ognizant Communication Corporation


VOLUME 2, NUMBERS 1-4, 1999

Information Technology &Tourism, Vol. 2, pp. 3-13, 1999
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Copyright © 1999 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
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Destination Marketing System Strategies in Scotland and Ireland: An Aproach to Assessment

Andrew J. Frew1 and Peter O'Connor2

1 Napier University, Craighouse Campus, Craighouse Road, Edinburgh, EH105LG, Scotland, UK
2Insitut de management Hotelier International, Avenue Bernard Hirsch, BP 105, 95021 Cergy Pontoise Cedex, France

This article examines, compares, and contrasts the experience of Scotland and Ireland in their attempts to implement a DMS. Scotland's vision is shown evolving through three distinct waves over more than a decade with rather mixed results, whereas Ireland has, with some apparent success, produced both an initial and a reengineered version of their DMS approach, Gulliver, within a 5-year period. Comparisons are made between the two approaches in terms of technical structure/architecture, funding, and ownership/management and interorganizational issues. The philosophy adopted by the two regions is also explored, and reference is made to the wider European context and selected other DMS projects. Key issues deriving from work of researchers and commentators is examined alongside those emerging from current system implementation. The article concludes by presenting some core system attributes and problems related to implementation and considers some perceived success factors by means of a preliminary assessment framework.

Key words: Tourism information technology; Destination marketing; DMS; Electronic distribution; Gulliver; Reservations systems; World Wide Web; Ossian

Address correspondence to Andrew J. Frew. Tel: +44 131 455 6123; Fax:+44 131 455 6190; E-mail: a.frew@napier.ac.uk

Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 2, pp. 15-29, 1999
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Improving the Position of Business Travel Agencies: Coping With the Information Challenge

Johan van Rekom, Wim Teunissen, and Frank Go

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

This study provides insights about the activities, challenges, and options BTAs face when confronted with rapidly advancing information technology. Recently, disintermediation has become a threat for BTAs, due to the possibilityof direct selling. First, BTAs' visions on the developments in their environment and on their future are assessed. Theoretically, the ubiquitous information networks may enable suppliers to reduce transaction costs. However, the application of the transaction cost theory to the disintermediation process warrants reevaluation. Closer analysis of the intermediary functions BTAs perform reveals that they can gain considerably by paying more attention to matching products to clients' needs and by deliberately addressing supplier risk management. BTAs may reinforce their position by exploiting on widely available information infrastructures. The focus of this article is managerial, as opposed to technical.

Key words: Business travel agencies; Disintermediation; Transaction cost theory

Address correspondence to Johan van Rekom. Tel: +31/10/408.1967; Fax:+31/10/2120544; E-mail: Jrekom@fac.fbk.eur.nl

Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 2, pp. 31-44, 1999
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Developing a Knowledge-Based Tourism Marketing Information System

Daniel R. Fesenmaier,1 A. W. Leppers,2 and Joseph T. O'Leary3

1Tourism Research Laboratory, Department of Leisure Studies, Universityof Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2 Department of Leisure Studies, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
3Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

The tourism sector has experienced rapid technological development. In this new tourism environment innovation and knowledge creation are important for establishing a competitive advantage. This advantage can be accomplished by integrating marketing information systems and organizational knowledge creation methodologies. Marketing information systems (MISs) are generally described as sets of data that are analyzed through statistical programs and models. It is a unified scheme that brings together all of the components being used (raw data, information, reports, and models) in order to meet specific marketing objectives. An important problem with the current concept of the MIS is that it lacks the means for knowledge building; that is, the process facilitating the transformation of information to knowledge is not included. A model is proposed that integrates the analytical strengthsof the MIS with the organizational knowledge creation process proposed by Nonaka and Tacheuchi. It is argued that effective knowledge is created only through the sharing and interaction of public and private organizations.

Key words: Marketing information systems; Tourism management information system; Competitive advantage; Knowledge-based systems; Knowledge creation

Address correspondence to Daniel R. Fesenmaier. E-mail: drfez@uiuc.edu

Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 2, pp. 45-55, 1999
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Business Process Reengineering in the Hospitality Industry: Process Improvement in ALPHA Flight Services

Michael Baker1 and Gerry Sweeney2

1Orchard Consulting, Couch's Mill, Lostwithiel, Cornwall, PL22 0NN UK
2gnsco Ltd.

