Experiences from Three Services on Trial
Niklas Eriksson and Peter Strandvik
Institute for Advanced Management Systems Research, ÅboAkademi University, Jouhkahainenkatu 3-5A, Turku, Finland
Keywords: Mobile tourism services, technology adoption.
Abstract: For this study a field trial was conducted to identify the determinants for tourists’ intentions to use three trial
services targeting tourists on tour, in this case on the Åland Islands in Finland. We identified that the major
barrier for the non usage of the trial services was linked to the type of travel that the trial group participated
in. Also price transparency and ease of use especially ease to take new mobile services into use should be
highlighted in mobile tourism service development. Moreover, we came across some basic reminders to
take into account when commercializing mobile services, such as carefully define a customer target group,
estimate potential usage volume and plan marketing / sales tactics. These aspects are not necessarily
realized enough in technology development.
The use of the Internet for doing commerce or
interacting with customers has been growing rapidly
in the world wide tourism industry. Mobile
commerce, or e-commerce over mobile devices, on
the other hand has had many conflicting predictions
on its future popularity. Most predictions have been
overly optimistic. However, the benefits that arise
from mobile technology have not yet been fully
delivered, which to some extent is explained by the
fact that mobile applications, due to complexity or
lack of relevance, fail to meet customers’
expectations (Carlsson et al. 2006). Travel and
tourism is an industry in which several different
projects have been conducted where mobile
applications have been developed, tested and
implemented, some even with moderate success (e.g.
Ardissono et al 2003, Kramer et al 2005, Schmidt-
Belz et al 2003, Repo et al 2006). Some of these
pilot projects (e.g. Kramer et al 2005, Schmidt-Belz
et al 2003) have been focusing on GPS which the
average tourist doesn’t yet have in his/her handheld
mobile device. Therefore it seems relevant to build
and test services that actually can be used by the
average tourists. Nevertheless previous pilots have
given us valuable information on the potential of
mobile technology.
The New Interactive Media (NIM) project, with
funding from the European Union and the regional
government of the Åland islands, is a development
programme of increasing knowledge, production and
use of new interactive media on the Åland Islands
in Finland. Within the project several mobile
applications have been developed for the travel and
tourism sector on the islands. Three of these services
will be presented more in detail in this paper:
MobiPortal, TraveLog and MobiTour. A field trial
of these services with real incoming tourists to the
Åland Islands using their own mobile phones has
also been conducted. Findings and experiences from
this trial will be reported. Possible determinants for
consumers’ intentions to use mobile tourism services
will be discussed as well.
The services have been planned with a common
logic namely the Braudel rule: freedom becomes
value by expanding the limits of the possible in the
structures of everyday life (as presented by Keen &
Mackintosh 2001). The rule is then translated into a
tourism setting which means that tourists’ real or
perceived need has to be met by the services and
Åland is an autonomous and unilingual Swedish region in
Finland with its own flag and approximately 26.700 inhabitants.
Åland is situated between Finland and Sweden and consists of 6
500 islands. (
Eriksson N. and Strandvik P. (2008).
MOBILE TOURISM SERVICES - Experiences from Three Services on Trial.
In Proceedings of the International Conference on e-Business, pages 115-123
DOI: 10.5220/0001904001150123
moreover, the services need to profoundly change
the way a tourist does or experience something – and
to the better (Harkke 2007).
is a mobile version of an information
portal which is the official
tourist site of the Åland Islands. The portal includes
search for events, restaurants etc., a map service and
facts on the Åland Islands.
is a mobile community for incoming
tourists to share experiences from the Åland Islands
with each other. The virtual meeting place includes
stories, pictures, tips and interactions.
is a guide for attractions such as the
Bomarsund fortress which is downloadable /
streamable to the visitors’ own devices. The guide
includes voice and/or video guidance.
