How Can Tour Operators Use the Internet to Overcome the Problems of Intangibility and Perishability in Selling Holiday Packages?

1540 WordsApr 27, 20087 Pages
Tourism is an information-intensive industry and is said to hold together different components belonging to the travel industry, such as airlines, travel agencies, attractions, car rental and several other aspects (Poon, 1993). The main objective of a tour operator is to combine these components to create a holiday package. With the advent of the internet, tour operators can now expand their activities and make available relevant information, conquering new customers (Wyner, 2000). However, in order to do so effectively they have to overcome the problems of intangibility and perishability. As a service industry, most tourist products are intangible services, they are experienced and cannot be touched, tasted, smelt or seen and therefore…show more content…
Some of these electronic brochures can also be printed. (Liu, 2000) Through Internet video telephony, tourists can "test drive" a prospective holiday by viewing real-time scenes through cameras placed in hotels, clubs, restaurants, scenic spots and other sites in the destination and are transmitted via the Internet. Video clips can also show episodes and scenes of festivals, art performances and other attractions enabling tourists to compare and evaluate these intangible services, the quality of which is otherwise difficult to assess in advance. Portland Direct and Thomson Holidays are examples of tour operators providing such services through their websites. These features allow customers to review the destination of their choice, assisting them in making a decision. (Thomson, 2006) Apart form these innovative services, majority of the websites run by tour operators provide all basic and essential information that might be relevant to customers. Such information includes- currency exchange, flight time-tables, climate, festivals, culture, language and religion, sight-seeing, visa and other entry information of the destination. Along with displaying the current news and events, the websites also offer specially designed holiday packages and show their day to day schedule if customers wish to opt for these. Microsoft is also a travel agent. Its internet site branded Expedia,

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