ALPHA Flight Services is the leading flight caterer in the UK, delivering 40 million airline meals a year. This article describes the Process Improvement Program that the Quality Assurance Department at ALPHA has developed. This program is a structured and comprehensive application of Business Process Reengineering principles. The company has achieved substantial improvementsin productivity, stockturn, and cycle times. The process involves three phases: review, measurement, and implementation. There is a strong emphasison communication, training, and coaching. The process utilizes industrial engineering tools, with IT in an enabling role. The article concludes that IT, although making an important contribution, is of subsidiary importance to change management skills in determining the success of a BPR initiative.

Key words: Catering; BPR; Change management

Address correspondence to Michael Baker. Phone: +44 (0) 1503-220286;Fax: +44(0) 1208-871063; E-mail: Michael.Baker@surrey.ac.uk

Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 2, pp. 79-95, 1999
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Information Technology for Small and Medium-Sized Tourism Enterprises: Adaptation and Benefits

Dimitrios Buhalis

Department of Tourism, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5LS, UK

Distribution and intermediation are increasingly recognized as critical factors for the competitiveness and success of the tourism industry in general, and small and medium-sized tourism enterprises (SMTEs) in particular. SMTEs have always suffered from the distribution function of their marketing. The rapid development of bookings through electronic media introduces several opportunities for innovative SMTEs that use ITs to develop their virtual size and to communicate with clientele and partners. However, traditional SMTEs that fail to adapt and take advantage of the new opportunities will face significant competitive disadvantages and may jeopardize their future prospects. This article builds on research undertaken in Greece, France, England, and Wales. A fairly comprehensive analysis of the European SMTEs illustrates their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and explains that strategic actions are required to improve their competitiveness in order to survive the intensive competition emerging in the global marketplace. Most of the research was based on personal interviews and the qualitative analysis attempts to illuminate the cost and benefits of the representation of SMTEs on the Internet. Exploratory research illustrates the factors often considered by SMTEs in adopting ITs and the Internet. The article also argues that there is some evidence that investment on electronic presence and distribution through the Internet represents good value for money, as bookings start to materialize for innovative operators. The article concludes with a case study of small accommodation establishments in York, UK, which illustrates the above points. Concludes are drawn that innovative entrepreneurs who reengineer their business processes and take advantage of the emerging opportunities will gain major benefits and enhance their profitability and viability in the global marketplace.

Key words: Small and medium-sized tourism enterprises; Information technology; Tourism; Cost and benefits

Address correspondence to Dr. Dimitrios Buhalis. Tel: +44 207 9115000, x3112; Fax: +44 207 9115171; E-mail: buhalid@wmin.ac.uk; Internet: www.wmin.ac.uk/Env/UDP/staff/buhalis.htm

Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 2, pp. 97-113, 1999
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Marketing Small Hotels on the World Wide Web

Alastair M. Morrison,1 Stephen Taylor,2 Alison J. Morrison,2 and Allison D. Morrison3

1Purdue University
2University of Strathclyde
3Destination Consulting Group

Small hotels face an uphill battle, as the larger hotel companies become more dominant in the marketplace. The Internet and World Wide Web may offer the small hotelier a lifeline for business survival. Through a study of a group of small hotels in Scotland, this article applied a set of critical success factors to evaluate the effectiveness of their Web sites. Most of the small hotels were not effectively using the Web and were certainly not realizing all of the advantages of the Internet/WWW. Their sites tended to be "electronic brochures" rather than "dynamic and interactive relationship marketing tools." A series of recommendations is provided for improving the effectiveness of small hotel Web sites.