All these three services ought to expand the
limits of a tourist to the Åland Islands according to
the Braudel rule by enabling 1) instant access to
local information, 2) enhanced communications with
other people with the same interests and 3)
experience enhancement for certain unmanned
attractions. Especially experience enhancement
features are generally seen as key drivers for
successful customer satisfaction in tourism (Pine &
Gilmore 1999). The determinants for consumer
usage of mobile tourism services are, however, a
complex issue which will be discussed next.
Several models of technology adoption have been
developed. One of the most used models is the
technology acceptance model (TAM) by Davis
(1989) which is based on the theory of reason action
(TRA) by Fishbein et al. (1975). Other often used
models in technology adoption research are the
diffusion of innovations theories (DIT) by Rogers
(1995) and the unified theory for the acceptance and
use of technology (UTAUT) by Venkatech et al.
(2003) which combines TAM with other acceptance
model e.g. DIT. Here different components of these
models will be discussed, together with relevant
research theories for adoption of electronic and
mobile services, to identify possible determinants for
consumer intentions to use mobile tourism services.
The TAM model proposes two determinants,
perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use,
which impact the acceptance of technology and
adoption behavior as a result (Davis 1989).
Perceived usefulness is defined as “the degree to
which a person believes that using a particular
system would enhance his or her performance”.
Perceived ease of use is defined as “the degree to
which a person believes that using a particular
system would be free of effort”. The two TAM
determinants are proposed to identify the intended
usage behavior of a system and are widely used as a
backbone for research in adoption of technology.
However, the first TAM variable perceived
usefulness is foremost designed to research work
performance improvements in organizational
contexts. In consumer markets consumer behavior is
also influenced by other factors. It is typical that
non-efficiency factors impact consumer adoption of
technology, e.g. good tourist technologies are not
only those that make tourists more efficient, but that
also make tourism more enjoyable. Thus tourism can
be characterized as wandering, where tourists
attempt to enjoy the city environment and chance
upon things of interest, rather than optimizing
(Brown & Chalmers 2003). As the mobility (on the
move) capability is generally seen as the key value
driver in m-commerce (Anckar & Eriksson 2003),
mobile technology clearly has the potential to
support the wandering aspect of tourism. A word
like flexibility has commonly been used to describe
the independence of time and space that is provided
by mobile technology. According to Kim et al.
(2005) the hedonic motivation or the enjoyment
aspect of tourism has, however, not been clearly
defined in mobile technology acceptance models.
The perceived type and degree of perceived value of
a mobile service depend on the other hand on the
situation or context of usage (Mallat et al 2006, Lee
& Jun, 2005). Anckar & Dincau (2002) introduced
an analytical framework that identifies the potential
value creating features of mobile commerce. Mobile
value elements in the framework for consumers on
the move are: Time-critical arrangements,
Spontaneous needs, Entertainment needs, Efficiency
ambitions and Mobile situations. Time-critical
arrangements refer to applications for situations
where immediacy is desirable (arise from external
events), e.g. receive alerts of a changed transport
schedule while on tour. Spontaneous needs are
internally awakened and not a result of external
events, e.g. find a suitable restaurant while
wandering around. Entertainment needs, killing
time/having fun, especially in situations when not
being able to access wired entertainment appliances,
e.g. kill or fill time in transportation. Efficiency
ambitions aim at productivity, e.g. use dead spots
during a travel to optimize time usage. Mobile
situations refer to applications that in essence are of
value only through a mobile medium (e.g.
localization services), which ought to be the core of
ICE-B 2008 - International Conference on e-Business
mobile commerce. Consequently perceived mobile
value represent the degree to which a person
perceives value arising from the mobility of the
mobile medium.
Nevertheless not only the medium creates value
for the consumer but the essence of the services as
well. We refer to such value as perceived service
value. For example for a tourist in a planning or
booking situation the key to successful satisfaction
would be timely and accurate information relevant to
the consumer’s needs (Buhalis 2003). Equally
important for a tourist visiting a historical attraction
may be the satisfaction of educational and
entertainment (edutainment) needs (HyunJeong &
Schlisser 2007). Similarly a person with a mission to
share experiences with others may find satisfaction
when a community responds (Arguello et al 2006).
