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Building 'Flexible' vacation packages using collaborative assembly toolkits and dynamic packaging: The case study of the eKoNES

Akoumianakis, D.V., N.; Akrivos, A.; Milolidakis, G.; Kotsalis, D.; Vellis, G. 2011, Journal of Vacation Marketing Vol 17 side 17-30.

The paper motivates and presents an approach for assembling innovative information-based products and services by virtual cross-organization communities of practice. Using a case study on assembling vacation packages, we describe the cross-organizational virtual partnership, the mechanics allowing it to operate as a virtual community of practice and how collective intelligence of the members is appropriated to ensemble innovative information-based products for tourists. The results provide useful insights into innovating through virtual networking as well as the ICT tools that may be used to foster value-creating networks of practice in boundary spanning domains. © The Author(s) 2011..

Mass customization of travel packages: data mining approach

Al-salim, B. 2007, Flexible Services and Manufacturing Journal Vol 19 side 612-624.

This article employs a mass customization strategy to design travel packages that minimize the operation and processing costs for the service provider on one hand, while aligning the components of the packages to maximize customer satisfaction on the other. Data mining is used to identify rules of association to develop this model. Hidden relations in the massive travel agencies' databases are revealed by using the association rules technique to customize travel packages according to customers' requirements. This approach leads to fewer, but more manageable and popular travel package promotions. The overall package selection problem is modeled as an integer program that minimizes costs of operation and processing. Two different solution approaches were used: a mathematical modeling language approach and a heuristic algorithm approach. An illustrative numerical example based on a synthetic data set is also presented. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT].

Understanding Travel Time Expenditures Around the World: Exploring the Notion of a Travel Time Frontier

Banerjee, A.Y., Xin; Pendyala, Ram M. 2007, Transportation Vol 34 side 51-65.

Travel behavior researchers have been intrigued by the amount of time that people allocate to travel in a day, i.e., the daily travel time expenditure, commonly referred to as a "travel time budget". Explorations into the notion of a travel time budget have once again resurfaced in the context of activity-based and time use research in travel behavior modeling. This paper revisits the issue by developing the notion of a travel time frontier (TTF) that is distinct from the actual travel time expenditure or budget of an individual. The TTF is defined in this paper as an intrinsic maximum amount of time that people are willing to allocate for travel. It is treated as an unobserved frontier that influences the actual travel time expenditure measured in travel surveys. Using travel survey datasets from around the world (i.e., US, Switzerland and India), this paper sheds new light on daily travel time expenditures by modeling the unobserved TTF and comparing these frontiers across international contexts. The stochastic frontier modeling methodology is employed to model the unobserved TTF as a production frontier. Separate models are estimated for commuter and non-commuter samples to recognize the differing constraints between these market segments. Comparisons across the international contexts show considerable differences in average unobserved TTF values. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT].

Twisting tradition: Consumers' behavior toward alternative closures

Barber, N.A.T., D. C.; Dodd, T. H. 2009, Journal of Food Products Marketing Vol 15 side 80-103.

Consumer evaluations of products are not entirely based on the absolute attributes or value of the product, but rather on the discrepancy between the product's attributes and the expectations consumers have for that product. Following the Dowling and Staelin model on perceived risk, an evaluation was made of how alternative product closures interplay with consumers' situational use, subjective knowledge, level of self-confidence, and gender to influence the purchase decision. The results provide support for the importance of such factors as situational use, the consumer's gender, level of self-confidence, and subjective knowledge, and how the style of closure affects the purchase decision. Managerial implications of the findings are mentioned..

Gender differences in information search: Implications for retailing

Barber, N.D., T.; Kolyesnikova, N. 2009, Journal of Consumer Marketing Vol 26 side 417-428.

The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence on search behavior of gender, purchase confidence, and internal knowledge in different purchase situations. It is expected that there will be gender differences on search behavior, particularly given different purchase situations. Design/methodology/approach - Multivariate analysis of variance was used to analyze the main and interaction effects of the independent categorical variables on multiple dependent interval variables. An online survey was distributed to employees in different geographic locations in the USA. Findings - The results of situational use indicate that sources of information are perceived differently by males and females depending on their levels of purchase confidence and internal knowledge, suggesting that, when consumers consider sources of information, such as retail clerk, family/friends or themselves, the purchase situation influences that decision. Research limitations/implications - The measure of the situational influence through brief descriptions of hypothetical consumption situations was required. Such descriptions could not include every possible feature of a natural setting, resulting in subjective interpretation by respondents of what are socially acceptable, possibly confounding results. Practical implications - Consumers bring to the buying decision different types of experiences and expectations. Understanding how males and females seek varied sources of external information is relevant to the service industry in designing promotional plans, whether the product of choice is a restaurant, vacation resort, and hotel or tourism destination such as a winery. Originality/value - The contribution of the research is to broaden the understanding of search behavior and the role gender plays, particularly in different purchase situations. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited..