Key words: Information technology (IT); Internet; Relationship marketing; Small hotels; World Wide Web

Address correspondence to Alastair Morrison, RHIT Department, Stone Hall, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1266. Tel: (765) 494-7905; Fax: (765) 494-0327; E-mail: alastair@cfs.purdue.edu

Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 2, pp. 115-129, 1999
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Local Authorities in England and Wales and the Development of Tourism Internet Sites

D. R. Vaughan,1 A. Jolley,1 and P. Mehrer2

1School of Service Industries, Bournemouth University BH12 5BB
2Gryphon Resources, Christchurch, Dorset

It is vital that local government in England and Wales considers the implications and applications of the new information technologies as exemplified by the Internet/World Wide Web. This new medium of communication, and the possibilities it offers, has received much publicity. However, this article shows that, while as a communication medium the Internet has many advantages over traditional media, the process of "going on the Net," and the considerations in developing and managing a Net site, are more complex than might be envisaged and that local authorities may need to reconsider the approach that has generally been adopted over recent years.

Key words: Local government; Internet sites; Development and management

Address correspondence to D. R. Vaughan. Tel: 01202 524111; Fax: 01202 515707; E-mail: rvaughan@bournemouth.ac.uk

Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 2, pp. 131-138, 1999
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The Analysis of Demographic Profiles and Prospects of Internet Users in National Tourism Organizations. Case Study: Korea National Tourism Organization (KNTO)

Hung-Soo Jung

School of Management Studies for the Service Sector, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 5XH, England

As the growth of the use of the Internet as a new marketing tool by NTOs continues, the importance of clearly understanding customers is increasing. This article seeks to identify the potential market segment that the Korea National Tourism Organization (KNTO) can reach through the Internet. In order to accomplish this, an analysis of the demographic profiles of the users of the KNTO Web site was conducted. This study also investigates the tourism intentions of the KNTO Web site visitors. The major findings suggest that the demographic profiles of KNTO visitors are similar to those of the GVU survey representing a very attractive market and that there is a new potential market segment on the Internet.

Key words: Internet marketing; Demographic profiles; NTOs; Internet users

Address correspondence to Hung-Soo Jung. Tel: +44(1483) 300 800 (ext. 6378); Fax: +44(1483) 259 387; E-mail: H.Jung@surrey.ac.uk

Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 2, pp. 153-172, 1999
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Sites for Sore Eyes: An Analysis of Australian Tourism and Hospitality Web Sites

Paul Weeks and Ian Crouch

School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Southern Cross University, Lismore NSW 2480, Australia

This study sought to examine the content of Australian-based tourism and hospitality Web sites reflecting the predominant features that organizations believe are essential on sites. The research was based on a previous study that examined hotel Web sites in North America. Using the Inference Find search engine, 20 sites in six tourism and hospitality sectors were chosen as the sample base. A checklist was devised to isolate features within each of the chosen sites. Totals for elements appearing on sites within each industry sector were calculated. Each sector was then analyzed to find differences and similarities of items included in these sites. Few sites included audio and video on their pages, a growing trend that suggests Web designers are more mindful of those of us who do not yet have state-of-the-art computers! On average, 48% of sites provided maps of locations, and 80% of all sites had updated their sites within the last 3 months, with travel agents and tour organizers updating more regularly. While more and more customers are turning to e-commerce, only 34% of sites offered their visitors provision for purchase on-line. E-mail addresses were the second most common feature found in the surveyed sites. The Accommodation sector appeared to be less keen than other sectors to tell its visitors about other accommodation or tourism sites. Functional groups within the surveyed sample varied considerably. The management functionality of the sites was extremely low across all sectors while the use of sites for promotion and advertising was consistently high.

Key words: Internet; World Wide Web; Web sites; Tourism; Hospitality; Australia

Address correspondence to Paul Weeks, The Hotel School, 117 Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia. Tel: +61 02 9240 1330; Fax: +61 02 9240 1338; E-mail: pweeks@scu.edu.au

Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 2, pp. 173-183, 1999
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Tourism on the World Wide Web: A Comparison of Web Sites of United States- and French-Based Businesses

J. Drew Procaccino and F. Roy Miller

Rider University, Department of Computer Information Systems, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

The primary focus of this article is to compare and contrast the technical capability and overall business utilization (marketing, sales, support) of tourism-related World Wide Web sites of US- and French-based businesses. Three hundred and forty-five randomly selected hotel, museum, restaurant, and airline Web sites were observed and then categorized by country and by industry. A two-part research hypothesis was tested: (1) Web sites of US-based firms were significantly more technically proficient and exhibited more business functionality than their French counterparts, and (2) the level of technical capability and business functionality would be relatively consistent across business types in the tourism industry. Sites of US-based firms did score higher than the observed French sites, but these scores were closer than anticipated. Results were mixed when comparing score differences between hotels, museums, restaurants, and airlines.

