Technology adoption and cost-benefit perception among the tourist MSEs: A case study examining government support offerings and the MSEs perception in Ceara, Brasil

Technology adoption and cost-benefit perception among the tourist MSEs: A case study examining government support offerings and the MSEs perception in Ceara, Brasil


This study on tourism MSEs (micro and small enterprises) in Brazil explores the perception of tourism MSEs on the importance of digital transformation and the use of technology in emerging countries. It is based on understanding the perceived cost-benefit, barriers and limitations of MSEs on the use of technology. This study focuses on MSEs' knowledge about governmental support to MSEs and other business providers and compares it with the perception of governmental institutions that help them in their digitalization.


The adoption of technology and digital transformation in the MSMEs is crucial for Brazil in general in order not to lose the pace of growth and not to become a submerging economy. We take the case of MSEs in the tourism sector, to focus our analysis, since this sector is one of the engines of the economy and it is important to have a sustainable development in order not to lose competitive advantage over other tourist destinations. This adoption is essential for MSEs, their competitiveness and growth in a framework of rapid change. MSEs play a fundamental role in providing a unique experience to tourists and contributing to the local, regional and national economy. It is important to understand how these MSEs are handling the challenges of technology adoption in order to maximize their potential. Understanding the MSEs' point of view, observing obstacles and creating opportunities is fundamental for the development of common strategies and support programs that can facilitate their experience. This study could be a reflection of what is happening in other indutries.


Tourism MSEs in the state of Ceara face significant chalenges in adopting technologies such as very limited knowledge and resources among others, which makes most of them feel lost and without clear direction. The study shows that the MSEs' lack of knowledge of government programs to help them foster technology is widespread, showing that the government does not seem to be aligned with their needs and capabilities. The lack of effective communication channels helps to widen this gap. The study also shows the lack of qualified professionals in the field as well as the knowledge of not knowing where they can go to find information, in other words they do not know what they are looking for, do not have the knowledge, and who to approach for assistance. This lack of knowledge is aided by the lack of references in the market. We have also detected other factors that influence this situation, such as cultural factors, problems of social forces, labor incentives, social inequality, lack of trust in the institutions and a possible lack of cultural sensitivity towards people from the places studied.

Implications for practitioners

  • Improving communication channels between the government and MSEs to bridge the awareness gap and ensure alignment of digitalization initiatives balancing the sicil forces.
  • Tailoring digitalization plans to the specific understanding, needs, and capabilities of MSE organizations using story telling.
  • Providing targeted courses, support and resources even at the local level to help MSEs enhance their technological capabilities and overcome challenges.
  • Creating a success examples the sector could make a proper benchmarking with.
  • Create a communication strategy aimed at improving accessibility, understanding, and prioritization specifically tailored to the tourism sector. To achieve this, we believe there needs to be a shift in strategy at the national level, taking into consideration the various factors that impact the industry.


  • Qualitative research design with semi-structured interviews
  • Sampling focused on posadas, hotels, restaurants, and kitesurfing schools
  • Additional insights gathered through interviews with tourism SME consultants and experts
  • User testing techniques employed to assess the usability of the SEBRAE website
  • Qualitative exploratory expert Interview on social challenges with government and institutions