ognizant Communication Corporation

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & TOURISM

ABSTRACTS
VOLUME 5, NUMBER 2

Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 5, pp. 65-72
1098-3058/02 $20.00 + .00
Copyright © 2002 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

An Empirical Analysis of Hotel Chain Online Pricing Strategies

Peter O'connor

IMHI (Cornell-ESSEC), 95021 Cergy Pontoise Cedex, France

The hotel product is increasingly being sold electronically, and price has been identified as one of the key motivators for encouraging customers to purchase online. This study represents the first significant investigation of the electronic pricing strategies of the major international hotel companies, and analyzes the rates offered by hotels across five of the major online distribution channels. Key findings include that hotel brands currently use multiple simultaneous routes to the marketplace, and that the rates offered over these routes have to a large extent become equal. However, significant differences can be observed depending on the market segment being serviced by the brand, with direct online channels being consistently cheaper for economy and mid-priced properties and online GDS-based intermediaries offering the best value at the luxury end of the market.

Key words: Pricing; Hotel chains; Web reservations; e-Commerce; Electronic distribution

Address correspondence to Peter O'Connor, Associate Professor, Hospitality Information Technology, IMHI (Cornell-ESSEC), Avenue Bernard Hirsch, BP 105, 95021 Cergy Pontoise Cedex, France. Tel: +33 1 3443 3177; Fax: +33 1 3443 1701; E-mail: oconnor@imhi.com




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 5, pp. 73-89
1098-3058/02 $20.00 + .00
Copyright © 2002 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Benchmarks of Web Site Design and Marketing by Swiss Hotels

Roland Schegg,1 Thomas Steiner,2 Susanne Frey,3 and Jamie Murphy4

1Lausanne Institute for Hospitality Research (LIHR), Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), Le Chalet-à-Gobet, 1000 Lausanne 25, Switzerland
2Competence Center ISnet-VS, University of Applied Sciences Valais, Technopôle 3, 3960 Sierre, Switzerland
3Hotel Valuation Services HVS, 372 Willis Avenue, Mineola, NY 11501
4University of Western Australia, Faculty of Business, Department of Information Management and Marketing, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, 6009, Western Australia

This study explored a small slice of the soaring electronic travel marketplace: how a representative sample of 125 Swiss hotels used Web-based marketing tools. Software agents in conjunction with personal observations benchmarked and analyzed over 200 different Web site criteria (information provision, transaction/reservation functions, communication and customer service, use of advanced Internet technologies, etc.). Results of this study correspond with prior research: most hotel Web sites broadcast static information and provide limited transactional functions. The Web's marketing potential is in its early stages. Comparing the analyzed hotels, the research found significant differences in Web site tools across hotel category and size, but no differences across geographic or linguistic region.

Key words: Switzerland; Hotels; Web site analysis; Internet; Benchmarking

Address correspondence to Roland Schegg, Lausanne Institute for Hospitality Research (LIHR), Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), Le Chalet-à-Gobet, 1000 Lausanne 25, Switzerland. Tel: 0041 21 785 13 24; Fax: 0041 21 785 13 25; E-mail: roland.schegg@ehl.ch
 




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 5, pp. 91-104
1098-3058/02 $20.00 + .00
Copyright © 2002 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

The Internet as a Marketing Tool for Tourism in the Balearic Islands

Gabriel Angel Vich-i-Martorell

Universitat de les Illes Balears, Carretera de Valldemossa, Km 7.5 Edif. Mateu Orfila, 07071 Palma, Mallorca, Illes Balears, Spain

Mature tourist destinations are usually highly controlled by tour operators. The recent introduction of the Internet as a commercial tool has provided the supply side with an alternative channel for communication, marketing, and distribution, which may prove capable of sidestepping these middlemen. In this article the use of the Internet among hotel and airline companies is analyzed, and its effect on the tourist industry in the Balearic Islands is discussed. Primary research was conducted among these companies in order to find out the extent of the use of Internet, and the perceived value of some of its attributes. The results show very different levels of use, and establish the existence of five different groups based on these evaluations.

Key words: Tourism; E-commerce; Internet; Balearic Islands; Web; Marketing; Tour operators

Address correspondence to Gabriel Angel Vich-i-Martorell, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Carretera de Valldemossa, Km 7.5 Edif. Mateu Orfila, 07071 Palma, Mallorca, Illes Balears, Spain. Tel: +34-971172623; Fax: +34-971173426; E-mail: biel.vich@uib.es




Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 5, pp. 105-119
1098-3058/02 $20.00 + .00
Copyright © 2002 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Faces of the "New China": A Comparison of Touristic Web Sites in the Chinese and English Languages

Richard Holt

Department of Communication, Northern Illinois University, De Kalb, IL 60115

For some nations, such as the People's Republic of China, international tourism has become not just what some claim is the largest extant industry, but also a vital part of promoting the nation as a full participant in the modern world. Increasingly, one of the paths to greater promotion of a culture is through tourism, and one of the principal ways this is done is via the Internet. To explore the issues relating to World Wide Web pages/sites on which touristic attractions are promoted, a detailed analysis was conducted of material on two Web sites for the PRC coastal city of Dalian, one in Chinese and the other in English. It is shown that the principles of effective site design seem to be violated on the Chinese site but not on the English site. Yet the effect of the two sites is opposite of what might be predicted: the Chinese site is dynamic, open, and interesting, whereas the English site is static, entropic, and dull. Implications concerning ethnocentrism in "acceptable" site design are introduced and explored, as are implications for improving the communication of touristic information via the Internet.

Key words: Asia; China; Chinese language; Chinese tourism; International tourism; Touristic Web sites; Web design

Address correspondence to Richard Holt, Department of Communication, Room 302, Watson Hall, Northern Illinois University, De Kalb, IL 60115. Tel: (815) 753-7102; E-mail: richholt@niu.edu