Urban Forum

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 531–545 | Cite as

The Diffusion and Impacts of Information and Communication Technology on Tourism in the Western Cape, South Africa

  • Mohammad Amir Anwar
  • Pádraig CarmodyEmail author
  • Björn Surborg
  • Adrian Corcoran


Two features of the globalising economy are its technological dynamism and its increasing service orientation. International tourism is an important element of the “new economy” of globalisation, as are new information and communication technologies. The relations between these two central elements of the reconfiguring world system have been under-theorised. Based on extensive primary fieldwork in Western Cape Province, South Africa, this paper explores the impact of new information and communication technologies on tourism development. It finds that, while these new technologies are extensively used in marketing and booking, in particular, foreign-owned websites have established a dominant command and control function, thereby replicating previous patterns of economic extraversion.


Tourism South Africa Information and communication technologies 



We thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful and insightful comments which have substantially improved the paper. The research and writing of this article was supported by a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (award no. 0925151) for Pádraig Carmody with Professor James Murphy of Clark University, as well as by a Senior Research Fellowship from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Usual disclaimers apply.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Amir Anwar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pádraig Carmody
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Björn Surborg
    • 3
  • Adrian Corcoran
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of GeographyTrinity College DublinDublinIreland
  2. 2.School of Tourism and Hospitality, University of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy StudiesUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa
  4. 4.Commission for Aviation RegulationDublinIreland

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