RecTour 2016 will focus on the specific challenges for recommender systems in the tourism domain. In this domain, there are considerably more complicated scenarios than finding the best product for a user. Planning a vacation usually involves searching for a set of products that are interconnected (e.g. means of transportation, lodging, attractions etc.), with a rather limited availability, and where contextual aspects may have a major impact (spatiotemporal context, social context, environmental context). In addition and most importantly, products are emotionally “loaded” and therefore decision taking is not based on rational and objective criteria (i.e., system 2 thinking). As such, providing the right information to visitors of a tourism site at the right time about the site itself and various services nearby is challenging. Additionally and in contrast to many other domains, information providers are normally SMEs and do not have full information about available opportunities. Moreover, there is no single, standard format to house this information. Thus, given this diversity, building effective recommendation systems within the tourism domain is extremely challenging.
The rapid development of information and communication technologies (ICT) in general and the Web in particular, has transformed the tourism domain whereby travellers no longer rely on travel agents/agencies. Indeed, recent studies indicate that they are now active in searching for information and composing their vacation packages according to their specific preferences. When onsite, they search for freely available information about the site itself rather than renting a visitor guide that may be available, but considered to be expensive and sometimes outdated. However, like in many other cases, the blessing of the web comes with a curse – the curse of information overload. Recommender systems were suggested as a practical tool for overcoming this information overload. However, the tourism domain is substantially more complicated, and as such, creates huge challenges for those designing tourism focused recommender systems. This workshop is focused on tourism will provide an opportunity for RecSys participants to discuss specific issues of interest. We also hope to attract additional, domain specific professionals that initially might not consider attending RecSys.
The workshop aims at bringing together researchers and practitioners working in the tourism recommendation domain, in order to look at the challenges from the point of view of the user interactions as well as from the point of view of service providers and from the points of view of additional stakeholders as well (destination management organizations for instance). All in all, the workshop aims at attracting presentations of novel ideas for addressing these challenges and how to advance the current state of the art in this field. The primary goal of this workshop is to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners from different fields, e.g., tourism, recommender systems, user modelling, user interaction, mobile, ubiquitous and ambient technologies, artificial intelligence and web information systems, to explore various practical use cases of applications of these technologies in tourist recommender systems of the future. During the workshop we aim to identify the typical user groups, tasks and roles in order to achieve an adequate personalization and recommendation for tourism applications. Important aspects and topics to be discussed evolve around (but are not limited to):
- Specific applications and case studies (evaluation)
- Specific methods and techniques in the domain
- Novel ICT and its impact on travel and tourism
- Integrating data – exploiting data from various sources, i.e., catalogues, Linked Open Data, and usage logs
- Context and Mobility
- Cold-Start Problem
- Preference Elicitation
- Emotions and Recommenders
- Interaction concepts with personal (mobile or desktop) and group (on-site public or desktop) displays
- Information needs, information access (incl. visualisation) and search patterns
- Collaboration, communication and sharing aspects in the process of tourist information consumption
- Personalized explanations and feedback of recommendation systems
- Digital storytelling, narratives, smart summaries and recommendation explanations
Authors of selected best papers will be invited to submit extended versions of their papers to an upcoming special issue of the Springer Journal of Information Technology & Tourism (JITT), which is affiliated with the International Federation for IT and Travel & Tourism (IFITT).