The three examples refer to the essence of the three
services on trial.
The second TAM determinant perceived ease of
use has been widely discussed in mobile commerce.
Limitations of mobile devices (e.g. screen size)
cause consumers to hesitate whether to adopt mobile
commerce or not. According to Cho et al (2007)
device limitations suggest that focusing on easy to
use mobile applications could enhance the consumer
acceptance of mobile commerce. Kaasinen (2005)
points out that mobile services need to be easy to
take into use as well as mobile services are typically
used occasionally and some services may be
available only locally in certain usage environments.
As a consequence, information on available services
should be easy to get and the services should be easy
to install and to start using. The ease of taking a
service into use may in fact have a direct impact on
the adoption behaviour of a mobile service
(Kaasinen 2005). On the other hand when problems
arise, users in the consumer market are often
expected to solve the problems on their own (Repo
et. al 2006). Consequently the use may rely on
proper instructions or on a helping hand from
someone. Proper support conditions also in a
consumer market may therefore be important
especially for advanced mobile services.
Nevertheless consumers many times expect to take a
new product or service into use without instructions
or help.
According to Rogers (1995),”The innovation-
decision is made through a cost benefit analysis
where the major obstacle is uncertainty”. Perceived
risk is commonly thought of as felt uncertainty
regarding possible negative consequences of using a
product or service and has been added to the two
TAM determinants as a negative influencer on
intended adoption behaviour (Featherman & Pavlou
2003). Trust, as trust in the service vendor to
minimize the risks, has also been added to the TAM
model (e.g. Cho et al 2007, Kaasinen 2005) and
pointed out as a strong influencer on the intended
use of mobile services due to that mobile commerce
is still at its initial stage (Cho et al. 2007). We refer
to trust as the perceived risk defined by Featherman
& Pavlou 2003. They divide the perceived risk for
electronic services into the following elements;
performance risk, financial risk, time risk,
psychological risk, social risk and privacy risk.
Performance risk refers to the possibility of a service
to malfunction and not performing as it was
designed and advertised. The financial risk refers to
the potential monetary outlay associated with the
initial purchase price as well as the subsequent
maintenance cost of the product and the possibility
of fraud. Time risk refers to that the consumer may
lose time when making a bad purchasing decision
e.g. by learning how to use a product or service only
to have to replace it if it does not perform to
expectations. Psychological risk refers to the
potential loss of self-esteem (ego loss) from the
frustration of not achieving a buying goal. Social
risk refers to potential loss of status in one’s social
group as a result of adopting a product or service,
looking foolish or untrendy. Privacy risk refers to
the potential loss of control over personal
information, such as when information about you is
used without your knowledge or permission. At least
security and privacy issues have been highlighted as
barriers to mobile commerce (O’Donnell et al.
2007). Also financial risks in form of high costs,
including operating costs and initial costs, have been
highly ranked by consumers as hindrances for m-
commerce in its early stages (Anckar et al. 2003).
In UTAUT social influence among other
constructs is added to the two TAM components and
defined as the degree to which an individual
perceives that important others believe he should use
the new system (Venkatech et al., 2003). Social
influence is also known as subjective norm in the
theory of reason action (Fishbein et al 1975) and in
its extension theory of planned behavior (Arjzen
1991). In consumer markets image and social status
have been proposed to impact consumers’ adoption
of mobile services (Teo & Pok 2003). Also the
number of users may influence, especially for
community services which usefulness heavily
depend on activity of different participants
(Pedersen et al 2006). Furthermore other external
sources such as media reports and expert opinions
MOBILE TOURISM SERVICES - Experiences from Three Services on Trial
may influence consumers’ perception of electronic
services (Bhattacherjee 2000).
Demographic variables such as gender and age
are commonly used in consumer research. For
example gender and age might through other
constructs influence the intended adoption behavior
of mobile services (Nysveed et al. 2005). According
to the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen 1991)
control beliefs constitute individuals’ belief that they
have the necessary resources and knowledge to use
an innovation. For example skills or earlier
experience of using mobile services may influence
the adoption intentions of new mobile services.
