|ognizant Communication Corporation|
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & TOURISM
VOLUME 4, NUMBERS 3/4
Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 4, pp. 151-165
1098-3058/02 $20.00 + .00
Copyright © 2002 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.
Bill Anckar and Pirkko Walden
Institute for Advanced Management Systems Research, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland
With electronic markets emerging on the Internet, the travel agency has been characterized as the most endangered organization in the travel industry as potential travelers now have the opportunity to bypass intermediaries in the distribution chain. Customers are offered good opportunities for convenient and inexpensive travel bookings on the Internet, but at the same time they face many problems and limitations in this regard. This research empirically examines the issue of self-bookings in travel. It reports on a series of exploratory studies conducted in order to investigate the opportunities offered as well as the problems facing any consumer trying to make his/her own travel reservations over the Internet today, and especially the differences between high- and low-complexity bookings in this regard. Four hypotheses were uncovered that relate to the issue of the complexity of the booking task, all emanating from the intuitively realistic supposition that low-complexity travel arrangements are better suited for direct distribution over the Internet than high-complexity arrangements. Using reservation and survey data from samples of students, nearly all of which were experienced Internet users, little support was found for the hypothesized relationships.
Key words: Disintermediation; Travel industry; Electronic markets; Online reservations; Computerized reservations system (CRS); User interface
Address correspondence to Bill Anckar, IAMSR/Åbo Akademi University,
Lemminkaisenkatu 14 B, 20520 Turku, Finland. E-mail: email@example.com
The Expansion of Technology in Small and Medium Hospitality Enterprises With a Focus on Net Technology
Hilary C. Main
Swansea Business School, Mount Pleasant, Swansea SA1 6ED, UK
In several earlier studies it was revealed that small/independent hotels are being marginalized from the mainstream tourism industry due to their inability to participate in the transformation of best practices due to their reluctance to utilize information technologies. Wales is a good illustration of a peripheral region with predominately small independent hotels and as such is reflective of the profile of the independent hotel sector in Europe. This article is based on research undertaken in collaboration with the Wales Tourist Board (WTB) via postal surveys in 1994, 2000, and 2001 into the use of technology and, specifically the latter surveys, focused on the penetration of the Internet in hospitality organizations in Wales. The responses to the surveys were sufficient to reach some comparisons over a period of time about the growth of technology and the Internet in this sector, the factors that influence the use of technology, and additionally some insight into the opinions of hotel managers who are nonusers of technology and the Internet. This article concludes that penetration is high in 2001 and the WTB has acted neither as a facilitator nor an influence in its adoption by its members.
Key words: Small and medium enterprises; Hotels; Information technology; Internet
Address correspondence to Hilary C. Main, Swansea Business School, Mount Pleasant, Swansea SA1 6ED, UK. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Impact of Multimedia on Employment: Evidence From Small and Medium Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises in the UK
Hotel and Hospitality Management, The Scottish Hotel School, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, G4 0LG, Scotland
Despite the wide adoption of multimedia in the tourism and hospitality industries, little is known about their impact on employment patterns. This article reports on the findings of a cross-sectoral study investigating the use and impact of multimedia on employment in Small and Medium Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises (SMTHEs) in the UK. Managers' perceptions regarding changes that multimedia use has fostered on the following employment patterns were investigated: employment levels, nature and scope of jobs, employment remuneration, status, and satisfaction. Despite the high adoption rates of multimedia within businesses and operations, no significant changes on organizational structures and employment levels were found, but strong perceptions were reported regarding multimedia impact on work nature/content and staff skills. Respondents' perceptions on the impact of multimedia on skill requirements and on how staff organize their work indicated the need for further research.
Key words: Multimedia; Employment; Skills; Impact; Tourism; Hospitality
Address correspondence to Marianna Sigala, Lecturer in Hotel and Hospitality Management, The Scottish Hotel School, University of Strathclyde, The Curran Building, 94 Cathedral Street, Glasgow, G4 0LG, Scotland. E-mail: M.Sigala@strath.ac.uk
Verena Blum and Julia Fallon
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
A content analysis of 53 Welsh visitor attraction Web sites was carried out to examine whether they are used to their full potential for attracting visitors. The features investigated were divided into six groups (product, price, promotion, place, customer relations, and technical aspects) based on the Marketspace Model developed by Dutta et al. It was found that, apart from text and images, none of the features was present on all the Web sites. The overall result for all attractions showed that only 36% of possible points were achieved. It was concluded that there is scope for improvement as Welsh attractions largely ignored the possibilities Web sites offer for increasing visitor numbers.
Key words: Internet; Technology; Tourism; Visitor attractions; Wales; Web sites
Address correspondence to Verena Blum, Luckeweg 19, 12279 Berlin, Germany. Tel/Fax: +49 30 721 82 26; E-mail: VanillaB97@hotmail.com
Service Processes In Electronic Travel Services: A Summary
Electronic Commerce Institute, Helsinki School of Economics, Runeberginkatu 14-16, FI-00100 Helsinki, Finland
Electronic commerce has been rapidly expanding and has been in a short time made available to the consumer via the Internet and the World Wide Web. In addition to physical goods, services are increasingly offered through the Internet. Electronic services have already changed whole industries, such as banking, changing the economies behind services offered by streamlining the business and service processes. This study analyzes the travel industry as an example of services widely available in the Internet, as well as provides a general summary of development of travel-related services in the Internet. Some of the routine service processes, such as sale of airline tickets, can be more efficiently offered through networks, whereas more complex and customized business tourism services will rely on combination of service personnel and net-based services. The focus of the analysis is on the services processes producing the service offering. Automation and self-service in tourism services will have a profound impact on the performance of service processes, number of staff, and competencies of personnel.
Key words: Electronic commerce; Travel services; Tourism industry; Service processes; Business processes
Address correspondence to Markku Tinnilä, Electronic Commerce Institute, Helsinki School of Economics, Runeberginkatu 14-16, FI-00100 Helsinki, Finland. Tel: +358 9 4313 8797; Fax: +358 9 408 417; E-mail: email@example.com
Francesco Ricci and Hannes Werthner
eCommerce and Tourism Research Laboratory, ITC-irst, via Sommarive 18, 38050 Povo, Italy
This article describes the general architecture and function of an intelligent recommendation system aimed at supporting a leisure traveler in the task of selecting a tourist destination, bundling a set of products, and composing a plan for the travel. The system enables the user to identify his/her own destination and to personalize the travel by aggregating elementary items (additional locations to visit, services, and activities). Case-based reasoning techniques enable the user to browse a repository of past travels and make possible the ranking of the elementary items included in a recommendation when these are selected from a catalogue. The system integrates data and information originating from external, already existent, tourist portals exploiting an XML-based mediator architecture, data mapping techniques, similarity-based retrieval, and online analytical processing.
Key words: Recommendation system; Case-based reasoning; Trip planning; Mediator architecture; XML
Address correspondence to Francesco Ricci, eCommerce and Tourism
Research Laboratory, ITC-irst, via Sommarive 18, 38050 Povo, Italy. E-mail: