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Les veilles > Europe > Commission européenne : Rapport d'enquête sur la transition numérique et le tourisme européen / Digitalisation and EU tourism survey report

Commission européenne : Rapport d'enquête sur la transition numérique et le tourisme européen / Digitalisation and EU tourism survey report

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Commission européenne, mars 2017

Publié le 10 octobre 2017

Thématique: Digital, Etourisme, Etude/rapport Etourisme

The economic growth experienced in recent decades has been attributed to small firms (Kyriakdou & Maroudas, 2010). This makes SMEs an important vehicle for growth within the EU economy. There are 23 million enterprises classified as SMEs, representing around 99% of all enterprises (European Telecommunications Standards Institute, NA). SMEs provide around 75 million jobs and generate more than half of the added value created by enterprises in the EU. The recent financial crisis in the EU led to the closure of a number of enterprises, and those enterprises that survived owe it to innovation (Real Economy, 2015). Digitalisation has been part of the innovation process undertaken by enterprises, as it allowed them to customise their products.

The current economy is characterised by the free transfer of information and by the instant access to knowledge that is only possible through the availability of technology (Mazars, NA). Emphasis is being placed on the creation of competitive advantage, innovation, the creation of new products, and the penetration of new markets. E-commerce and m-commerce are just two facets of the digitalisation phenomenon that are still evolving and are merging with other tools, including social media and cloud computing. The adoption of new advanced technology by businesses is essential to improve efficiency, create value, reduce costs, and increase access to markets (Strategic Policy Forum, 2015). Technology and the internet also have benefits for SMEs, as these tend to “grow faster, export more and create jobs” (Baker, Lomax, Braidford, Allinson, & Houston, 2015). Despite this, SMEs are still lagging behind when it comes to seizing the opportunities created by the internet.

Digitalisation offers a lot of potential for growth. Among the G20 countries, the digital economy generated around 8% of the GDP (European Commission, 2016). It is estimated that the development of mobile applications has created 500,000 new jobs in the US in the last 5 years. SMEs that engaged with customers online have witnessed a growth rate of around 22% higher than businesses in countries with low or no internet presence.

SMEs are the predominant type of business within the tourism industry (Schuler, 2013). Tourism is the third largest socio-economic activity within the EU - it directly generates up to around 5% of the EU GDP and employs 5.2% of the EU workforce (Juul, 2015). When also considering other linked activities, this percentage of income generated increases to 10% of GDP. The tourism industry has witnessed an increase in the use of digital technology among younger tourists, which has led to independent travel and self-organised holidays.

The tourism industry and information technology cannot be separated and businesses in the tourism sector need to make continuous and effective use of the available technology (Imhanwa, Greenhill, & Owrak, Relevance of Cloud Computing: A case for UK Small and Medium Sized Tourism Firms, 2015). Indeed, technology has always been an inherent aspect of the tourism industry, starting with the GDS (Andalucia Lab, 2015). The internet has had a significant impact on the tourism industry and this has led to an increase in business due to consumer e-commerce. Even travellers who do not otherwise purchase online utilise the internet as a source of information. Larger businesses in the tourism sector have taken advantage of the opportunities presented by technology and are now dominating online sales channels. However, SMEs can still compete with larger companies by integrating technology within their operations and by providing innovative and customised services to customers.

Visiter le site de la Commission.
Télécharger le rapport complet ci-dessous.

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