When discussing consumer behavior in tourism and
the impact of information and communication
technologies (ICTs) a clear distinction should also
be made between experienced and inexperienced
travelers (travel experience). The first group mainly
feels more comfortable organizing their holidays and
thereby taking advantage of ICT tools available to
them more easily (Buhalis 2003). Moreover
inexperienced destination travelers usually need a lot
more local information. Innovations also need to
comply with the existing values and needs of the
individual in an everyday life setting (Moore &
Benbasat 1991), in this case while on tour. For
example the values of the individual may differ
depending on the type of travel they are on: leisure
or business, where the former ought to call for
services with enjoyability rather than efficiency. In
consumer markets mobile services also compete
against existing and constantly developed
alternatives. Thus consumer habits are usually quite
slow to change from known alternatives (Dahlberg
& Öörni 2007). People are on average risk-averse.
But that is not true for everyone as we have
individuals who are earlier to adopt new ideas than
others (Rogers 1995). Such personal characteristics
make diffusion of innovations possible. Personal
innovativeness is the willingness of an individual to
try out and embrace new technology based services.
Individuals’ limited mobile device readiness has as
well been seen as a great negative influencer of the
usage of more advanced mobile services (Carlsson et
al. 2004). We refer demographic variables,
experience of mobile services, travel experience,
destination experience, type of travel, personal
innovativeness and user device readiness as
discussed here to tourist characteristics as they
illustrate key characteristics of an individual that
may influence the intended use of mobile tourism
Based on the literature discussion possible
determinants for consumer intentions to use mobile
tourism services are: perceived mobile value and
service value, perceived ease of use, social
influence, perceived risk and tourist characteristics.
Mobile value and service value replace perceived
usefulness as presented in the TAM model. Ease of
use is defined as in the TAM model where also ease
of taking a service into use is included. Social value
is defined as in UTAUT and perceived risk as
presented by Featherman & Pavlou (2003). Tourist
characteristics constitute key characteristics of an
individual on-tour. The defined determinants are
summarized in table 1.
Table 1: Possible determinants for consumer intentions to
use mobile tourism services.
Mobile value: the degree to which a person perceives
value arising from the mobility of the mobile medium
Service value: the degree to which a person perceives
value arising from the essence of the service.
Ease of use: the degree to which a person believes that
using a particular service would be free of effort
Risk: the degree to which a person feels uncertainty
regarding possible negative consequences of using a
Social influence: the degree to which an individual
perceives that important others believe he should use
the service
Tourist characteristics: Demographics, Experience of
mobile services, Travel experience, Destination
experience, Type of travel, Personal Innovativeness,
Device readiness
According to Repo et al. (2006) TAM theories and
similar approaches have little relevance in the real
product development process. Product developers
need first hand user feedback in form of personal
interaction rather than by reading research reports.
The arguments are based on experiences from
piloting a mobile blog service for tourists, where the
user gave direct feedback to the developers orally
and through survey forms. Involving the consumer
in the development process of products or services
can be very rewarding indeed (von Hippel 2005).
With the theoretical foundation (Table 1) in mind
and with the idea of directly interacting with the
consumers to receive direct and spontaneous
feedback to the product developers we designed a
field trial which included oral, observed and survey
data collection.
The trial was conducted during a conference in
the capital of the Åland Islands Mariehamn 21 –
ICE-B 2008 - International Conference on e-Business
22.9.2007 at the legislative assembly where the main
activities of the conference were held. The
conference was arranged by the local Junior
Chamber of Commerce organization and it was
called WestCongress2007. Members of similar
organizations in the western regions of Finland were
invited to attend the conference. A total of 191
participants had registered in advance for the
conference. The trial was coordinated in cooperation
with the conference director who offered assistance
with e.g. stand preparations and informing the
participants in advance of the mobile services in
conference guides, online and during registration.
