Current And Potential Future Use Of Is And Icts Tourism Essay

The coming of information engineering has brought a drastic alteration in the structural composing of the touristry industry. Information is the life-blood of this industry and engineering has become indispensable for it to run resourcefully and expeditiously. The focal point of this study is to analyse the usage and deductions of information systems ( IS ) and Information communicating engineering ( ICT ) in the touristry industry of United Kingdom ( UK ) and to sketch the chances and challenges faced by touristry sector in this context. The chief aim of this essay is to depict how ICT is being used for carry oning concerns, to measure the impact of this development for houses and for the industry as a whole. It looks at the size and the structural constituents of UK touristry industry. The current and possible hereafter usage of ICT/IS in UKi??s touristry industry are besides overviewed.Moreover the ICT tools and applications that have transformed this industry are identified and discussed in item.

1. Introduction

The revolution in information engineering ( IT ) and the outgrowth of new Information Communications Technologies ( ICTs ) have left a pronounced impact on every facet of human life particularly societal and economical. ICTs have played a major function in the economic productiveness of concerns and have become a portion of every concern scheme. As touristry industry is the key to the economic sector, thereby ICTs and touristry are straight linked. Tourism is one of the worldi??s largest industries, adding up to 10.6 % of the planetary GDP, lending to 8.3 % of the entire universe employment ( World Travel and Tourism Council, 2006 ) . It is among the first sectors which embraced the relentless development in field of Information and communicating engineering ( Garzotto, 2004 ) .

Specifying the tourer industry is hard. It is non an industry that is grouped into a individual header within the Standard Industrial Classification ( SIC ) . The defining characteristic of touristry is non the merchandise, but the buyer, the i??touristi?? . Most definitions concentrate on the services that a figure of different industries, such as the travel industry ; hotels and catering ; retailing and amusement provide to tourers. The internationally in agreement definition of touristry says that:

i?? [ T ] ourism comprises the activities of individuals going to and remaining topographic points outside their usual environment for non more than one back-to-back twelvemonth for leisure, concern and other purposesi?? ( Eurostat, 1998 )

Harmonizing to the NACE categorizations of concern activities ( 2005 ) , touristry consists of a figure of different sub-sectors, e.g. the adjustment sector, gastronomy, the conveyance sector, travel bureaus and circuit operators every bit good as recreational, cultural and clean activities. ( E-business ticker, 2005 ) Since the touristry industry is a huge sector and can be define in following sub-sectors i.e. circuit operators, travel agents, adjustment suppliers, Airlines and airdromes, Regulatory organic structures, Public sector administrations and QUANGOs ; So this study focal point on the sub-sector of touristry industry that is i??Travel Agenciesi?? . Harmonizing to John Beech and Simon Chadwick ( 2005 ) Travel Agencies are define as the concern that is established to sell travel merchandises and Travel agent refers as the retail merchant of travel and related merchandises or a gross revenues individual employed to sell travel merchandises ( Beech and Chadwick, 2005 )

The intent of this study introduces the proposed survey aimed at analysing the execution of information and communicating engineerings and the usage of Information System ( IS ) in UKi??s touristry industries particularly travel bureaus in order to depict and critically look into the current and possible hereafter of the industry. This paper besides aims to demo how technological inventions and information systems can be good for the touristry industryi??s subsector travel bureaus. The study commences with the strategic models which provides an overview of the industry analysis and context for the survey. Section 2 provide the elaborate and logical analysis of the travel bureaus in which different theoretical accounts and model are usage to explicate it, whilst, Section 3 focal points on the description and critical analysis of the current usage of IS and ICTs within the touristry industryi??s subsector. Section 4 provide the description and rating of the possible hereafter usage of IS and ICTs within the industry sector considerations every bit good as the challenges and restrictions forecast in the possible hereafter of the UKi??s travel bureaus. The study concludes with Section 4.