Paid search for online travel agencies: Exploring strategies for search keywords

Blankenbaker, J.M., Shankar 2009, Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management Vol 8 side 155-165.

Sponsored search is a large and growing advertising channel for online retailers. Although advertisers appreciate that search engines can serve ads triggered by particular search terms that only need to be paid for when the ad delivers a potential customer, we suspect that many advertisers are not capturing all the benefits of paid search because they do not have a clear picture of what they are trying to accomplish. In order to help advertisers improve their search spend, we provide an overview of Google's adWords, which is the dominant paid search program, and describe the fundamental metrics of paid search and their relationships with one another. We identify three different goals an advertiser might have for a particular keyword: traffic growth, profit and a hybrid approach we term self-funding. Finally, we provide recommendations for how to treat some broad categories of keywords. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT].

Getting away from it all. Exploring freedom in tourism

Caruana, R.C., A. 2011, Annals of Tourism Research Vol 38 side 1495-1515.

This study adopts critical discourse analysis to examine the construction of freedom in texts produced by cultural brokers. Specifically we investigate: how freedom is constructed in tourism texts; how this varies across different types of tourism experience; and how the individual tourist's freedom is situated with respect to that of other actors involved in the tourism experience. We demonstrate that the concept of freedom is fluid and highly specific to the particular form of tourism being promulgated. However, a common set of practices are used to make freedom intelligible, regardless of the nature of the specific text or form of tourism. Ultimately, we establish that discourses of freedom are themselves constitutive of power relations that are context specific. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd..

Pricing Traditional Travel Agency Services: A Theatre-Based Experimental Study

Catenazzo, G.F., Emmanuel 2010, Journal of Service Science and Management Vol 3 side 272-280.

Airline commissions' cuts and the use of Internet for bookings have severely affected traditional (physical) travel agencies. To survive, travel agents are redesigning their job as to become travel consultants. However, customers seem not to be willing to pay for the service provided and current fees are not representative of its perceived value. We have designed a theatre-based experiment to discover the Willingness-To-Pay for a travel agency service experience. Results show that individuals are not willing to pay anything for an unpleasant experience. By contrast, only 1/3 of the sample would pay enough for an outstanding service experience to make such a business sustainable. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT].

A TRIZ-based method for new service design

Chai, K.H.Z., J.; Tan, K. C. 2005, Journal of Service Research Vol 8 side 48-66.

This article demonstrates the viability of applying the theory of inventive problem solving (TRIZ) to services by proposing a new approach to new service design. Traditionally, the effectiveness of new service design is unpredictable as service design relies largely on inspiration and the past experiences of service designers. By integrating TRIZ problem-solving tools and its knowledge base, the authors propose a new TRIZ-based approach to address this weakness in service design. Through two case studies, the proposed model is verified. This demonstrates the relevance of TRIZ to service design. It is hoped that this article will raise awareness among service researchers so that more studies in this direction are conducted. © 2005 Sage Publications..

Towards ubiquitous tourist service coordination and process integration: A collaborative travel agent system architecture with semantic web services

Chiu, D.K.Y., Yves T.; Leung, Ho-fung; Hung, Patrick C. 2009, Information Systems Frontiers Vol 11 side 241-256.

With the recent advances in Internet and mobile technologies, there are increasing demands for ubiquitous access to tourist information systems for service coordination and process integration. However, due to disparate tourist information and service resources such as airlines, hotels, tour operators, it is still difficult for tourists to use them effectively during their trips or even in the planning stage. Neither can current tourist portals assist tourists proactively. To overcome this problem, we propose a Collaborative Travel Agent System (CTAS) based on a scalable, flexible, and intelligent Multi-Agent Information System (MAIS) architecture for proactive aids to Internet and mobile users. We also employ Semantic Web technologies for effective organization of information resources and service processes. We formulate our MAIS architecture for CTAS further with agent clusters based on a case study of a large service-oriented travel agency. Agent clusters may comprise several types of agents to achieve the goals involved in the major processes of a tourist's trip. We show how agents can make use of ontology from the Semantic Web to help tourists better plan, understand, and specify their requirements collaboratively with the CTAS. We further illustrate how this can be successfully implemented with Web service technologies to integrate disparate Internet tourist resources. To conclude, we discuss and evaluate our approach from different stakeholders' perspectives. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT].

