Tourism and the Digital Transformation at this year's World Tourism Day
Institutional Communication Service
24 September 2018
This year’s edition of the World Tourism Day (http://wtd.unwto.org/), on September 27, is dedicated to digital transformation and to the role played by information and communication technologies. USI is particularly active in this area – which is generally referred to as "eTourism" – both in research and education in the Master in International Tourism.
The USI Master in International Tourism, jointly organized by the USI Faculties of Economics and of Communication Sciences and directed by Prof. Rico Maggi, offers a number of courses entirely dedicated to the subject, as well as the possibility for students to follow their own specialization in eTourism (www.usi.ch/en/node/7368). The USI Institute for Communication Technologies (ITC, USI Faculty of Communication), which is responsible for this specialization, is also active with several research and development projects in the field, in collaboration with Swiss partners – namely Switzerland Tourism, Ticino Tourism and Lugano Tourism – and international ones.
A UNESCO Chair dedicated to information and communication technologies, sustainable tourism and world heritage has also been established at USI (http://unescochair.usi.ch), to promote studies, teaching and innovative activities in the sector. At the World Tourism Day, the Chair will launch a new research project to study the relationship between eGovernment and the tourism sector (http://wtd.unwto.org/content/digital-government-tourism-sector). The Chair is headed by Prof. Lorenzo Cantoni, who was, from 2014 to February 2018, president of the main international research organization in the eTourism sector, the International Federation for IT and Travel & Tourism (IFITT).
USI has also created the Tourism Observatory (O-Tur) at the Institute for Economic Research (IRE, USI Faculty of Economics), with the main objective of fostering and disseminating knowledge on the tourism industry of the Canton Ticino, by means of systematic observation and analysis of tourism demand and local supply at the destinations in the region by applying qualitative and quantitative methods. For these purposes, O-Tur has implemented a monitoring system of tourism which would be of considerable support for strategic decision-making processes of the tourism stakeholders, the Cantonal administration and tour operators (www.otur.usi.ch).