2. Industry Analysis

This subdivision presents the model or theoretical accounts that can be used to help with an industrial analysis of touristry industry of UK. For grounds of method and range this study focused on travel bureaus or travel retail industry. Travel bureaus plays critical function in touristry industry. They act as the communicating nexus between the providers and the clients. They work on a behalf of the circuit operators supplying travel services such as air hose tickets, hotel suites and train tickets. With the development of the World Wide Web, every type of concern has gained some presence on the cyberspace ; as a consequence most of the travel bureaus of UK have gained presence on the cyberspace. The Internet is holding a profound consequence on the internal and external operating processs within the travel industry ( Cheng & A ; Piccoli, 2002 ) . Some of the celebrated web travel bureaus working in UK are travel menagerie, inn booking agents, London Duck Tours,, Thomas Cook, Jim Thompsons, Regent Street and many more.

There are many models or theoretical accounts that can be used to help with an industrial analysis.These theoretical accounts are general and often used by many organisations and regulating organic structures today for the intent of the in-depth industrial analysis and its impact on the industry.

2.1 SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is strategically exemplary which follows from happening a signifier between external environment and internal capablenesss.


Travel bureaus are the communicating span between circuit operator and clients and due to development of IS and ICT, the communicating chitchat is acquiring lesser. Travel bureaus merely supply services and do non purchase merchandises from the provider. Hence there are no stocks and no economical menaces. The cyberspace is invariably turning and throwing up new challenges to the industry which in bend help travel bureaus to add to their selling attack in the best possible ways. Travel agents work to do certain that the most demanding merchandise is available in the right topographic point and at the right clip. ( Cooper, 2005 )


The consumer can now compare monetary values and book online travel tickets and do reserve for hotels and auto leases. Collins, Buhalis and Peters ( 2003 ) province that the overall per centum of hotel suites booked on-line grows enormously each twelvemonth and will maintain on increasing ; due to which travel bureaus are maintain on losing their market and clients.


Development of new engineerings along with Internet and e-commerce has given birth to e-tourism ( Lashley, 2005 ) . Where e-tourism has great benefits for the consumers and the travel bureaus as good, travel bureaus get assorted chances sing selling and increasing their client web from local country to planetary.


Travel bureaus are the major option to the cyberspace gross revenues, when it comes to go bundles. Lashley and Rowson ( 2005 ) suggest that recent IT developments, offer new chances for circuit operators with the rise of e-tourism. This is a great menace to go bureaus.

2.2 Pest analysis

Plague analysis is a technique for placing the political, economic, societal and technological factors in the general environment most relevant to an administration ( Boddy, 2002 ) .

Political and legal:

Though the cyberspace appears to be an independent and independent working organic structure to many, it still has to obey the ordinances and restrictions laid by the UK authorities on assorted affairs of concern particularly sing the security. IS and ICTs applications has great benefits for the consumers and the travel bureaus as good, assorted affairs sing transcript rights, the comfort degree of the user, standardising the information ; the engagement process etc needs to be handled tactfully. Sometimes travel bureaus in UK are incognizant of the possible legal hazard which might be involved in go againsting the anti push Torahs enforced by the UK authorities. In order to avoid such hazards the travel bureaus need to be decently educated in order to develop a better apprehension of these jobs. To assist with this there are presently five touristsi?? boards working in UK: the British Tourist Authority, the English Tourism Council, the tourer boards for Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland ( Bardgett, 2000 ) .


The economic crisis has ne’er been a possible menace to the cyberspace as such. However the UK travel bureaus have to confront the effects to a greater grade from UK economical recession. Consumers cut-down on on-line engagements and hotel gross revenues during the yearss of recession in UK. As touristry contributes to a great extent to the GDP of UK ( Bardgett, 2000 ) , the recession and rising prices affects the travel bureaus severely.This in bend makes the Travel organisations to lose their cost advantage.


The clip when the consumer had small information about the possible tourer finishs does non be any longer. The cyberspace has made it all easier. The users now come up with plentifulness of information about the location they plan to see without the aid from any travel bureaus. This affects the touristry industry socially and culturally. Some indispensable steps should be taken for interaction of different societal groups with each other.


