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Although standardization initiatives have a long history in the field of tourism, due to a lack of flexibility and extendibility the intended broad harmonization of electronic trading has never been reached. Instead of fix standardization, more flexible approaches for harmonizing electronic tourism markets are needed.

The objective of the IFITT Reference Model Special Interest Group (IFITT RMSIG) is the harmonization of electronic tourism markets in an open and flexible manner, based on a reference model. The main purpose of the IFITT RMSIG is bringing together the different market participants and domain experts to ensure a broad acceptance of the reference model.

The reference model, provided by the IFITT RMSIG, is a framework for modeling electronic tourism markets. Instead of fix standardization, the reference model enables the flexible description of specific models, based on a common modeling language and standardized building blocks as vocabulary. The purpose of the reference model is to enable the description of specific models for specific standards or data exchange formats in a form understandable by other market participants and enable a mapping between different standards.

Suppliers of tourism services or brokers within the tourism market can use the reference model to describe their specific standards or data exchange formats which can be understood and used by other market participants. In this way, not only new but also existing standards or data exchange formats can be integrated into one open electronic tourism market.

The usage of the reference model for modeling electronic tourism markets offers the following advantages:

  • support of the flexible description of specific standards or data exchange formats and their integration onto one open electronic tourism market

  • easy integration of existing information systems and low entrance barriers to electronic markets for suppliers

  •  flexibility and adaptability for suppliers – possibility for suppliers to differentiate their offer

  • flexibility for change

  • maximal customer reachability and no duplication of offers across different markets

  • one-stop-shop services for the customer by integrating information and services from different sources

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Last modified: 17-08-2004