Tourism Portals

Although the original aim of portals was to be a page providing access to the internet andenabling users to start surfing the net, the present-day proliferation of portals meansthat this definition is used to refer to a web page that serves as a gateway to a zonecontaining thematic information (sometimes of considerable breadth, i.e. containing aconglomeration of different subjects), with a view to situating the virtual world of interneton a par with the social and cultural zones of real life.

This way of presentinginformation in virtual surroundingshelps convey their contentbetter and creates a metalanguage that can define new information and communicationscenarios which will apparently become commonplace areas in the future - if they are notalready.

Bearing in mind howuseful the portal conceptis, its great and rapid success isunderstandable since it defines what is available far better than the former term used for web "site", i.e. the "web page" as it was incorrectly called. Portals also take refuge in reallife: a noble, liveable space in which to live out experiences, a social, civic, cultural andsometimes, why not, even a political space, whereas a web page can at best only be thefirst page of an excellent book or a good, comprehensive directory.

Talking about portals is much more than merely using a name to define a way of beingpresent on the internet: it is a new way of organisation, a new style of work and a newoperating philosophy which does however take advantage of systems already found in theanimal world or which have been used by humanity for thousands of years, albeit nowused by means of new technologies.

Advantages for tourist destinations:

Tourist organisations particularly can make the most of the advantages provided byinternet portals to present their products to the public. Firstly, as has already been said onmany occasions, the tourist industry is highly dependent on constant, massive flows of information and the success of sales and production depends to a considerable extent onthe quality of information processes.

These processes refer not only to the production but also to the dissemination of information about the tourist products of a destination. A rapid and effective informationprocessis essential not only when providing intangible goods, i.e. services, but also atother times in relation to tourists: after the sale of services; when preparing a journey atthe place of origin; whilst consuming the services; and after holidays, when we want atourist to bear us in mind for future trave

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