Perceived fairness of price differences across channels: The moderating role of price frame and norm perceptions

Choi, S.M., A. 2009, Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice Vol 17 side 37-47.

This study examines the effects of contrasting multichannel pricing strategies (uniform versus differential pricing) on consumers' fairness perceptions, with a focus on the moderating roles of the relative positioning of prices in the marketplace (price frame) and consumers' perceptions of the differential multichannel pricing practice as a norm in the given industry (norm perception). The results of a scenario-based survey method with 2 (uniform versus differential multichannel pricing strategy) x 3 (positive, neutral, and negative price frame) x 2 (high versus low norm perception) factorial between-subject experimental design show that multichannel pricing strategy influences consumer fairness perceptions, and further, that these influences are moderated by both price frame and norm perceptions. © 2009 M.E. Sharpe, Inc. All rights reserved..

Travel Agency Marketing Strategy: Insights from Switzerland

Dolnicar, S.L., Christian 2007, Journal of Travel Research Vol 46 side 133-146.

This article provides insight into alternative strategies for travel agencies in a matured travel market with a high Internet penetration. Discounting arguments that claim that there will be no need for travel agents in the future, two possible roles for travel agents can be derived from theory and prior studies in the field: travel agents can survive if they focus on specific specialized services, such as travel consultation (specialization; hypothesizing that systematic differences exist between the usage of travel agents for different travel contexts); and travel agents can survive if they focus on specific segments of the market, such as older travelers (segmentation; hypothesizing that systematic differences exist between the usage of travel agents depending on the personal characteristics of travelers). Results indicate that the use of travel agencies is indeed associated with specific services related to package holidays, transport services, beach or city holidays, as well as destinations travelers are not familiar with. In contrast, no clear association between travel agent use and sociodemographic characteristics of travelers exists. Hence, the findings from this study support the notion that the most promising future for travel agents will lie in specializing in travel contexts and travel components where other booking channels and media are unlikely to be able to offer a full substitute for travel agent services..

Internet vs. travel agencies on pre-visit destination image formation: An information processing view

Frías, D.M.R., M. A.; Castañeda, J. A. 2008, Tourism Management Vol 29 side 163-179.

The present study aims to provide a deeper insight into the factors affecting the formation of tourism destination image. More specifically, it is an attempt to determine the influence that the Internet, as a new information source in intense competition with travel agencies, exerts on the development of the tourist's pre-visit image. With this objective in mind, the paper analyses the ways in which individuals process information proceeding from each of those sources by way of an empirical study based on a multicultural sample of 592 tourists. The results show that destination image is worse when tourists use a travel agency and Internet together, than when they use a travel agency alone. This effect is moderated by the degree of the tourist's message involvement and Internet experience. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved..

Integrating management and marketing strategies at heritage sites

Fullerton, L.M., Kathleen; Stephens, Simon 2010, International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research Vol 4 side 108-117.

Purpose - This paper aims to examine the integration of management and marketing practices at heritage sites in Ireland. Design/methodology/approach - The research process involved: phase one, a survey of 224 heritage attractions in Ireland and phase two, semi-structured interviews with the six organizations that represent the heritage sector on the island of Ireland. Findings - The findings suggest that market research and marketing communication are vital in achieving a balance between targeting cultural tourists and tourists with no specific interest in heritage. Research limitations/implications - The study has the restriction of being limited to the Irish case. However, these findings provide scope for further investigation, namely extending to other destinations and to sites which use different techniques. Originality/value - A combined commitment to visitor research by the individual heritage sites could provide information to the representative organizations to facilitate target marketing and improved onsite management. However, a change of mindset is required among heritage practitioners in Ireland regarding the use of marketing and the implications for onsite management. The authors propose that this is achievable through education linked to the study of models of best practice. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT].

Factors affecting outbound tourists' destination choice: The case of Hong Kong

Guillet, B.D.L., A.; Law, R.; Leung, R. 2011, Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing Vol 28 side 556-566.