Our stand was set up at the main entrance of the
building where the main activities were held. The
main entrance was the place that we anticipated
would be the busiest during the first parts of the
conference when we were invited to promote and
demonstrate our services. The stand was equipped
with a video projector showing animated picks of
the services and also flyers, tables and chairs for
comfortable discussions with the conference
At our stand the conference participants were
informed more in detail of the services. The services
were also demonstrated, which gave us a chance to
observe peoples first time reactions. The stand also
provided for us a good place to freely discuss
different issues regarding the services with the
participants. Participants filled out voluntarily a
questionnaire which also was an agreement to
contact them by e-mail after the conference to
follow up on their own independent use of the
mobile services during their stay on the Åland
Islands. Each phone and operator connection (device
readiness) was checked by the stand representatives
to ensure that the participants actually were able to
use their own phones for the services.
In the questionnaire the participants were asked
to fill out questions according to the constructs
defined for tourist characteristics:
Demographics: Gender and age
Experiences of mobile services: Commonly
used services were listed with the alternatives:
[1] continuously using [2] have tried [3] have
never tried.
Travel experience: How often they travel for
more than one day: [1] several times a month
[2] ~ once a month [3] 3 – 9 times a year [4] <
three times a year.
Destination experience: If they have visited the
Åland Islands before: [1] Yes, > 5 times [2]
Yes, 2 – 5 times [3] Yes, once [4] Never and
their knowledge of the Åland Islands [1]
Excellent [2] Good [3] Satisfactory [4] Not at
Type of travel: if they consider
WestCongress2007 to be: [1] a leisure trip [2] a
business trip.
Personal Innovativeness: Three statements were
proposed on a five point scale: [5] definitely
agree - [1] definitely disagree: I want to get
local information through my mobile phone
when… 1. I plan my program e.g. in the hotel 2.
I’m on my way to a local place with e.g. bus 3. I
get acquainted with a local place on foot. The
statements were developed based on the kind of
mobility situations tourists may experience.
Kristoffersen & Ljungberg (2000) distinguish
between three types of mobility: visiting,
traveling and wandering. Visiting, an actor
performs activities at different locations (e.g. a
hotel). Traveling, an actor performs activities
while moving between different locations
usually inside a vehicle (e.g. bus). Wandering,
an actor performs activities while moving
between different locations where the locations
are locally defined within a building or local
area (e.g. on foot).
For the follow up a semi-open web questionnaire
was used to receive feedback on the participant’s
actual use of the three services. The web
questionnaire was sent to the participants by e-mail
two days after the conference finished ensuring that
their service experience would be fresh in their
minds. A reminder was sent a week later. The
participants were asked to state for each of the three
services whether they had used it or not. Their
answer was followed up with an open question on
their primary motivation for using or not using the
service. In the analysis the answers were interpreted
according to the theoretical foundation on
determinants for the intended use of mobile tourism
services. Additionally the participants were asked to
state what kinds of problems they had run into if
problems occurred. The participants were also to
state on a five point likert scale ([5] Yes, definitely -
[1] Definitely not) for each service what their
intentions are to use similar services in the future
while visiting a destination. Finally the participants
were free to comment on the service.
Members signed up in advance for the conference
were 191 in total. However, about thirty persons
MOBILE TOURISM SERVICES - Experiences from Three Services on Trial
didn’t register. We estimated that about 50 persons
visited our stand. Out of these 50 persons voluntarily
and without a prize draw 23 filled out the
questionnaire and allowed us to contact them after
the conference for the follow up. 20 out of 23
persons had a mobile phone and an operator
connection (device readiness) that allowed them to
use the services. Thereby it was relevant to send the
follow up by e-mail to these 20 persons. Two mail
addresses did not respond. Out of the 18 persons that
the follow up went to 9 answered it.
Of the 23 that filled out the questionnaire 12
were men and 11 women. The average age was 35.