Key words: Airline; Attributes; Business function; Car rental; Hotel; Internet; Museum; Restaurant; Tourism; Web

Address correspondence to J. Drew Procaccino, MBA, 14 Temple Terrace, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648. E-mail: jdproc@aol.com

Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 2, pp. 185-196, 1999
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Business Models for Electronic Commerce in the Travel Services

Pirjo Järvelä, Jyri Loikkanen, Markku Tinnilä, and Virpi Kristiina Tuunainen

Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration, Electronic Commerce Institute, Pohjoinen Rautatienkatu 21 B, 00100 Helsinki, Finland

This article focuses on the travel services available for consumers on the Internet and the underlying business models. The theme is approached by analyzing Web services in the Finnish travel services industry and the services offered by some advanced US travel service providers. The services are analyzed by using a framework called EC Service Index, classifying the Web-based services on the technical advancement and range of services offered. The framework facilitates the identification of business models of electronic travel services. The results show that, in spite of a high rate of Internet connections, the services of the Finnish travel industry are based on the less advanced business models. The emerging advanced business models in the US are based on a large range of services and personalization.

Key words: Electronic commerce; Travel services industry; Business models; Finland

Address correspondence to Virpi Kristiina Tuunainen. Tel: +358-50-5897541; Fax: +358-9-408417; Email: tuunaine@hkkk.fi

Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 2, pp. 197-212, 1999
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The Effects of Internet Distribution of Travel and Tourism Services on the Marketing Mix: No-Frills, Fair Fares, and Fare Wars in the Air

Carl H. Marcussen

Research Centre of Bornholm, Stenbrudsvej 55, 3730 Nexoe, Denmark

In this article a series of propositions about the effects of Internet commerce on the marketing mix are stated and assessed. The propositions were formulated in the initial phase of a piece of research, which was undertaken by Marcussen from September 1998 to August 1999. The research included about 26 case studies of successful European travel and tourism Web sites. The assessment of the propositions is based on the findings from these case studies, and by references to secondary data sources, including information published on the Web. Most recently, no-frills (cheap ticket) airlines have enjoyed great success with respect to Internet sales, but were not covered in the original study by Marcussen. This article reviews the European no-frills airlines sector and its Internet activities up to and including September 1999, and in light of this takes a second look at the propositions. It was a main proposition that prices to the end-user of the most commodity-like tourist/travel products are--or will be--lower than the same products being sold through traditional distribution channels. This proposition could generally not be supported by the evidence found in the original study, but the review of the no-frills airlines sector did lend some support to the proposition.

Key words: Internet commerce; WWW; Effects; Propositions; Marketing mix; Distribution; No-frills; Airlines

Address correspondence to Carl H. Marcussen, Ph.D. Fax: +45 56 49 46 24; E-mail: marcussen@rcb.dk

Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 2, pp. 213-228, 1999
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Intelligent Assistants for Retail Travel Agents

Paul F. O'Brien

Information Systems Group, Business Faculty, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC, Qld, 4558, Australia

This article investigates the likely disintermediation effects of electronic commerce on retail travel agents. It provides the basis for the development of a strategic framework for intermediaries in the travel marketing channels that can be used to enhance business performance. Exploratory interviews with industry opinion leaders indicate that consumer preference for personalized packages to more exotic destinations is growing, and the pace of technological change is accelerating. Five key strategic responses are recommended for retail travel agents to address these challenges. An intelligent retail travel consultant's assistant is proposed as an appropriate response to the problem of efficiently and effectively matching traveler preferences with product and destination characteristics.

Key words: Tourism; Electronic commerce; Travel agent; Intelligent agent; Ontologies

Address correspondence to Paul F. O'Brien. Tel: +61 7 5430 1215; Fax: +61 7 5430 1231; E-mail: pobrien@usc.edu.au