Evaluation of Tourism Websites from Urban Development Perspective (Case Study: Metropolitan Tehran)

Document Type: Original Paper

Authors

1 Professor, Department of Human Geography, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran

2 Associate Professor of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism organization

3 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Human Geography, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran

Abstract

Tourism organizations have become one of the main users of the internet in recent years by
setting their own urban tourism websites. However, not all the websites are effective to promote their goals and
objectives. An effective evaluation of urban tourism websites can help organizations on how best to employ them.
Using the ICTRT (Information, Communication, Transaction, Relationship and Technical merit) model, this study
tries to evaluate the efficiency of Iranian official tourism websites from functional perspective and their role in urban
development. The aims of the study fulfilled by content analysis of two official urban tourism websites. The results
demonstrated that the websites were not able to support Iranian Tourism Industry effectively. The focuses of these
websites mainly based on the basic services such as information and communication. Advanced services such as
transaction and relationship building were generally being ignored. Furthermore, a converse correlation was seen
between complexity and performance of websites. Based on the research findings suggestions and implications in
urban development were discussed.

Keywords