Case Study: ICT Use Is Applied

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[. . .] " (2009) Sigala states that multimedia technologies are "…being referred to as the technological wave of ICT developments and are defined as "a host of computer-delivered services made-up of textual and no-textual information that integrate several sources of media and data such as video, graphics, animation, audio, text." (2009)

Multimedia is "an all-embracing term that cuts across a wide variety of ICT vehicles and tools [i.e., interactive/digital television, Internet and its applications (E-mail, WWW, etc.,), other Web-based networks such as intranets and extranets, interactive CD-ROMs and DVDs (digital versatile disc), videoconferencing systems, multimedia PCs or palmtops, virtual reality, etc.]." (Sigala, 2009) A primary aspect of multimedia is that of 'interactivity' which is reported to be define8d as "actions or methods used to actively participate with the content of a program which has been designed to respond in a very specific way to each decision, choice, or request made by the user. (Sigala, 2009) Furthermore, interactivity is reported to ensure "…a bidirectional flow of information between user and multimedia, easy navigation and search, and use of multimedia databases that on the whole enhance multimedia's user-friendly operational environment. Overall, multimedia technologies can more effectively and efficiently create, distribute, and manage information." (Sigala, 2009)

Radhakrishna (2010) reports that the following measures were found to increase the Marketing Campaign for hotels::

(1) Pre-test to weed out ineffective advertisements;

(2) Determine advertisement budgets strategically;

(3) Media continuity, not concentration;

(4) Use promotions tactically;

(5) Tactical coordination of marketing communication;

(6) Redefining the scope of marketing communication;

(7) Application of information technology; and (8) Financial and strategic integration. (Radhakrishna, 2010)

The OECD Conference on Innovation and Growth in Tourism (2003) reports that the tourism industry "…has always been very proactive regarding the adoption of new technologies." The tourism industry has a new potential in terms of its telecommunications, networking, database, data processing and electronic marketing in addition to these having a significant impact on the traditional tourism business model. Information and communications techno8logy "value to tourism services and products and supports the development of industry networks and clusters." (OECD, 2004, p.6) The OECD report states that consumers today are "…becoming increasingly familiar with the use of ICT in their tourism arrangements. They seek flexible, specialized and easily accessible products and would like to communicate directly with tourism producers. Therefore, tourism enterprises inevitably need to adopt innovative methods to enhance their competitiveness. To take advantage of this ICT revolution, entrepreneurs need to reengineer the entire marketing process of the industry. Internet technology offers enterprises and consumers great potential for online direct business. ICT is changing the way travel and tourism services are distributed and is also inc8reasing efficiency, quality and flexibility in the marketing and distribution of tourism products and services." (OECD, 2004, p.6)

According to the OECD, e tourism is presently "rather marginal in total tourism turnover for the time being however, Internet travel sites are reported to "…demonstrate some of the highest online sales performance. Internet distribution of travel and tourism products can generate substantial cost reduction advantages for providers of tourism services but also for consumers. The Internet represents a practical tool for providing the consumer with all the up-to-date tourist information on the destination. For the economy as a whole, there is no doubt that travel and tourism contribute largely to transform internet into economic growth by creating innovative and profitable e-business tourism models." (OECD, 2004, p.6)

The stated challenge is development of policy instruments focused on tourism innovation and network facilitation for the purpose of "…innovation in tourism and related to the facilitation of networks "for innovation of tourism enterprises and destinations." (OECD, 2004, p.6) The OECD report states that since branches of the tourism industry which include such as hotel chains, airlines, tour operators and car rental agencies which all of which are reported to be "high concentrated and act as global players" and simultaneously the small and mid-size tourism enter8prises are experiencing increases in competition, the market conditions are enhanced. It is reported that tourism firms should make an attempt to "…enter into competition that is constructive rather than destructive. While the former would make the pie bigger, broaden the product platform and finally gain successful product differentiation and innovation for world-class products, the latter would keep firms competing for the same slice of the pie and result in product convergence and price wars. It is therefore important that tourism entrepreneurs know how to co-operate with each other in order for there to be constructive competition." (OECD, 2004)

