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The Role Of Electronic Channels In Distributing The Tourism Product

3097 words - 12 pages

"The role of electronic channels in distributing the tourism product"Firstly I would like to say that electronic distribution channels are vital to any business who want to thrive in today's market as we rely so much on technology. As a twenty one year old college student I am all too aware that I am part of a generation who relies on technology to function in everyday life. I can safely say I check my phone at least every twenty minutes depending on the situation I am in. Businesses are aware that they are part of the 'social media era' and therefore must spend vast amounts of time and money trying to stay up to date with today's technology. Tourism suppliers are of no exception, in fact "a new report on holiday shopping found that 65 percent of Internet shoppers plan to browse items online and then head to a store to make their purchases." (Whiotv.com, 2013) Secondly, I want to make the point that we are trying to recuperate from a recession which is affecting everyone. All businesses, big and small, in every sector have had to make drastic efforts to stay afloat. Several companies reported large and sudden reductions in customer orders and have never really recovered. Reading articles online I came across a quote that I feel sums up the recession, the author who I tried but unfortunately could not find said, 'we saw a situation where there was a hole in the ground that we were shovelling money into and we didn't know how deep the hole was. We said to ourselves all we can do now is act on what we know today, we don't know how long this is going to go on for'. (Unknown, 2013)In reading, Professor Dimitrios Buhalis' - eTourism Trends and challenges in Social Media era I have learned a lot on the subject. ETourism, also known as the application of 'information communication technology' or ICTs for short, has had a drastic effect on the management, both strategic and operational, of tourism organisations as well as destinations. If we go back to 1995, the year the internet, World Wide Web first went live, and then in 2005, when the social media revolution began, we can see this is when the larger companies i.e. hotels and airlines took full advantage of this new avenue. They saw an opportunity to expand their target audience, it was here that tourism marketing was revolutionized. All of a sudden the tourism sector could advertise to a global market, their customer base grew rapidly while at the same time stayed cost effective. It was not only large chains who took advantage of this opportunities, we seen small companies e.g. independent travel agents grow 'virtually' in size. A customer in Cork for example could book a holiday with a travel agent in Longford using their online facilities, something that before the internet was nothing short of impossible unless they came to the branch personally.If we look at companies such a Ryanair, The Hilton, British Airways, The Marriott etc. these companies all capitalized these new methods early, early...

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