Tourism Distribution Network due to a mounting trend of ecommerce in the global market. The advent World Wide Web, Wireless Application Protocol and the integration of media with tourism, has somewhat halted the growth of traditional channels of travel and tourism. Thus, showing a prelude to eTourism, a modern concept of online or web-based distribution network, providing complete travel information and booking details only a click away. But this surge of information, economy and accessibility has also threatened the survival of traditional distribution channels like Travel Wholesaler and Regional Retailer Travel Agents. Which means where technology, sophistication and immediacy have brought forth new prospects of business in tourism, it also has a downside for traditional means of product and information transactions.
TOURISM DISTRUBUTION NETWORK.
Tourism has traditionally relied on travel wholesalers and retail travel agents but this isn't to prevail in the ever converging global village. Electronic media, Mobile and Wireless technology, has set forth a revolution in the boulevard of information and technology, thereby affecting the global business market of travel and tourism most powerfully. According to a research carried out by eTourism Newsletter, of the 58.5% of Americans who use the internet, 66% prefer online tourism websites over travel agents (. This is because web-based tourism channels are not only interactive, hassle-free and downright convenient, but they are also comprehensive, attractive, economic and above all instantaneous. Where electronic media holds prolific pros for tourism and travel sector, care should be taken for the protection and survival of retailers and wholesalers in order to sustain the traditional distribution system. This is possible by integrating electronic and traditional channels in a way they can harmoniously co-exist and conform to extract maximum benefits from the global market. For this reason, a single end of competitive advantage should be sought by both the channels. Improvement and revision should be done periodically to compliment and supplement required areas for maximum specialization and benefits. Tourism Sector, stakeholders and entrepreneurs should prioritize the flow of tourist information and product; enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of information transaction; encourage and support the integration of traditional and online channels and lastly develop and enhance the levels of communication and comprehension between tourism industry and electronic distribution channels.
Online reservations have increased dramatically thanks to technology. Taking from a tourist-market perspective, information can shape market strategies. Provision of information over the internet on trends and local/international market developments as well as ecommerce and commercial marketing opportunities on the World Wide Web is blowing out of proportions. Online business rate shows no signs of slowing down. Internet's ability to reflect modern lifestyles has brought about a marked growth of ticket sales over the internet. It provides an opportunity for marketers to interact with its customers on a single platform which in turn enables them to discover and exploit individual interests of target audiences. Top hotels, with an intention to remain in competition are installing internet facilities such as emails, pay-per-view and in room online access to their customers. Currently, the impact of e-business in travel is most visible in the growth of Internet reservation systems and automated check-in procedures.( Also, the airline industry seeks to embrace e-business technologies. Every segment of airline industry is undergoing major changes due to the internet technologies. In this way the propagation of new distribution channels in turn creates new opportunities for travel industry to employ creative and innovative market skills in order to build customer loyalty. All these undertakings assume major challenges of forming a cohesive strategy combining ecommerce in airline in such a way that it simplifies the life of a traveler rather than complicating it. The eticket of the future will probably combined passport and visa on a smart card. For provision of utility that e-ticket will have the facility to fly or re-book if necessary (.
ANALYSIS OF TRENDS
Technology and information has struck a new wave in the global market. The blend of information and economics, together under a process of globalization has set forth new rules of interdependence. This has fused tourism with numerous other business sectors, primarily mass media. Today, as tourism stands in line with various other global commodities, it competes and struggles to sustain in the hub of choices, diversity and superiority. A superlative quality of any tourism commodity can most effectively be conveyed through fastest, cheapest and reliant mediums. Therefore, as per the need of time, Tourism Distribution Network has converged with media and other business sectors. Emerging electronic mediums, for being the cheapest, fastest, most efficient, effective and most reliant means of transaction to time are a benchmark of this new chapter in tourism network. This has also increased the significance of media and its role in the dissemination of information regarding the product and services offered by tourism. In this way, the global convergence of technology has penetrated to best suit and serve the purpose of tourism distribution channels.
Due to the high paced lifestyle, customers look for instant and effective modes of interaction with travel agencies and therefore fall outside traditional channels of travel and tourism. Consumers are therefore likely to look for information and book able commodities through ticketing companies, global credit card companies or through tourism websites.
This has its connotations for all the players in the tourism industry. The social and regional institutions that were predominantly responsible for the proper functioning of national industrial societies are fast becoming inadequate for the same. Advances in technology are revolutionizing the world of retailing, communications and entertainment. This has a profound effect on the way we live, work and spend our leisure time. But in order to protect the traditional channels, it is important that tourism industry should best place itself for the future using both traditional and emerging online distribution channels. Despite the advances in technology, people still remember information best in form of stories. And to convey a message most effectively, it is important to communicate in the manner a recipient (of information) is most familiar and comfortable with. Therefore in many avenues tradition, human nature and old practices must be considered as an integral part of Tourism Distribution Network.
Technology is rapidly evolving into the most significant factor in tourism sector. Travelers need more comprehensive details regarding their trip and also a variety of choice due to increased consumer sovereignty. Also a changing trend towards more independent traveling requires more information during the trips. Thus fulfilling the need of time, traditional and emerging online distribution channels appear to be converging.
Since emerging online channels can transport information and transact in a more effective manner, this increases the efficiency of tourism distribution chain.
Consumer travel decision-making is now quicker and has a shorter lead time before the trips. Thus the need to place information early in consumer's inquiry is greater than ever before. This calls for greater consumer reliance on interactive inter-phases such as call centers or emails and voice recognition call centre servicing.
In order to absorb the changing trends and survive in the global market, cooperative efforts with non-traditional partners should also be explored. This would be a wise decision to curb non-traditional partners from taking away the entire premium in the wake of technological gale. These include organizations/firms that are capable of internet-based distribution. Such as Microsoft, Global credit card companies and various elements of media.
Growing consumer confidence in booking through internet is catalyzed by the offer of "web only" booking discounts, easy to use booking software engines, and accessible, reliable and fare databases. This encourages consumers to book online which is particularly obvious in point-to-point airfares for corporate travelers. As substantiated by a research carried out by Victoria Travel, revealing that a huge majority of internet users also have a high propensity to travel. Since internet users and tourism clients are so demographically close together, the correlation between their stats explains why information is so heavily sought online.
Therefore the web pages hosting Travel and Tourism Networks are astonishingly higher in comparison to those of the other businesses. A research reveals that there is almost double the number of internet web hosting sites for tourism than those of any other business.
The changing trends also anticipate gradual reduction of printed collaterals as the prices of print material; its transportation and distribution costs are too high in comparison to that of interaction via internet. However complete cast off is not likely as print collateral is an integral and traditional part of tourism and travel distribution channel.(
The present scenario on the whole portrays that there will be a growing opportunity for competitive advantage in the area of personalization by a travel agencies and customization for more attractive and conspicuous offers by better commercialization. The new technology also augurs a shift towards interactive television, mobile hardware customization, and third generation satellite mapping in cars. Competitive advantage is the name of the game.
OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS.
A new competitive landscape has emerged due to the ever changing political, economic, social and technological scenarios.…