Online intermediaries are reported in the work of O'Connor and Murphy (nd) to be such that "attract[s] consumers-based 8on their convenience, rich feature set and highly competitive prices. Supplier sites cannot compete on these dimensions and instead need to leverage their customer relationships to build and retain loyalty. They suggest that by using sophisticated CRM techniques, hotels can combat the online intermediaries. By developing close customer relationships, they reduce the danger of substitution, thus helping to insure long-term profitability." Dale (2003) is reported to have identified five categories of relationships in the tourism industry including those as follows:

(1) Channel - enables one company to access the distribution channels of another;

(2) Collaborative, where competitors cooperate with each other to achieve goals that would be difficult in isolation;

(3) Communicative, where content from infomediaries enriches and adds value to partner websites;

(4) Complementar8y, where companies cross sell products normally bought together (e.g. flights and hotel rooms); and (5) Converse, where the partners distribute unrelated products, thus allowing each one to access the distribution channels of the other in a non-threatening manner. (O'Connor and Murphy, 2010)

O'Connor and Murphy (nd) relate the prediction that competition in the tourism in the future "will be dictated more by the network of partners as a whole than by a single intermediary, and advises firms to participate in such networks unless they want to be left at a competitive disadvantage" (cited in O'Connor and Murphy, nd)

'Open Hospitality' is a provider globally of "hotel Internet marketing solutions." (Open Hospitality, 2011) Open Hospitality is reported as a "global provider of hotel Internet marketing solutions" and it was reported in 2008 that Open Hospitality and RateTiger "the highly successful revenue management solution by eRevMax, have signed a marketing agreement to deliver reservation processing via Facebook social media on a global basis. The agreement will enable hotels to utilize all the channel management capabilities of RateTiger to distribute inventory and rates to Open's online reservation booking engine on the hotel's facebook presence." (Open Hospitality, 2011) The following is reported on the applications of 'Open Hospitality: "Open Hospitality first quarter 2009 results demonstrate the power of our integrated Internet e-marketing and consumer booking solutions. Reservations volume increased 37% from the prior quarter. Hotel direct online bookings represented more than $50 million, just over 280,000 room nights. These results prove that hotels can increase contributions from their most profitable sales channel, even during tough times. Combining our strong booking capabilities with excellent e-Marketing solutions, enables our client hotels to foc8us on the Internet segment very cost effectively. As the economy rebounds, the travel sector will take time to fully recover but we have lost no time building new market share for hotels…" (Open Hospitality, 2010)

Open Hospitality includes QuickStart TM, a new cost effective solution that serves to generate an online presence immediately and one that enables the creation of hotel bookings. Open Hospitality reports that this "innovative Internet hotel booking solution enables hoteliers to have rapid impact with more potential consumers and then capture those bookings online. Internet-savvy travel bookers are on the rise, and QuickStartTM facilitates the online buying needs of these consumers. Hotels may select from a portfolio of over 20 expertly designed websites." (Open Hospitality, 2011) QuickStart TM provisions include those stated as follows:

(1) Powerful and proven web-booking engine

(2) 10 web pages that highlight the hotel's compelling content and images

(3) Data capture of traveler profiles

(4) Feedback surveys that cultivate customer retention

(5) Regular email marketin8g campaigns

(6) Reports and Analytics

(7) Complete web-hosting services. (Open Hospitality, 2011)

QuickStartTM is reported to makes provision of "an immediate access to a wider range of Internet marketing strategies at a fraction of the cost of buying these services individually. Open Hospitality clients attain prominent positioning on search engines thus increasing their visibility while gaining a competitive sales advantage." (Open Hospitality, 2011)

The OECD (2004) states the following recommendations for the tourism industry:

(1) Improve the internal dynamics of innovation in tourism by pushing firms to adopt a more proactive attitude towards innovation, notably through a shift from simple technology watch to economic intelligence.

(2) Improve the efficiency of national innovation systems: improve the training of operators and staff, develop the role of public and private agents, and stimulate research (e.g. create a genuine multidisciplinary network).

(3) Improve incentive systems for operators and employees. The extent to which governments can help the business sector become more innovative may… [END OF PREVIEW]

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