The majority (66%) stated that they travel about
once a month for more than one day. Most of them
(66%) had visited the Åland Islands before at least
two times or more. However, a majority (66%)
answered that they know the Åland Islands
satisfactory or not at all. Almost all (96%) felt the
WestCongress2007 to be a leisure trip. Of the 23
participants all had at least at some point tried to use
a mobile service and a clear majority (66%) used at
least one mobile service continuously. A total of
74% (17) of the participants answered that they want
to get local information with their mobile phone for
at least one of the statements in table 2.
Table 2: Local information with mobile phone.
I want to get local information through my
mobile phone when...
Tot 23
I plan my program e.g. in the hotel 10 43
I’m on my way to a local place with e.g. bus,
14 61
I get acquainted with a local place on foot 11 48
* 5 = definitely agree and 4 = partly agree
To draw peoples’ attention to our stand we really
needed to sell the services. As people were moving
for different things in the building and to other
locations in the surrounding area a major job was to
get them to stop by the stand. Very few participants
stopped without a few sales lines from the stand
representatives, although they were informed in
advance of the services and the stand was
strategically placed at the main entrance.
Most people who visited the stand expressed a
positive response by the first sight of the services.
Comments like “that seems practical” and “I already
use mobile news services so why not use these
services” were given. Especially MobiPortal
awakened concrete interest as it was bookmarked by
a couple of stand visitors. A few persons also
praised the visual design of the MobiTour guide.
However, some people were spontaneously skeptic
about the long download times for MobiTour. Nor
did anyone ask for transactions over Bluetooth
although it would have been possible at the stand.
Several persons instantly also asked for the price of
the services. The services were not charged for and
it seemed like the transaction costs were obvious to
most visitors and not a hindrance to use, except for
the large files of MobiTour. Connection problems
occurred with at least one network operator which
interestingly led to that a few thought there was
something wrong with the trial services.
None of the nine respondents to the follow up
had on their own used any of the trial services. All
reported that their primary motivation for the no use
was that they didn’t experience a need to use the
services during their stay at the conference on the
Åland Islands.
The future intended use of similar services as the
ones on trial were reported as shown in table 3.
Services similar as MobiPortal received the highest
Table 3: Intended use of similar services.
When visiting a destination in the
future I intend to use …
N Mean*
Similar services as MobiPortal 9 3,33
Similar services as TraveLog 9 2,89
Similar services as MobiTour 9 2,89
*[5] Yes, definitely – [1] Definitely not
A customer target group needs to be defined for each
mobile service developed (Hoegg & Stanoevska-
Slabeva 2005). The primary target group for the
three mobile services on trial is visitors to the Åland
Islands. The trial targeted participants of
WestCongress2007 who visited the Åland Islands.
When analyzing the trial group it can be said that it
was both right and wrong. It ought to be the right
group based on the fact that most participants who
filled out the questionnaire had a device readiness
(87%) that allowed the services to be used on their
own phone. The group already continuously used
mobile services to a great extent (66%) and thereby
the barrier to take on new services ought to be lower.
Their knowledge of the Åland islands was only
ICE-B 2008 - International Conference on e-Business
satisfactory or none (66%) which ought to create a
need for local information. Also their willingness to
get local information in different situations (74%)
with their mobile phone was positive. Moreover the
group was an experienced group of tourists (66%)
which generally is found to be positive regarding
usage of information and communication
technology. On the other hand the group had a ready
made program during the weekend and we observed
that they also asked their hosts for tips and
directions. The need for local information and
guidance may therefore have been satisfied.
Moreover they had their conference group who they
met with continuously to share their experiences
with. Consequently the service value of the three
services on trial was already met by other means of
The analyses of the trial group indicate that the
same people but with another mission to visit the
Åland Islands could be a potential user group of the
services on trial. The mobile value of using mobile
services is, as discussed in the theoretical
foundation, very much situation based. Moreover,
the proposed value needs to comply with the user’s
existing on-tour values. In this case self arrangement
values by using a mobile phone necessarily didn’t
exist due to the packaged set up of the conference.
