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E-Tourism: The role of ICT In tourism industry

Alireza Farkhondehzadeh, Mahmod Reza Robat Karim, Mehdi Roshanfekr, Jamshid Azizi, Farrokh Legha Hatami


One of the major limitations of all of the information distribution channels in tourism industry is that they, for the most part, all ultimately flow through the GDSs. Of course, this has several implications in terms of cost, audience and information content. As a result, many tourism suppliers would like to bypass the GDS route and use electronic distribution to sell directly to the consumer. With the phenomenal growth in the use of the Internet and the World Wide Web both in the home and in the workplace, and the opportunities presented by falling hardware and communications costs, the potential now exists for tourism suppliers to both distribute information to and process reservations from customers directly. In his paper by considering some of the trends shaping modern business strategies such as the mass customization of services, the interactive design of products with customers, the service envelope around the most basic products and the increasing information intensity of products, we illustrated how such trends apply to the tourism industry and describes the way ICT can support or enable such strategies. Then, we analysed the role of ICT in tourism industry by introducing a framework to classify and analyze related organisations around three dimensions, distinguishing what happens (1) at the boundary of the firms, (2) in their relations with their customers and suppliers and (3) on the markets they reach. The actors that we primarily considered were the following: (1) the service providers (hotels, airlines, congress organizers, etc.), the travel agencies, and other intermediaries, (2) the final customers (both corporate and individual), and (3) the countries (often represented by their tourism offices). Finally, we described some innovative ways of using ICT, among others, to expand an actor's business.


E-Tourism, ICT, GDS

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