Smart Municipalities in Tourism

Smart Municipalities in Tourism

Nurettin Ayaz, Bayram Akay
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1989-9.ch018
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Tourism is a fragmented and information-oriented sector covering tour operators, travel agencies, hotel sales representatives, associations, meeting offices, transportation, car rental, airlines, cruise, souvenirs, restaurants, hotels/motels, and entertainment. In the tourism sector, technology is an important requirement for the interconnection of all these fragmented organizations, activities, and elements, and for the satisfaction of tourists. However, the effective use of technology in a destination requires the leadership of a leader. This chapter approaches the smart municipality applications oriented to tourism sector with the example of Turkey, a well-known destination around the world, from the perspective of municipalities, which is regarded as a democratic leader at local level and provides a general framework regarding the studies on an innovative, environment-friendly, solution-oriented, and more livable urban life. Suggestions are provided for smart technologies to improve the quality of life of local citizens and to the satisfaction of tourists.
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Natural, cultural, historical and artificial attractions, societies that protect their authenticity, a tourism consciousness that is a result of the harmony between the local cultural characteristics and the tourism, interest of the national, regional and local authorities in tourism and achievement of the international standards for transportation, accommodation and food and beverage sectors are among the resources of a tourism destination (EC, 1999: 18). The expectation from local authorities regarding the tourism sector include funds for the development of tourism, investments in infrastructure, reconstruction, care and cleaning services for touristic attractions, education of tourism employees and local people and professional support (Wilson et al., 2001: 134). Local governments are highly important for providing rapid services in an integrated way. Besides, within the context of the notion of “think global, act locally”, local governments are expected to be responsible for sustainability, support for development, raising awareness and developing local partnership (Leslie and Hughes, 1997: 145).

Among the regional and local authorities, municipalities are the main contact points for the local resident. Municipalities are highly important authorities since their responsibilities and functions of the municipalities significantly influence the daily lives of the inhabitants (Nadaroğlu, 1978: 272-313).

The concept of “smart city”, which have been constructed because of the developments in communication and information technologies, has been considered as an element of the municipalities since the early 2000s. Parallel to this, the concept of “smart tourism destination” has been formed. Smart tourism destination depends on the information and communication technologies of a smart city, including, internet, mobile communication, cloud services, artificial intelligence technologies (Yüzbaşıoğlu et al., 2018: 708). Technologies and databases in a smart destination are used for communication and flow of information between the stakeholders (Başer and Doğan, 2018).

Tourism is a fragmented and information-related sector that is composed of various enterprises, including, tour operators, travel agents, hotel’s sales representatives, unions, transportation firms, car rentals, airlines, cruise, souvenir shops, hotels, restaurants and entertainment firms (Buhalis and Laws 2001). Technology is an important factor that connects these fragmented enterprises in order to provide high-quality experiences for visitors. In addition, technology is an important necessity for tourism destinations to sustain both tourist and destination safety (Koçoğlu and Acar, 2019). So, a leader is required for the effective use of information and communication technologies and a strategic management approach in a tourism destination (Ayaz and Kulualp, 2019).

This study deals with the smart municipality services in Turkey from the perspectives of the municipalities. We review the existing studies in order to provide a general framework to maintain an innovative, environment-friendly, solution-oriented and habitable urban life. In order to improve the quality of life of the local inhabitants and the visitors, we also provide suggestions for the integration of the technologies, systems, services, and capabilities to an organic network, which is open to new developments.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Smart Cities: Collaborative communities which is sustaining integrated systems facilitating efficiency, citizen engagement, and providing the life quality.

Eco-municipality: Eco-Municipality is a vision of environmentalist municipality with strategic and technical goals, where participation is prominent and envisages the development of projects in line with sustainable development goals.

Local Agenda 21: LA-21, which came to the agenda with the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and described with the phrase “humanity is at a historical turning point”, aims to achieve a balance between development and environment and is considered as an action plan that has the highest level of global reconciliation and political commitments for shifting the concept of sustainable development into life.

Smart Municipality: It is a municipality which can be used new and smart technologies for their locals and tourists.

Smart Tourism: It relies on new technologies such as ICT, mobile communication, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality in order to provide tourist sufficient in the destinations.

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