BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Due to the development of Information and communication technologies, data clouds produced by several sources containing vital information about cities, give more opportunities to tourists to access more information and services. Tourists can overcome challenges such as movement and finding information and services by improving the digital Tourism System’s efficiency. Digital tourism system can help tourists to move and to live in unfamiliar destinations, know different cultures, and buy services and productions more easily and independently. Therefore, digital tourism systems and their efficiency are a significant concern, which this research aims to address by evaluating the position of digital tourism systems and identifying the dimensions and influential factors affecting their efficiency.
METHODS: This study was a quantitative research and its target population consists of tourists or residents of the city of Mashhad use digital tourism systems. Due to the large population size, encompassing nearly 3 million residents and 20 million tourists annually, and considering the methods for determining the sample size for this study due to limitations arising from COVID-19, online questionnaires were utilized for data collection. Out of a total of 778 distributed questionnaires, 389 questionnaires were fully and accurately completed. The collected data was analysed using SPSS data analysis software to assess the analysis and relationships between the factors affecting the efficiency of digital tourism systems in Mashhad.
FINDINGS: The results showed that more than 82% of respondents are using digital tourism system for managing their travels and three main functions of digital tourism system mentioned by tourists are “reservation services” (41%), “take information” (31%), “moving, find destination” (28%). Additionally, in brightness of this study, it demonstrated that digital tourism system usually uses smart recommender systems to personalise its recommendations, which need tourists' information. However, many of tourists (56%) are unwilling to share their personal information. one of the most important finding of this research is that receiving social content significantly correlates with users' confidence in digital tourism system for sharing their personal information.
CONCLUSION: The findings showed that digital tourism system can optimise its personalisation process by using social content. It can ameliorate the users’ confidence in digital tourism system for sharing their personal information, which will increase the efficiency of digital tourism system. This finding cannot only be a solution to overcome tourists' challenges but also is a key factor for tourism companies that are the beneficiaries of digital tourism system to achieve their business goals. Moreover, it is a wake-up alert for the public sector to accept its responsibility for legislating, monitoring and producing social content in digital tourism systems.
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