Trip expenditure, length of stay during the trip, size of the travel party, monthly household income, discovering new places and/or things, and getting away from daily routine, role, obligation, stress and troubles have significant influence on Hong Kong residents' destination choice. Hong Kong residents' destination choice is highly associated with trip characteristic in comparison to socio-demographics and travel motivation factors. Destinations close to Hong Kong can focus on packaging their products with shorter trip lengths and making the packages attractive to travel companions in addition to the travelers. Destinations that are relatively far away from Hong Kong should focus on packaging their products to attract the Hong Kong outbound travelers with longer trip lengths and plan activities that cater to individual needs. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC..

Signifying practices and the co-tourist

Harvey, D.C.L., J. 2006, Tourismos Vol 1 side .

Within the paradigm of tourist studies there has recently been an acceptance of the democratization of tourism and consumption. Missing from the notion of the democratization of tourism is the role of status building through the creation of cultural capital enhancing experiences. While tourist spaces may be becoming democratized, the relationships between tourists within those spaces are not. Increasingly tourists are relying on the performance and presence of other tourists who have similar interests and motives, what we call the role of the co-tourist, to facilitate the tourist experience. This paper addresses the importance of recognizing status and consumption for the study of tourism, posits the notion of a co-tourist, and ends with some reflections on the co-tourist in Santa Barbara, California. © University of the Aegean..

Service customization: To upgrade or to downgrade? An investigation of how option framing affects tourists' choice of package-tour services

Jin, L.H., Y.; Song, H. 2012, Tourism Management Vol 33 side 266-275.

Package-tour operators often tailor trips to fit travelers' personal requirements to create higher customer value. In practice, there are various options available for presenting an identical package tour to potential customers. This research investigates how option framing influences travelers' decision making in a package-tour customization task. Based on a behavioral study and a logistic regression analysis, our results show that: (1) when both upgrading (i.e., starting from an economic package and customizing upwards) and downgrading (i.e., beginning with a luxury package and customizing downwards) methods are available, more consumers prefer upgrading to downgrading; (2) consumers customize their tour packages to a higher total price in the downgrading condition; (3) after separating peripheral service from core service attributes, our results further reveal that option framing affects peripheral services more than core services; and (4) consumers who are quality conscious and promotion-focused are more likely to choose a downgrading method for package-tour customization. Combined, these findings offer important managerial implications for travel companies. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd..

Placed-based information technology use on vacations

Kah, J.A.V., C.; Mackay, K. 2011, Tourism Geographies Vol 13 side 209-233.

This study aimed at examining whether information technology use during a vacation differed by perceived risk held by travellers. Perceived risk is a state of cognition that reflects actual and anticipated issues that may arise on a vacation in a place-based context. Risk theory tested in travel research has shown that information search and use reduces perceived risks and enables individuals to feel more positive about their trip experience. To date, no studies have shown how place-based information technology applications occur with travellers at various perceived risk levels. This research used a panel study to show information uses during a vacation, according to each day as the opportunities and challenges of a trip unfolded. Results show that traditional information uses were used most on vacation and technology-based information was used less. Both information uses were found not to differ by the two identified risk groups. Popielarz's notion that travellers use many types of risk-reduction strategies, including technology applications, appears to apply to these results. Diffusion of innovation theory may better explain the findings for place-based information uses than risk theory. © 2011 Taylor & Francis..

Price bundling and travel product pricing practices used by online channels of distribution

Kim, J.B., D. C.; Warnick, R. B. 2009, Journal of Travel Research Vol 47 side 403-412.

Price bundling is one of the most prevalent marketing practices in many industries, including hospitality and travel. Virtually all types of firms in the hospitality and travel industry, from suppliers such as hotels and airlines to intermediaries such as travel agents, are encouraging customers to purchase travel "packages" rather than a single component of travel to save money and streamline the purchasing process. The purpose of this research is to determine whether the practice of price bundling by online travel agents results in actual monetary savings for consumers (i.e., lower prices) relative to the prices charged by individual service providers (i.e., hotels and airlines) through their own online Web sites. The results indicate that there are monetary savings in the form of lower prices realized by consumers who purchase bundled offerings from online travel agents, and there is an interaction effect between channel and hotel class. © 2009 SAGE Publications..

Customers' cognitive, emotional, and actionable response to the servicescape: A test of the moderating effect of the restaurant type

Kim, W.G.M., Y. J. 2009, International Journal of Hospitality Management Vol 28 side 144-156.

