Last year 56% of tourists who came to Ireland used the internet to plan their holiday, and this is predicted to be 75% by 2010. While there is a relatively high level of web and e-mail usage amongst larger Irish tourism enterprises, a great majority of tourism SMEs are not in a position to take advantage of this trend due to lack of awareness, skills and e-capability. This partnership, entitled e-Business Support Initiative, comprises three stages:
- Web-check: a tailored review which is designed to offer specialist on-site support to assist the SME in defining the web/email related issues affecting the business.
- Web-Build will consist of a follow-up/support service where an appointed e-business consultant works with the SME to lead the successful implementation of the agreed improvement measures as identified through Web Check.
- Web-Skills, will be launched later in the year to provide additional training support to continue strengthening the SME’s web presence. It will focus on developing web capability to enhance the business profile and apply practical techniques to optimise on-line sales.
This initiative will be fully funded and will enable tourism enterprises to identify their web development needs whilst providing them with direct on-site support to address those needs. This initiative will be targeted towards all tourism SMEs on a national basis and it is envisioned that that roll-out will take place between May 2008-2010. Initial feedback from industry has been very positive towards this e-Business Support Initiative and it is anticipated that demand will be very high.
Fergal O’Byrne IIA CEO said "The IIA very much welcome this e-Business initiative for tourism enterprises and for the opportunity to participate in its development in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland."