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Digital Toolbox: Innovation for Nordic Tourism SMEs

  • Published 16/06/2014
This report focuses on meeting the practical needs of tourism businesses in the Nordic countries when adopting and employing ICT in their operations.

Taking into account the structure and challenges of the tourism industry in the Nordic region, the different case studies in this report represents different approaches to efficient use of ICT, offering a toolbox consisting of suggestions on how to take advantage of ICT for market communication, customer knowledge, service design and innovation.


The tourism sector continues to grow, as evidenced by for instance research by UNWTO pointing to an above expectation increase in international tourism by 5% in the first half of 2013 compared to 2012 (UNWTO, 2013). Competition is increasing and poses many challenges especially for small and medium sized businesses in tourism. An important challenge, as well as an opportunity, is the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in tourism. ICT provides all stakeholders in tourism with new opportunities to interact with consumers and networks of other stakeholders as well as opportunities to positively affect business performance, efficiency and effectiveness.


The Internet has revolutionized the tourism industry and it is increasingly important for all tourism businesses and organizations to adapt and increase its attention to the use of ICT. One important area for destinations as well as for individual businesses is to work with ICT tools interacting with customers based on dimensions other than “price consciousness” and instead focus on value creation and experiential dimensions. Another important area is for organizations, such as destination management organizations (DMOs) to consider and develop capabilities for innovation such as implementing tools which can provide infrastructure and content that can be used to increase knowledge about customers which can serve as support for strategic decisions about development and marketing.