This article explores the psychological processes by which the servicescape influences perceived service quality, pleasure-feeling, situational factor, and revisit intention. Drawing on Bitner's framework of environmental perception, the following questions are hypothesized: (1) Will the servicescape have a significant effect on customers' perceived service quality and pleasure-feeling? (2) Do customers' perceived service quality and pleasure-feeling positively influence revisit intention? (3) Does the situational factor, namely, the theme restaurant type have a moderation role among perceived service quality, pleasure-feeling, and revisit intention? The results emphasize that theme restaurant managers should seek an understanding of customers' perception process in relation to emotion and cognition. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved..

Three-Factor Model and Pyramid Model of Leisure Constraints

Kimmm, J. 2009, Journal of Travel and Tourism Research (Online) Vol side 122-138.

There have been constraint studies in the academic areas of leisure, recreation, and travel; and the hierarchical model of leisure constraints (Crawford et al 1991) has been tested frequently. However, the issues of invalidity of this model in hierarchical flow of constraints and in universal application have been raised. Therefore, the three-factor model of leisure activity participation constraints and the pyramid model of leisure activity participation constraints were developed to supplement the almost 20-year old model. Through the classroom survey at universities in the Republic of Korea, it turns out that 1) the structural, intrapersonal, and interpersonal constraints play a constraint role in leisure activity participation separately or together, and 2) structural constraints are most serious followed by intrapersonal and then interpersonal constraints. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT].

Examining the tourism distribution channel: evolution and transformation

Kracht, J.W., Youcheng 2010, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management Vol 22 side 736-757.

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine the evolution and transformation of tourism distribution channels, focusing on the role the internet has played in such a process. It attempts to graphically illustrate, in a temporal manner, the evolving complexity of the tourism distribution systems. Design/methodology/approach - This paper provides insights into the change of the structure of tourism distribution that has not been extensively explored. Indeed, the complexity of the tourism distribution structure has been diagrammatically depicted multiple times by previous researchers and each depiction has contributed to a fuller understanding of the body of knowledge by focusing on different aspects of that structure. This paper builds upon those valuable knowledge contributions by focusing on the evolution of the structure over time, systematically and diagrammatically revealing the progressively larger number of intermediation layers, in spite of concurrent disintermediation and reintermediation activity. This paper does not focus on every action of every participant in detail, but rather focuses on categories of intermediaries, looking at pioneering examples of each. Likewise, the comparative rates of technology adoption in different regions of the world are not investigated. Findings - The complex network proposed in this paper indicates that the advance of information and communication technology has not reduced the number of intermediaries in the distribution channel, but rather resulted in an increasingly complex array of intermediaries. The structure of the tourism industry has taken the form of a complex global network. In the struggle to prosper in this environment, participants at various levels will continue to compete, cooperate, merge, form partnerships, and change relationships on a regular basis. Originality/value - The extant literature has covered many aspects of intermediation, disintermediation, and reintermediation, albeit with differing terminologies. Most of these studies have adopted a static and cross-sectional approach in examining the structure and use of tourism distribution channels. This paper examines the historical evolution and progression of tourism distribution channels which is not only important in understanding where we are now as an industry, but also where we came from and where we are heading to.[PUBLICATION ABSTRACT].

Segmenting the nature-based tourists based on travel mode choice

Mehmetoglu, M. 2006, Journal of Hospitality and Leisure Marketing Vol 14 side 47-67.

This paper examines the diverse nature tourism market in terms of two broad segments: package and independent types. Based on a number of theoretical assumptions obtained from the general tourism literature, four research models (main hypotheses) were developed to assess the relationship between the travel mode choice of nature tourists and a series of socio-demographic characteristics, trip features, travel activities and travel motives. The necessary data for the study were subsequently collected from 162 visitors at two separate nature-based attractions (wilderness centres) located in Northern Norway that played host to independent and package tour visitors. To test the proposed hypotheses, four separate logistic regression analyses were carried out. Results indicated that independent and package nature tourists differed significantly in terms of gender, age, annual household income, trip expenditure and trip length as well as for most of the travel activities and some of the travel motivations. © 2006 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved..

Logistics management in practice - towards theories of complex logistics

Nilsson, F. 2006, International Journal of Logistics Management Vol 17 side 38-54.

