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1.1. BACKGROUND STUDY
In the new era of information technology, information overload has become a serious problem to those seeking for information online. Recently, intelligent search have been employed in the web that suggest that these problems can be partially overcome by providing search engines with more intelligence and with the user’s underlying knowledge. (Anastasia, 2012). Such include google.com and another class of intelligent system that has proven relevant in addressing the issue of information overload is the recommender system (Daramola, 2009).
In the aspect of tourism, internet and web technologies has made information on tourist accommodations, transportation, shopping, food, festivals, and attractions to be more readily available thus also helping vacation planning and package tours to be easier (Heum,2012).
However, in recent times another class of intelligent software applications that has gained relevance in addressing the problem of information overload when searching for relevant information on the Internet is recommender systems (Daramola, 2004). Information technology is been used to enhance tourism service such as travel bookings, itinerary planning, destination marketing and information sharing. These services use dynamic web application which doesn’t provide the necessary tool a tourist needs.
The advancement of Internet and mobile technologies has made information on tourist accommodations, transportation, shopping, food, festivals, and attractions to be more readily available. (Heum, 2012). This has also helped vacation planning and package tours to be easier.
The current tourism applications rely on the static information sources such as web sites to add tourism products and services. These applications lack Intelligence; for example, an itinerary planner in the current scenario will allow the tourist to make bookings, but it cannot suggest an itinerary based on the travellers preference. A sematic web application using a generic profiling and a semi-structured query tools can overcome the technical limitations in the previous systems and help build an intelligent tourism tool or applications.
According to (Jiang, 2013), “the definition of Intelligent Tourism system as systems that comprises of technologies such as; Internet of things, Cloud Computing, Internet, intelligent mining that are applied to tourism industry, which integrates and activates the tourism physical and informational resources to improve tourism service, improve the tourism experience, innovate tourism management and enhance tourism enterprises competitiveness.”
The goal of this research work is to assist the tourist before and during their travel. The system (Intelligent Tourism Management Information System) can make a decision for the trip according to the budget and related information (i.e. culture, language, map etc.) with the place the user is going to visit.
1.2. PROBLEM STATEMENT
Today’s tourists expect to get personalized access to tourism information anytime, from anywhere with any media but they end up getting outdated information. People get too much irrelevant information alongside with relevant ones as a response to queries posed on the Internet. (Anastasia, 2012).
Being a tour guide is not an easy task and tourist is becoming more demanding and has complex and multilayered desires and needs
The new origin and destination areas are opening up; the task of the Tour Guide in giving tours of publicly accessible travel destinations like national parks or natural attractions is assuming more importance every day. However, these brought up the importance of creating an intelligent
Tourism system, which focuses on the quality of the visitor's experience when using the system and to overcome many of the limitations of the traditional information and navigation tools available to tourist the system in turn acts as a tour guide and also as able to recommend places in other to meet tourist needs.
1.3. AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim of the project is to design and implement intelligent platform that will aid tourists in Nigeria in having access to information on tourist locations.
Using Nigeria as a case study, the objectives of this study are;
i. To design a web based application that enables users search for a tourist site, either by name or by state.
ii. To design a web-platform that enables tourist have full access to information and services by providing links to tourist sites
iii. To develop a robust database to store data for easy storage, retrieval, and accessibility to tourism industries.
1.4. SCOPE OF STUDY
The research is focused on increasing efficiency of tourism product and servicess by developing a web based application. While it is imperative to know that the system accessibility will not be limited to Nigeria, especially in some instances where they are needs for those outside the country to visit some other tourism industries in Nigeria. The system supports accessibility, can make a decision for the trip according to the budget and related information. It also provides a tool to search, a map for direction.
1.5. SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study will assist tourist in making the right choice in determining which place to visit for tourism and subsequently, what information best gives satisfaction. It will
1. Provide system that will be easily accessible on mobile devices or computing devices
2. Enable potential tourists to make pre-plan before embark on tourism.
3. Assist tourist with time estimation that is required to get to other destination
4. Provide a map as a tour guide that will help tourist find a way to a particular destination
5. Provide a tourism management platform that will enhance tourism and ensuring up-to-dating as well as precision and truthfulness of information provided.
