The globally observed recession of mobile services market has pushed mobile network operators into looking for opportunities to provide value added services on top of their high cost infrastructures. Recent advances in mobile positioning technologies enable services that make use of the mobile user location information, offering intuitive, attractive applications to the potential customer. Mobile tourism services are among the primary options to be considered by service providers for this new market. This chapter presents the key concepts, capabilities, and considerations of infrastructures and applications targeted to the mobile tourist, covering data and content delivery, positioning, systems’ interactions, platforms, protocols, security, and privacy as well as business modelling aspects.
The application of the above-mentioned technologies and concepts in tourism gave birth to the ubiquitous tourism1 concept (OTC, 2003), which refers to the existence and access of tourism related services at any place, any time. Although tourism-related services are mostly related to content provision, more applications can be identified. In its entirety, content provision for e-tourism covers a large number of thematic areas: culture, urgencies, transportation, events, and so on. Thus, content might be both temporally and spatially labelled (LoVEUS, 2002; M-Guide, 2002). In addition, information seeking and avalanche-like content provision might guide the user to areas quite outside her/his initial focus areas.