Oficina CEER
Wireless technologies and Location Bases Services: Implications for Tourism

The rapid advancements in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the last 20 years have had a tremendous impact on business practices. The wireless revolution experienced through the proliferation of Wi-Fi and WiMAX as well as GPRS and UMTS is predicted to bring significant changes in the marketplace. Wireless technologies include both cellular technologies, based on mobile telephone systems that use radio waves to provide coverage in certain geographic areas (or cells), and wireless computer networks. However, the main trend in Internet technology seems to be technology convergence. The technologies at the base of wireless networking and mobile telephony are merging to create an infrastructure allowing ubiquitous connectivity. Wireless broadband technologies can provide ubiquitous broadband access to wireless users, offering the same services made available for wired users. There are several types of wireless computer networks, including WPANs (Wireless Personal Area Networks), WLANs (Wireless Local Area Networks), WMANs (Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks) and WWANs (Wireless Wide Area Networks). It is evident that WiMAX will be competing with advanced 3G and 4G technologies in the near future.

New technologies and applications such as location-based services are at the forefront of this revolution. Location-Based Services (LBS) are services accessible through a mobile device and centred on the current location of the device itself. Three types of LBSs may be distinguished: the customer makes the request for the service (pull service); the service provider makes the request for the service to be delivered (push service); a customer requests the service to track another customer (tracking service). Advanced mapping technology is expected to play a major role in tourism and mashups are becoming instrumental in offering LBSs.

The tourism industry is going to be affected dramatically by these developments as consumers will be constantly online and will be interacting with resources before, during and after their travel experience. Equally, the tourism industry will have tools to manage its internal resources and to coordinate activities and value systems across the industry. As a result we expect to see the proliferation of location-based services and applications as well as the integration of destinations as dynamic service provision entities. Wireless technologies therefore will be revolutionary and will have strategic implications for the competitiveness of both tourism organisations and destinations as well as are expected to revolutionise consumer behaviour.

This special issue is addressing these issues from both the techical and managerial aspects and aims to identify the critical sucssess factors that will support the development of wireless technologies applications and location based services in tourism as well as the impacts of those technologies on the management and marketing of tourism and on consumer behaviour. The special issue therefore invites papers on the entire range of topics, including:

· Bluetooth/ Wifi / WiMax / Mobile applications
· Business models
· Technology developments
· Geographical mash ups
· Web 2.0 and LBS
· Marketing applications
· Applications and services

Please submit papers to :
Professor Matthias Fuchs
European Tourism Research Institute, Mid Sweden University, Sweden

HYPERLINK "mailto:matthias.fuchs@miun.se"matthias.fuchs@miun.se