies. Probably, the single most significant change driving this redefinition of corporate mission is the revolutions in information technology. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) available today make it possible to radically reengineer activities between an organization, its customers, suppliers and stakeholders.

The role of such national institutions in creating a general enabling environment for the tourism industry is crucial especially for developing countries. Morocco is one of those developing countries that are relying on Tourism to jumpstart a tourism driven economy. The State owned Tourism Board for Morocco, called the Moroccan National Tourism Office (MNTO), is naturally also confronted with those changes and that is a strong reinforcing factor to its obligation to become the leveraging instrument of Morocco Destination's global image and tourism product positioning in international consumers' mind. Therefore, MNTO should reevaluate its approach towards marketing Morocco as a destination to tourists worldwide.

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the technical, managerial and organizational feasibility of a destination marketing system for the Moroccan

National Tourism Office. The project is organized as follows: Section 1 contains an overview of the world tourism travel; Section 2 reviews the tourism industry characteristics and business constraints; Section 3 introduce the strategic implications of Information Technology on the tourism industry; Section 4 describe today's Internet travel; Section 5 introduce to Destination Management System and highlights its success criteria; Section 6 propose the Destination Management System conception and implementation for the MNTO.

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