The purpose of this paper is to present findings concerning what logistics managers perceive as being difficult and challenging, and what implications this may have for further advances in the logistics discipline. The point of departure for this study was to reflect on perceived problems, uncertainties, trends, and solutions in logistics, and how they are handled in the everyday work. The study was exploratory, inspired by grounded theory and aimed at providing grounds for further theory building in the area of real logistics. The findings of this study was related to human, organizational and social aspects, i.e. how understanding and sense-making can be accomplished in logistics efforts. A major outcome from this research endeavor was initial, empirically derived arguments toward theories of complex logistics. One primary finding of importance was the identification of understanding and sense-making of concepts, techniques and models in logistics. Thus, future research is needed to provide insights and guidance on how human factors can be considered and elaborated by management in logistics situations. Logistics complexity needs consideration when logistics processes and phenomena are approached to ensure increase understanding for people involved and affected, and for the sense-making of logistics phenomena. This paper contributes to knowledge and understanding of uncertainty and challenges in logistics with focus on human aspects and perception..

The use and perceived usefulness of information sources among Japanese overseas tourists

Nishimura, S.W., Robert; King, Brian 2006, Tourism and Hospitality Research Vol 6 side 284-295.

This investigation into the use and perceived usefulness of information among Japanese outbound travellers reports on the findings of a survey conducted with over 1,200 Japanese travellers. The research examines information use by travellers about a range of travel components including restaurants, attractions and accommodation at both the before and during travel phases. It was found that travel guidebooks were the most heavily used source of information and their usefulness was evaluated as one of the highest during both phases. Using correspondence analysis, it is shown that while travel guidebooks were used heavily for finding out about most travel components, the only component that did not show significant reliance on information from travel guidebooks at either the prior to or during travel phases was accommodation. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT].

Travel arrangements and the distribution behaviour of New Zealand outbound travelers

Pearce, D.G.R., L.; Schott, C. 2009, Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing Vol 26 side 80-97.

This paper contributes to the literature on tourism distribution by examining the distribution behavior of 547 New Zealand outbound travelers segmented by the way in which they have made their travel arrangements: package tourists, independent travelers, and an intermediate group, package plus. The results reveal differences among the three segments in terms of travel characteristics, information search, booking, and purchase, but not profile attributes or the influence of distribution on destination or product choice. Variations are also found in channel behavior across the four different sectors examined: transport to and at the destination, accommodation, and attractions, and activities..

Domestic vs outbound booking and channel choice behavior: evidence from New Zealand

Pearce, D.G.S., Christian 2011, International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research Vol 5 side 112-127.

This paper seeks to analyze the extent to which New Zealand domestic and outbound travelers' book components of their trip in advance or at their destination and to explore the factors that influence this. Furthermore, the paper compares the distribution channels used by domestic and outbound travelers to purchase different travel products and to examine why these channels have been selected. The study involves the collection and analysis of data on the profiles, trip characteristics and distribution behavior of domestic and outbound travelers based on a nationwide telephone survey of 1,000 respondents. Little variation was found in the profile characteristics of domestic and outbound travelers but significant differences occurred in terms of the trip characteristics, the extent of booking in advance and at the destination, reasons why advance bookings were not made, how bookings were made and the channels used all exhibited significant differences according to domestic or outbound travel. This pattern was less consistent with regards to the factors influencing how the bookings were made and the factors affecting channel choice. The findings illustrate the complexity of travel decision-making issues, underline the need to take account of differences between domestic and outbound travel and across trip components, and to examine the factors that underlie distribution related behavior. The value and originality of this paper lie in the systematic comparison of the booking and channel choice behavior of domestic and outbound travelers, the search for factors influencing this behavior and a sectoral approach that differentiates transport to and at the destination..

Effects of package holiday information presentation on destination choice

Rewtrakunphaiboon, W.O., H. 2008, Journal of Travel Research Vol 47 side 127-136.

Holiday travel packaging is an important tool for destination marketing. However, little is known on how presentation of travel package information influences tourists' decisions. This article reports on an experiment that tested whether package information and package heading can influence destination choice. It is hypothesized that destinations with a less favorable image will benefit from being presented in a format with more attribute information and with a price heading. The hypotheses were tested with 200 university students and 200 United Kingdom residents. They were asked to evaluate experimentally designed beach package holidays to Mediterranean destinations. Results show that effects of package presentation format do not differ between less favorable and more favorable image destinations. Variations in package presentation format show similar effects regardless of the destination presented. The student sample shows a higher intention to visit when price is used as the package heading. Implications and avenues for future research are discussed. © 2008 Sage Publications..

Purchasing services online: a two-country generalization of possible influences

Riley, F.D.O.S., Daniele; Manaresi, Angelo 2009, The Journal of Services Marketing Vol 23 side 92-103.

