This article discusses capacity building of small and medium size enterprises (SME) in tourism networks in the context of the introduction of information and communication technologies (ICT) and an increasingly networked economy. The success of the tourism industry is dependent on the quality of business operations and how well they are able to sustain themselves in the networked economy. To run tourism businesses well, operators need to be skilled, flexible and innovative in order to maintain and enhance competitiveness. The aim of this paper is to share some insights into an Australian tourism industry capacity building project via flexibly delivered online skills. Aiming to raise industry standards and move away from ineffective silo approaches to industry training and capacity building, this article reflects the importance of developing effective industry networks.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Connectivity: The ability to link to the Internet via a computer
ICT: Information and communication technologies. The technology and tools used to transfer information and speed up communication processes.
Learning Region: A learning region addresses the learning needs of its locality through partnership. It builds on the strengths of its social relationships to enable change (e.g., economic development).
Community Of Practice: A group of like-minded people who network and interact to discuss common topics of interest.
Multi-Modal Learning: Availability of a number of different modes of learning, for example, face-to-face, on CD-ROM, via the Internet.
SME: Small and medium size enterprises. Small and medium size tourism enterprises are also referred to as SMTE. In Australia a small size enterprise refers to firms with less than 20 employees and micro enterprises 0-9 employees.
Online Learning: Learning that takes place anytime someone uses electronic means for gathering information either with (synchronous learning) or without another live person (asynchronous learning) present.