Improving the development and implementation of modern tourism information and communication technologies in the Caribbean.

Ridoutt, Paul (2008) Improving the development and implementation of modern tourism information and communication technologies in the Caribbean. DProf thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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To these developing tourism destinations, the role of technology is becoming more influential, and technological initiatives are sometimes included as part of a tourism
development ‘aid package’ by many donors including the European Union (EU), World Bank and UNWTO. The outcomes of such aid projects have often dictated the development pace of individual countries’ tourism industry. Sometimes the outcomes reflect the political and economic priorities and social requirements of the aid donor itself, and may not always meet the prime needs of the beneficiary country as a first requirement. Initial research shows that attempts to develop and implement IT into the developing countries of the Caribbean, as part of a regional aid funded tourism development project, have not been a total success.

The reasons for failure may vary from country to country, but this project shows there is a common thread running through the different projects; the human issues. These range from senior management’s understanding of the mportance of technology, through the development, management and allocation of sufficient resources to a national tourism destination, to the use of technology and the empowerment of management and staff to implement the IT strategies.

The increasingly extensive use of dynamic IT in global tourism, by a labour force experienced in creative technology, has seen the introduction of new and dynamic technologies and associated operational system and management requirements. These require developing countries to cope with changing skills and organisational requirements that some cannot accomplish. As a result, they must change and adjust to new staff and skills, or the IT Implementation fails, from a technological point of view.

Respondents find that managing this dynamic change, even with the benefit of organisational systems and new staff, is a challenging task. From my fieldwork I found that some Directors of Tourism and senior managers feel pressured to choose between two managerial dimensions – rationalism and humanism. Collins and Porras (1994) propose that this is a trap for managers, as they may succumb to the ‘tyranny of the or – managers can be either rationalistic or humanistic. However, I found that experienced senior managers harness what Collins and Porras call the ‘genius of the and’. That is, they are not trapped by this polarity and have both mastered and utilised systems and married this with building a new organisation, retaining and training their key experienced staff to work with new technologies, recruiting new skills as the situation demands.

The paradox for the tourism industry is that, with experienced directors of tourism and senior managers being few in number and difficult to recruit, losing them risks damaging the organisational knowledge base and social framework. Ultimately, this damage influences the way in which new technologies are assimilated into the organisation, and how resources, both financial and human, are managed or mismanaged.

The key practical message for directors of tourism and senior managers involved in today’s rapidly changing, technology-driven, tourism marketplace is this. It is essential for them to be more aware of the need to develop an organisation and skill base with the resources to
assimilate and use the new technology tools. Failure to recognise and practically support this vision will restrict the benefits of implementing tourism technologies, the achievement of business objectives, and the organisation’s chance of competing in the global tourism marketplace.

As well as this project report, the full EU-funded CRSTDP Management Information System (MIS) Project Report (Phase 1 – Development and Phase 2 – Implementation) are submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement of Doctor of Professional Studies

Item Type: Thesis (DProf)
Additional Information: Partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of professional studies.
Research Areas: A. > Work and Learning Research Centre
B. > Theses
Item ID: 2089
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2009 16:24
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 01:52

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