The revolution in IT and the outgrowth of information communicating engineerings brought important structural alterations in the UK travel bureaus. GDSs serve more than 50,000 travel agents global ( Collins, Buhalis and Peters, 2003 ) . Development of geographical information system ( GIS ) and computing machine reserve system ( CRS ) are of import tools that helped in modifying the touristry industry.

3. Current Use of Information Systems

In this subdivision a critical analysis of the ways that information systems ( IS ) and information and communications engineerings ( ICTs ) are presently used within the industry. Information and communicating engineerings have wholly transformed the manner information was conveyed in the yesteryear. Traditionally the consumer had to walk to the local street travel bureaus, hunt for possible finishs in the booklet, look for economic system vacation bundles, arrange meetings with the circuit operators, and rarely stop up acquiring frustrated. With the entree to the cyberspace, consumers can now acquire any type of information online. They can read reexamine on different finishs, and travel for online engagement by sing on-line travel agents of their pick. Travel services can hence be provided to the consumers in a flexible manner. As the i??new economyi?? was created through the usage of Digital Technologies, Internet and ICTs any company who operates within it will utilize the technological assets to their advantage to advance and present their merchandises and services to the consumers within the market ( Combe, 2006 ) . The travel bureaus have proved to be peculiarly adaptative in encompassing the alterations in the IT industry, so it has gained a big portion on the on-line e-commerce market since it is mostly consumer oriented. Werthner & A ; Klein ( 1999 ) suggest

i??Tourism is a intercrossed industry since even though it is dominated by the proviso of information ; basically it is about a physical merchandise. This requires the i??seamlessi?? integrating of information and physical service, with flexible constellations of the physical and the informational parts.i??

The Travel bureaus of UK readily adapted to the alterations brought by the on-going development in the field of ICT and IS. The engagement of ICT in this industry is non new and dates back to mid 1960i??s. i??ICT tools have facilitated concern dealing in the industry by networking with trading spouses, distribution of merchandise services and supplying information to consumers across the globei?? ( Shanker, 2008 )

3.1 The usage of Decision Support Systems

A determination support system ( DSS ) can be defined harmonizing to Oz ( 2006 ) as,

i??A computing machine based information system designed to assist directors choose one of the many options solutions to a problem.i??

An illustration of an of import DSS application of information systems in the travel and touristry industry is the Geographical Information System ( GIS ) . GIS integrates hardware, package, and informations for capturing, managing, analysing, and exposing all signifiers of geographically referenced information. GIS has provided efficient solutions to the jobs of the tourers and travel bureaus in mention to geographical places of objects and milieus.

ICTs have now developed assorted applications in sustainable touristry development. Dr Andrew Frew ( 2009 ) proposed that utilizing the applications of ICTi??s, Sustainable Tourism Development ( STD ) can play an of import function in finish direction. STD is an incorporate attack and involves stakeholders for long term viability and quality of societal, economical and environmental resources ( Frew and Ali, 2009 ) .STD has much to make with determination devising ( DSS ) . If the finish director has sound methods of monitoring and analysing environmental informations, the paths touristsi?? utilizations, the frequence of usage and timings and how tourers account for clip, infinite and topographic point, they can break support planning to guarantee touristry is more sustainable for finishs ( Gretzel & A ; Law, 2010 ) .

3.2 Collaboration through Knowledge in online banking Sharing

Combe ( 2006, p.74 ) states that,

i??Collaboration between organisations is the cardinal characteristic of the modern concern environmenti?? .

The coaction platforms are specifically created to go through information from one organisation to another whether for illustration client information. Electronic distribution channels have gained important powerlessness after the revolution in IT industry. i??ICTs transformed distribution to an electronic market place, where entree to information and ubiquitousness is achieved, while interactivity between principals and consumers is empoweredi?? ( Buhalis, 1998 ) . Some of the of import ICT tools and applications help in coaction of the touristry industry Used in UK are: Destination Management System ( DRS ) , Global Positioning system ( GPS ) , Tourism Information System ( TIS ) , Information direction of conditions and intelligent conveyance system ( IST ) . Other coaction applications are following.