1.6. THE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The approach employed in designing this system is the Rational Unified Process (RUP). The proposed methodology is based on the fact that the system represents an organized way of gathering business requirements and building the goal of the project from the given system. This is employed, because it’s an object oriented and web enabled program development methodology and also a frame work for developing software systems.
It also clearly outlines the different roles of the individuals involved in the project, such as the project manager, business analyst and developers.
The software is a web-based application which allows easy accessibility by all
i. PHP server-side language is used to implement the system. PHP is an open source server-side scripting language that is freely available for download. PHP can be embedded with HTML in a web page and is used to add dynamism to a web page.
ii. HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language); This language or design tool is used to design the interface of the application, just a default interface excluding the functions present in the interface, but it does the linkage of one webpage to another webpage. The HTML codes can be either created on the Notepad and then launched on the internet explorer or created directly using the Macromedia Dreamweaver. It is used to build up the web pages displayed on the internet explorer, which serve as the interface between a user and application itself.
iii. MySQL database Server is used to manage all the data in the application. MySQL database has become the world's most popular open source relational database because of its consistent fast performance, high reliability and ease of use. Not only is MySQL the world's most popular open source database, it has also become the database of choice for a new generation of applications built on the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP / Perl / Python.) MySQL runs on more than 20 platforms including Linux, Windows, OS/X, HP-UX, AIX, Netware, giving you the kind of flexibility that puts you in control. It uses Structured Query Language (SQL), the most popular language for the most popular language for adding, accessing, and processing data in a database.
1.7. PROJECT FEASIBILITY AND PLAN
Project feasibility study is the process of determining the viability of software and as well providing a framework and direction for its development and delivery while project planning is the process of drawing layouts of the software to be developed.
This section is going to talk extensively on the economic and schedule feasibility in the development of Intelligent Tourism Management System
1.7.1. ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY
The system (Intelligent Tourism Management System) will play a major role in tourist locations not only in the physical improvement but also the information services online. The system will be developed and operated in the existing hardware and software infrastructure. So there is no need of additional hardware and software for the system.
Despite the content, the hardware and software requirements are quite cheap and can be easily gotten and implemented on any platform, easy and cost less to upgrade and maintain.
1.7.2. SCHEDULE FEASIBILITY
The project will be completed in nine months (9 months). The documentation of each chapter is going to take a range of thirty (30) days. After the first three chapters, comes the summary (summary 1-3), the first summary is going to give a clear review of the three (3) chapters and the last summary will give a clear review of chapter four (4) and five (5)
Software implementation follows next, from the start and completion of the software will be two (2) months, this includes the plan for the system, analysis, design, and implementation of the system.
Documentation of chapter four (4), five (5) and summary takes two (2) months.
1.8. EXPECTED CONTRIBUTIONS TO KNOWLEDGE
The ITMIS should have a very good potential to be expanded by the government and implemented on the web and made available to everyone to use.
By using this system, the following characteristics are included;
i. Choice of site layout and color palette
ii. Incorporate multimedia assets, videos and audio.
iii. Establish links to other websites
iv. Should have a content scheduler that eliminates outdated information
v. Detailed visitors tracking
vi. Additional search options which include budget, weather forecast, currency exchange, Google map route (from point A to point B)
1.9. ORGANIZATION OF SUBSEQUENT CHAPTERS
This project consists of five chapters. In chapter one, a general introduction to the system of study, what lead to the development of the system, the methodology employed, the project feasibility and the need for its development are outlined.
Chapter two undertakes a critical review of tourism system. The chapter presents a review of related works and defines the context of the research by identifying the gaps that exist in literatures.
Chapter three introduces the system design methodology: analysis and design of the system using Rational Unified Process (RUP) and the database design.
Chapter four describes the system implementation and documentation, analysis of modules and system requirements.
Finally, in chapter five we give the summary, conclusion, recommendations, and limitation of the study.
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