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Ambassador Bill Lane, Jr & Mrs. Jean Lane Lecture on Sustainable Tourism and the Environment

Topic: Information Technology and Sustainable Tourism

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa School of Travel Industry Management (TIM) is held its 12th annual Ambassador Bill & Mrs. Jean Lane, Jr. Lecture on Sustainable Tourism and the Environment on November 25, 2013. The speakers included Dr. Pauline Sheldon, Professor Emeritus of the School of Travel Industry Management, and Dr. Vladimir Eskin, CEO, International Operations of PROGNOZ and Adjunct Professor in TIM.

Tourism is a large, global industry with high-level impacts on environments, economies and societies making it central to the sustainability debate. The pressing global issues of climate change, human rights, wealth disequalities, and environmental pollution demand that innovative methods and new technologies be investigated to improve tourism sustainability.

Image of Pauline Sheldon

Dr. Pauline Sheldon

Dr. Pauline Sheldon discussed the innovative ways that information technology is improving the sustainability of destinations, travel firms, and tourist behaviors. Technologies such as environmental management systems, global positioning systems, geographic information systems, location-based services, community informatics, and virtual tourism will be discussed, with a particular focus on the Hawaiian Islands.

Headshot of Dr. Vladimir Eskin

 Dr. Vladimir Eskin

Dr. Eskin’s presentation introduced the concepts and issues of Big Data and Open Data, giving examples of big data companies and the tools used to collect, visualize, and create data-driven content. He discussed upcoming technologies which will simplify accessing and understanding data, such as global repositories of public and open data; crowd-sourced web- and mobile-based data collection as a low cost alternative to traditional surveys and censuses; and online data visualization and analysis tools instead of traditional desktop software.

Dr. Sheldon published the first scholarly work on IT and Tourism. Dr. Eskin has extensive experience with government agencies, international organizations (IMF, OECD, WHO, etc.) and private companies.Dr. Eskin has also provided a big data tourism tool to the TIM School that is currently being used by students and state researchers.The panelists will comment on the implementation and applications of the Hawai‘i State visitor data portal.

Panelists included Daniel Nahoopii, Director of Tourism Research, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, and Daniel Spencer, Professor at the School of Travel Industry Management. Dr. Juanita Liu served as moderator.

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