ICTs have now developed assorted applications in sustainable touristry development. Dr Andrew Frew ( 2009 ) proposed that utilizing the applications of ICTi??s, Sustainable Tourism Development ( STD ) can play an of import function in finish direction. STD is an incorporate attack excessively and involves stakeholders for long term viability and quality of societal, economical and environmental resources ( Frew and Ali, 2009 ) .STD has a batch to make with determination devising ( DSS ) . If the finish director has sound methods of monitoring and analysing environmental informations, the paths touristsi?? utilizations, the frequence of usage and timings and how tourers account for clip, infinite and topographic point, they can break support planning to guarantee touristry is more sustainable for finishs ( Gretzel & A ; Law, 2010 ) .

3.3 The applications presently used within the Travel bureaus industry

Shanker. D ( 2008 ) suggests the three of import inventions that redesigned the organisational construction of the travel bureaus are

1-Development of the Computer Reservation System ( CRS )

2-Development of Global Distribution System ( GDS ) and last but non least

3-The Internet

3.3.1 Computer Reservation Systems ( CRSs )

As the full travel industryi??s construction had been reorganized by the revolution in ICT, the air hose industry did good to get by with the state of affairs. The term CRS is denotes i??electronic air hose reserve system, used for pull offing flight and place stock lists for gross revenues and operation purposesi?? . Hence the CRS were virtually necessary to the air hoses and travel bureaus as it helped the gross streams to be maximized. The engineering uses the computing machines in a different and alone manner. The host computing machine has a monolithic database attached to it which fundamentally works as a CRS. The travel agents are connected to this host computing machine. The mainframe host polls each travel agent terminal every 2nd or so, to see if it has any messages to direct ( Inkpen, 1998 ) . In this manner the hotels and other lease services get in a direct connexion to the travel agent. CRSs frequently charge competitory committee rates in comparing with other distribution options, whilst enabling flexible pricing and capacity changes in order to set supply to demand fluctuations ( Buhalis, 1998 ) . CRS have contributed both strategic direction of the industry and one of the great illustration for coaction and DSS tools.

Figure 1 Beginning: Werthner and Klein ( 1999 ) , GDS: Global distribution system, CRS: Central reserve system, DMC: Finish Management Company, DMO: Finish Marketing Organization

Figure2, Source: Werthner and Klein ( 1999 ) , GDS: Global distribution system, CRS: Central reserve system, DMC: Finish Management Company, DMO: Finish Marketing Organization

3.3.2 Global Distribution Systems ( GDSs )

Global distribution system acts as a directory which contains information about figure of travel agents and hotels so the travel agents can run into consumers on planetary footing. GDSs serve more than 50,000 travel agents global ( Collins, Buhalis and Peters, 2003 ) . CRS were introduced into the air hose industry in mid 1980i??s and shortly emerged into planetary distribution system ( GDS ) by spread outing their geographical coverage and by increasing their interactivity with the air hose systems and other touristry services including hotels, auto leases, ferry ticketing, amusement and other proviso ( Buhalis, 1998 ) . GDS normally provide travel agents with multiple CRS. Amadeus and Galileo are of import illustrations in respect to UK travel bureaus. Ioana Cristiana ( 2009 ) puts it as i??the travel organisations use travel service distribution companies who operate Global Distribution Systems ( GDS ) , such as Sabre Holdings, Amadeus, Galileo and Worldspan, to supply up to the minute, elaborate information on 10s of 1000s of flight, hotel and auto rental vacanciesi?? . These i??world leadingi?? GDSs are switches or merely computing machines that are connected on the one side to many different provider systems and on the other side to many terminal users. The terminal users of switch comprise travel agents with a individual reserve system to back up the gross revenues of air hose seats and related travel merchandises such as hotel and auto hire, via a individual computing machine terminus, normally a Personal Computer ( Buhalis, 1998 ) . GDS have a strong market portion and they have become a concern in their ain ways.GDS have now taken the topographic point of CRS and hence one of the most of import DSS and coaction ICT tools used by the travel and touristry industry today.

