Information and communications technology (ICT) and the challenge of sustainable self-drive tourism
Marketing to and managing self-drive tourists is a difficult proposition for businesses and destinations. Self-drive visitors are often the most numerous markets in regional areas, and their behaviour is relatively unpredictable. Self-drive tourists are more likely to make decisions and change plans during their trips, and they are less geographically constrained than the ‘herded’ tourists that travel by coach, cruise ship, or even local public transport. A range of technologies has been developed to try to deal with self-drive tourists from marketing and management perspectives. Regional destinations and businesses invest in visitor information centres, roadside signage, tourist radio stations, touring guides, safe driving brochures, and so on. Digital information and communication technology (ICT) has also emerged as playing an important role. Almost all destinations, and many businesses, have websites marketing themselves to a range of travellers, including selfdrive tourists. Web kiosks provide round-the-clock visitor information within destinations. Online booking services facilitate tourist-driven product packaging.