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NO.327 06.29.2017

Professor Chulmo Koo Received Paper of the Year Award from Electronic Markets

A groundbreaking seminal research defined for the first time the concept of “Smart Tourism” that combined tourism and Information Technologies


Professor Chulmo Koo of the College of Tourism and Hotel Management received the Paper of the Year 2016 award from Electronic Markets (EM), a world-renowned academic journal in the area of information system, for his article, “Smart Tourism: Foundations and Developments.”

EM is a peer-reviewed quarterly academic journal on electronic commerce and networking business published jointly by the University of Leipzig and Springer Science+Business Media. It annually awards the “Paper of the Year” based on the citation index, number of download, and qualitative evaluation.

Defining the concept and scope of “smart tourism” for the first time in the world
In the article, Professor Koo defined the concept of “smart tourism” and laid the theoretical framework for necessary technological and e-commercial environment for it to thrive. He said, “While the term might be unfamiliar to the general public, the broad concept of “smart tourism” was rapidly gaining traction in the eTourism industry. I felt it was the right time for the concept to be clearly and academically defined.”

Drawing up the basic guideline for the direction of future development
“Smart tourism” is based on the fusion of tourism and Information Technologies (IT) that bridges the traditional concepts of tourism and ubiquitous computing currently manifested mainly in smartphones and mobile data communication. According to this model, a customer, free from any constraint of time or location due to Information and Communications Technology (ICT), can access, evaluate, and disseminate any information he or she deems appropriate and necessary through the entire course of a trip starting from its planning, execution, and reviewing. In so doing, a tourist is not only a consumer of tourism and hospitality service but also a modifier and producer of the service in the sense that the free flow of real-time feedback and information disseminated through online social network service (SNS) influences and shapes the very tourism service they are consuming.

Professor Koo’s article is significant in that it is the first serious academic look at an emerging industry trend represented by a new buzzword, “smart tourism.” This seminal paper comprehensively defined the new phenomenon and laid the theoretical groundwork for further research in the future. He concluded, “This research laid the foundation for the future trajectory of where the tourism and hospitality industry is heading in the coming age of Industry 4.0, in which the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence and IT will completely remold the current industry landscape. I feel privileged to have been involved in as significant a project as this one.”

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