3.3.3 Use of Internet by the travel bureaus

Most of the travel bureaus have gained some presence on the cyberspace. Where is of great benefit to the consumer, it has helped the travel bureaus to better their market value. However booking from these on-line travel bureaus is sometimes complex to understand. The travel agents today make usage of packaging tools. These travel agents have links with sites that sell hotels online. is the most well-known illustration of travel bureau runing online in UK. Cristiana besides suggests that the rapid growing in this industry has provided an chance for non-tourism organisations such as Microsoft to come in the touristry market, and in making so, to make competition for traditional high street travel agents.

4. Potential Future Use of Information Systems

i??A cardinal regulation in engineering says that whatever can be done will be donei??

( Grove, 2001 )

This subdivision is to discourse the possible hereafter usage of IS and ICT for travel bureaus. Since cyberspace services are so popular and easy accessible. This subdivision is to discourse what the hereafter is for travel bureaus in todayi??s universe, when cyberspace services are so popular and easy accessible.

As discuss by Shanker, D ( 2008 ) i??Wirelessi?? is one of the following major engineerings for travel industry, its application will heightening in future. As Mobiles are keep decreasing in size, weight and monetary value on the other manus maintain on increasing in power, storage, connectivity, place and capablenesss therefore the Mobile services will be an of import channel of information and touristry services distribution for both suppliers and consumers in future. Electronic personal usher will be in common pattern. Furthermore Short Message Services ( SMS ) , Wireless Application Protocol ( WAP ) criterion for accessing the Internet with wireless devices like nomadic phones will be improved. GNSS ( Global Navigation Satellite System ) , for the place and GPRS ( General Packet Radio Services ) aid in managing better measures of informations than the GSM web will be practical in touristry industry. W-LAN ( Wireless Local Area Networks ) and Blue tooth, which gives wireless communicating at little distance, can besides be practical for travel bureaus.

Serviceability is highly important characteristic in future for the ICT integrating in travel industry. Shanker, D ( 2008 ) defines serviceability as i??the step to the quality of a useri??s experience while utilizing the ICT toolsi?? . It could be an result of an IS, a package application, web site, cellular engineering or other information engineering. It is critical for all the engineering and application compatible with each other with regard to user interface, set breadth and location.

All applications, engineering and services should be user friendly which can manage by the experts or the new novices expeditiously. Customer dealingss direction ( CRM ) engineerings can be enhanced by different travel bureaus schemes which maintain the old customeri??s attending every bit good as pulling fresh potency clients. Thre should be new engineerings for puting up the expedition which helps in engagement of all trips, besides aid in remaining different topographic points or merely local Tourss. In other words it should ease from the get downing to the coating of the trip.

Pre trip session, during trip session and station trip Sessionss should be decently laid out and enforced. Such activities can be better streamlined if the reserves installation can be outsourced every bit much as possible. Agreement should be made for i??Live Chati?? so that all questions of the client are answered at any clip. Reviews by the client, provender dorsums and studies should be in advancement to cognize the spreads if any. Samarium can besides be used for logistic updates ( Shanker, 2008 ) .

5. Decision

Tourism is today worldi??s largest turning industry generating of employment, GDP and investing chances. It is peculiarly good for the economic growing of the developing states. The part of travel organisations towards societal and economical development is huge. The tools of ICT have redesigned the construction of the traditional travel industry. In this study the outstanding alterations that IT has brought in the travel bureaus are overviewed. The applications of ICT tools that have played an of import in the development of touristry industry are besides discussed. It is besides noted that due certain properties of travel industry, the usage of ICT tools and applications is more marked in this industry. The essay has peculiarly stressed on the current and future usage of the tools of ICT/IS in the travel industry of UK and has aimed to develop a better understand of the applications of these tools.