This research aims to investigate consumers' likelihood of purchasing services online in two countries, the UK and Italy, which differ significantly in the population's uptake of Internet shopping. Four influences are considered: service type, contact with service provider prior to online purchase, familiarity with service provider, and experience with Internet purchasing. For motor insurance and travel, respondents were asked to indicate the probability of purchasing on the Internet the service of a provider they had used before, after a face-to-face contact with the provider, and also without prior contact with the service provider. Respondents were asked the same questions also for a provider they had not used before. Differences in the relative uptake of Internet shopping in the two countries did not alter the general results: a need for face-to-face contact with the service provider prior to online purchase and a preference for buying services from a familiar provider. Previous general experience of online shopping increases the likelihood of purchasing online. Research limitations/implications - Future studies should examine a broader range of service categories and should consider travel products of different complexity. Online/offline integration of service provision is very important, as consumers highly appreciate some form of human contact, prior to online purchase, even in countries where consumers are more used to shopping from home. The paper provides a better understanding of the influences on consumers' likelihood of purchasing services online. Findings are generalized in two countries, with different uptake of Internet shopping..

The Impact of Internet on Pricing Strategies in the Tourism Industry

Sahut, J.-M.H., Lubica 2009, Journal of Internet Banking and Commerce Vol 14 side .

The Internet has had a dramatic effect on the distribution of tourism products. The reintermediation which has taken place has led all distributors to implement more dynamic pricing strategies from the widespread use of Yield Management (YM) practices to price discount strategies. The Internet also influences the consumers' perception of pricing strategies. Consumers are increasingly aware of YM practices and the Internet has become the essential tool for finding the best price. However, there continues to be a certain disconnect between the channels used for searching for the best price available and those used by the clientele of luxury hotels in France to make their booking. Indeed, the telephone still dominates for this type of clientele when carrying out this type of transaction as they find it easier to use, it is entrenched in their habits and is perceived as being more secure. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT].

Drivers of a tourism e-business strategy: The impact of information and communication technologies

Stiakakis, E.G., C. K. 2011, Operational Research Vol 11 side 149-169.

The possible interactions among tourism organizations, their customers and other organizations are considered in this article. Based on these interactions, three drivers of an integrated e-business strategy in the tourism sector are suggested: (1) customizing tourist products, personalizing services and supporting mobile services, (2) sharing tourism information and operational data, and (3) offering tailor made products and supporting user-generated content. In order to emphasize our suggestions, the most representative figures derived from recent surveys conducted by the Sectoral e-Business W@tch are selected and analyzed. These figures are: (a) the use of customer relationship management applications in tourism and the importance of mobile services for different sectors of the economy including tourism, for the first driver, (b) the use of supply chain management systems, online purchasing and finally the use of broadband Internet as a complementary indicator, for the second driver, and (c) the use of ICT-enabled product and process innovations and dynamic packaging, for the third driver. The clear positive tendencies of these figures indicate the rising importance of our suggested directions as basic drivers of a tourism e-business strategy. © 2009 Springer-Verlag..

Tourism distribution channels in peripheral regions: The case of southland, New Zealand

Stuart, P.P., D.; Weaver, A. 2005, Tourism Geographies Vol 7 side 235-256.

This study examines the structure and functioning of tourism distribution channels in Southland, a temperate, peripheral region of the South Island of New Zealand, with a high degree of independent travel based mainly on natural features. It takes a regional perspective, adopts a supply-side approach and is based largely on the collection and analysis of information from in-depth interviews. Consideration of the distribution strategies aimed at each of five major segments - tour groups, special interest visitors, semi-independent travellers, independent travellers and business travellers - provides a focal point for synthesizing the analysis and discussion of channel structures. Businesses serving the group, special interest and semi-independent segments make greater use of inbound operators, wholesalers and retail travel agents and have their products pre-purchased in the market, generally either as part of a group or personalized package. Businesses catering to independent travellers tend to rely on a mix of 'en route' and 'at destination' strategies, involving information dissemination and sales through other intermediaries, especially information centres and formal or informal networks of other providers. The channel mix is influenced by regional supply and demand characteristics as well as by the prominence of circuit tourism in New Zealand. © 2005 Taylor & Francis Group Ltd..

Travel packaging on the Internet: The impact of pricing information and perceived value on consumer choice

Tanford, S.B., S.; Erdem, M. 2012, Journal of Travel Research Vol 51 side 68-80.

