Dept: COMPUTER SCIENCE File: Word(doc) Chapters: 1-5 Views: 250






Background of the  Study

Tourism is the travel for recreation, leisure, religious, family business purposes, usually of a limited duration. Tourism is considered an activity essential to Nations because of its direct effects on social, cultural, educational and economic sectors of National societies and their International relations. According to the third edition of the Oxford English dictionary, tourism is defined as the commercial organization and operation of holidays and visits to place of interest. Tourism can be defined as a short-term movement of people to places some distance away from their normal place of residence to indulge in pleasurable activities (Adebayo, 2014).

Over the years, tourism has continued to gain massive interest at a global scale. It is a major foreign exchange earner for a good number of advanced and emerging economies. It is also true that information explosion makes it cumbersome times to access relevant information to enhance decision making. This has given rise to the emergence of intelligent systems or mechanisms that facilitate quick access to relevant content found in the Internet. For developing countries like Nigeria, tourism is one of the untapped but potentially big income generator. There are about 142 tourist destinations that spread across the 36 states of the federal republic of Nigeria. Whereas some exist naturally, others are manmade (McGrath et al. 2007)

In this era that has witnessed rapid advances in information technology, information overload has become a serious problem to those seeking for information online. Recently, intelligent search mechanisms have been deployed on the web that shows that the problem of information overload can be partially eliminated by providing a platform with more intelligence to assist tourists in the search for relevant information. Google.com is an example of an intelligent search engine that helps users with information and another class of intelligent system that has proven relevant in addressing the problem of information overload are recommender systems (Venturini et al. 2006).

In the aspect of tourism, Internet and web technologies have made more readily available information on tourist locations, accommodations, transportation, shopping, food, festivals, and other attractions, thus improving tourism experience. The goal of this research is to design and implement intelligent platform that will aid tourists in Nigeria to have access to information on tourist locations thus help fasten their decision making process. Recently, the extensive proliferation of the Web led organizations and companies to employ the Web in many different applications. Over the years, tourism has gained huge interest as an application of e-commerce. Many chief tourism actors and new comers (mainly the information technology companies) have a recognized Web presence, and have thousands of visitors daily, which offer opportunities for business to customer (tourist) or business to business transactions (Singh et al. 2003).

In the Web, one of the most important tourism applications is Tourism Management Systems (TMS) or Tourism Information Systems (TIS). These systems usually provide information about the tourism offerings at the given destination and may possibly encourage e-commerce activities to the potential tourist. Tourism is considered as stimulator for new economic activities and it is a mechanism for regional development, it has a positive impact on the balance of payments, on gross income and production, and on employment. Additionally, information explosion given rise to the development of intelligent systems or mechanisms that aid quick access to related content found in the Internet and help in the process of decision making (Abdulhamid et al. 2010).

Today, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms is expansive, particularly in providing solution to challenging problems including image segmentation, analysis of medical image, nurse rostering problem, Healthcare Monitoring system, patterns recognition and retrieval of information, Learning Management System, as well as prediction of river flow. Accordingly, utilizing the AI algorithms and web technology, countless scholars have created as well as implemented tourism information systems and travel recommender systems to solve tourism management problems.

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