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

1544 Words May 13th, 2008 7 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…
(Hallas, 2004)
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

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