Packaging travel products on the Internet is increasing in prevalence, yet limited research exists on how consumers evaluate and purchase vacation packages online. Research on product bundling is plentiful but has been conducted primarily in non-Internet purchase settings. The current research seeks to fill the void in both areas by investigating consumer choices of Internet vacation packages. In this study, an online panel of research subjects chose between 12 pairs of Las Vegas vacation packages that varied as a function of rate transparency, savings, and price. The findings suggest that transparent pricing, that is, itemization of individual package components and discounts, is preferred if it reduces uncertainty or simplifies the decision process. Nontransparent pricing is more effective if savings are not shown or the price is higher than the alternative, in which case the itemized components complicate the decision process without providing useful information. © 2012 SAGE Publications..

Price transparency of bundled vacation packages

Tanford, S.E., M.; Baloglu, S. 2011, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research Vol 35 side 213-234.

This research evaluated how rate transparency, component bundling, price, and savings of vacation packages influence online purchase decisions. Subjects chose between 12 pairs of Cancun vacation packages, one transparent (individual component pricing displayed) and one opaque (total package price only). The price and savings of the packages were systematically varied in a within-subjects design using a simulated online booking questionnaire. Price was the strongest determinant of choice, but transparent pricing increased favorable impressions of fairness and value. Transparent pricing was most effective when the pricing was different from an opaque alternative, enhancing the impact of a lower price and mitigating the impact of a higher price. There appears to be minimal benefit to transparent pricing if it is the same as an opaque alternative, and it can be detrimental if the savings is not revealed. Online travel providers can use the results to enhance their pricing strategies through the display of information. © 2011 International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education..

Selling rooms: Hotels vs. third-party websites

Toh, R.S.R., P.; DeKay, F. 2011, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly Vol 52 side 181-189.

Hotels have a variety of internet distribution channels to help them sell rooms, including sites that have come to be called online travel agents (OTAs), or third-party websites, but the cost of using these intermediaries is considerable. This article examines how hotels can sell room inventory while maximizing net room revenues-chiefly, by steering customers to their own sites, rather than to the OTAs. Even though hotels want to sell rooms via their own channels, the hotel industry relies heavily on efficient and convenient OTAs to sell rooms. Based on eleven interviews (nine hotels, one third-party website, and one airline), we recommend the following ways to strengthen sales on hotels' websites: maintain a best-rate guarantee, optimize the website for search engines, mine data from customer profiles to provide custom offers, retain premium rooms for sale on the hotel website, offer discounts or other promotions to customers who book on the hotel website, offer incentives for returning guests who book on the hotel website, avoid giving loyalty points for OTA bookings, and enrich the hotel's website with information. Because the ability to offer low prices is a chief advantage of OTAs, many hotels have promoted price parity as one strategy for attracting customers. The results of tracking room rates of 13 hotels posted by third-party websites and hotels over a 17-week period demonstrated, however, that room rate parity is rare, even though all selling parties espouse such parity. Parity generally was found only for smaller hotels. The study also found that room rates fall as the date of arrival approaches, and it became clear that individual properties in a hotel chain follow the chain's overall pricing strategy. © The Author(s) 2011..

Tour operators and alternative tourism in Italy: Exploiting niche markets to increase international competitiveness

Trunfio, M.P., L.; Nigro, C. 2006, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management Vol 18 side 426-438.

Purpose - The paper sets out to analyses the approach of Southern Italian regions in the way they are developing different types of tourist products. Design/methodology/approach - In an attempt to measure tour operator preferences that impact the offer features, the tour operators' profiles have been traced, through a cluster analysis, in order to develop the market of new tourist products in Southern Italy. Findings - The findings prove that the attitude of foreign tourists in choosing Southern Italian destinations is influenced not only by seaside location and cultural products but also by alternative features, such as natural resources and enogastronomic traditions, which represent the differentiating and value-creating elements of the basic product. Moreover, the accommodation chosen confirms international tour operator loyalty. Research limitations/implications - The cluster definition helps in identifying collective strategies to promote macro destinations, connecting similar places linked by tourist need satisfaction. Future research should consider the different typologies of tour operators and try to compare different areas of Europe with Italy. Practical implications - New forms of tourism require specific and differentiated strategies supported by forms of international market penetration. The marketing thrusts should focus on the place vocation and a local hospitality system, developing and marketing local tourist products. Originality/value - This paper analyses the role of tourist operators in developing and marketing new destinations and typologies of tourism. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited..