E-tailing as an evolution of the distribution channel in tourism
Purpose of the paper: The paper aims to provide a concrete understanding of the changes that have affected the tourism market. More specifically, the study captures how the structure of industry has transformed and will continue to follow an evolutionary path.
Methodology: In order to examine the characteristics and preferences of e-tailing in tourism, we have conducted a quantitative study with a random sample of Italian and American customers.
Findings: New companies have entered the market, existing ones have revised their strategies, consumers have become more sophisticated when using the Internet as a tool for doing research and finding affordable deals. The evidence emerging from the analysis performed highlights how technological innovation has changed the relationship between company and customer and the buying behaviour of the latter in the tourism industry.
Research limits: The study suffers from a small sample size and a selection process that cannot be representative of the larger population of tourist customers. Hence, the results from the current study cannot be generalized to this wider community.
Practical implications: From the results of an online questionnaire, the paper provides empirical evidence of how the tourism industry can improve the virtual world on the basis of its experiences in the real world.
Originality of the paper: The value of this paper is to update the available knowledge on the distribution channel in tourism industry taking in consideration the recent evolutions of the structure of travel intermediation.
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