Consequently the type of travel, as packaged or non-
packaged, is therefore to be taken into account as an
influencer of the intended use of mobile tourism
services. A non-packaged tour ought to comply
better with an individual’s values of self
arrangement / service. Nevertheless customized
mobile services aimed at specific needs of packaged
groups such as conference attendants may indeed
generate value.
The trial also shows that we cannot forget that
new technology innovations very seldom sell
themselves. Much of our efforts at our stand were
sales related. Launching new mobile services
certainly need to be pushed by creating awareness
among the potential consumers as for any other new
product. Similar pointers have been presented by
Collan et al. (2006): “Hot technology doesn’t sell
itself, it has to be marketed to the consumer in the
shape of value adding services that are easy to use”.
Therefore marketing / sales tactics influence needs
to be set as a determinant for consumer intentions to
use mobile tourism services.
Questions on the prices of the trial services were
the most frequent ones asked during the trial.
Therefore it seems that the financial risk is carefully
accounted for by the consumers in their intentions to
use a mobile tourism service. In this trial the
services were free of charge and the transaction
costs didn’t seem to be a barrier. Nevertheless our
experience from this trial is that the service price and
potential transaction costs must be transparent to the
consumers to minimize uncertainty of the monetary
layout. The monetary aspect may be even more
important for foreign visitors as transaction cost may
rise noticeably.
Even though many participants expressed a
general interest in the services it is also a fact that no
one reported that they actually used the services on
trial. Thereby questions are raised from a business
point of view on the potential usage volumes of the
services on trial at this time and place. We certainly
need to be very realistic when we launch mobile
services on the potential volume of usage, especially
when setting the business logic (Collan et al. 2006).
Moreover product developers need to remember to
look at things from a consumer perspective. For
example in this trial the consumers thought the trial
services didn’t work because of an operator
problem. In the eyes of the consumer this means a
malfunctioning product which is useless. Similarly
long download times to access a service for a
temporary use may cause the consumer to view the
service as too time consuming to take into use.
Neither can we expect consumers to install services
in advance as according to Kaasinen (2005), “users
are not willing to spend their time on something that
they do not get immediate benefit from.”
Consequently the ease of use aspect must be
highlighted by product developers as mobile tourism
services may be only temporarily used during a visit
to a destination or a local place.
This paper presented possible determinants for
consumer intentions to use mobile tourism services.
A major driver according to the six identified
determinants; mobile value, service value, ease of
use, risk and social influence and tourist
characteristics couldn’t be determined as no one
used the trial services on their own. The major
barrier for the non usage of the three services among
the trial group seemed to be linked to the value
aspect of the packaged tour (type of travel). Based
on the experience from this trial we propose that
researchers and practitioners especially take the
following into account:
The type of travel is a key aspect in designing
mobile tourism services
MOBILE TOURISM SERVICES - Experiences from Three Services on Trial
Marketing / sales tactics influence should be
highlighted as a determinant for consumer
intentions to use mobile tourism services
Price transparency is an important aspect to
minimize consumers’ perceived risk of mobile
tourism services
Ease of use aspects should be highlighted even
more for mobile tourism services as they may
be only temporarily used
These pointers can also be seen as reminders in
technology development where basic
commercialization routines sometimes aren’t
realized enough. As for any other product defining a
customer target group, estimate potential usage
volumes and plan marketing are vital steps in
launching mobile tourism services.
It needs; however, to be kept in mind that the
experience is based on only one field trial and
therefore further research in evaluating mobile
tourism services and similar mobile services is
needed. The recruitment of trial users could as well
be done differently. According to Kaasinen (2005)
ideally users should be allowed to use the trial
services freely but it may lead to, as in this trial, to a
no usage. Therefore some rules on minimum trial
times should be set up, where additional usage to the
minimum can be considered as real usage. Logs can
also be helpful in data collection to receive prompt
service usage data in addition to follow up data from
the respondent. Moreover, phone interviews may
give more extensive answers and better response
rates in a follow up data collection of the same
character as in this trial.
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MOBILE TOURISM SERVICES - Experiences from Three Services on Trial