How Can Tour Operators Use the Internet to Overcome the Problems of Intangibility and Perishability in Selling Holiday Packages?
When a tourist books a particular holiday package, he’s not sure what to expect and how he will eventually perceive and judge the overall experience of his vacation. The intangibility of tourism products creates a large amount of risk and uncertainty for customers. Hence, it is imperative to create confidence, establish quality criteria, and to introduce measures reducing risks thereby helping customers make decisions. The key to the tourist’s decision lies in the existence of relevant information. Through the internet such information is available and in a better way (Buhalis 1998). This type of information helps tourists plan complex tourist activities, such as the planning for long trips (Bieger et al. 2000).Thus, tour operators, such as Thomas Cook and Thomson Holidays, have designed websites enabling customers to browse through and settle on those packages that are best suited for them. TUI, Airtours, Cosmos, Cresta and Kuoni are examples of other tour operators who possess well designed websites and offer similar holiday packages. Customers can get an enhanced view of the destinations they want to visit by looking through such websites. It provides information from a wide range of sources in a greater variety of formats, from text to photos, graphs, audio and video clips, whereas in the past, tourists mainly relied on printed brochures. Web-based electronic brochures can aid the complicated procedure of choosing among the