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05/01/2012

Dissertation Chapter 5 - How the Internet has Changed the Way Travel Agents Operate


Chapter Five

Discussion, Implications and Conclusion

 

 Introduction

This chapter reports the main findings in relation to the literature, interpretation from undertaking questions found in the questionnaire (ten questions and the 32 items – statements (refer to part C of the questionnaire). There can also implications that Internet impact was more on the positive side when it comes to effectiveness, performance and influence of Hong Kong travel agents. There also be about limitations reflecting the study and possible tenets for further research or future research in common terms.  

Main findings in relation to literature

There is a need for a continuous usage and practical application of the internet towards HK travel industry and its travel agents. Ensuring long term application of positive impact of internet on travel agents in order to respond as quickly and exercise travel service strategies in place. HK travel agents has put emphasis on innovation culture and technology, (Law and Wong, 2003) the internet has allowed a more patterned and designed upgrade on travel agents effectiveness and performance along with internet disposition and impact on the industry base. HK travel industry had been diversifying into services complementary to customer service, including fast service, culture success and travel agents timing and management (Law and Wong, 2003). The case study approach (Yin, 2008) involved utilization of methodology process integrating direct ideas and concepts, into primary source upon signifying research modifications to be executed in research. There has been level of analysis adopted and adding complexity of cases building standard upon theory, to challenge theories and explain situation on the internet and its impact to HK travel agents.

For example, Creswell (2006), indicated focus on narrative research, linking to research experience noting how and why several themes do to assume useful insight toward ideal standpoint respectively. The choice of data collection is a critical point in the research process and the presentation of data acquired by this research, discuss and explain certain underlying issues and principles that support structure and contents of research presentation. There examined view of travelers and those short haul and long haul travelers in particular, on the potential for disintermediation of travel agents/agencies getting opinions of travelers who have experience in using travel Web sites about the elimination of the middleman in making transactions for travel products and services. The emergence of Internet for HK travel agents, information transmission can be addressed effectively; tourists can now receive comprehensive, timely and relevant information into virtual environment to assist the overall decision making process.

Internet impact on HK travel agents

Internet nowadays have evolved fast and provided great influence on the lives of the people for the reason of convenience, easy communication and many other functions that has a positive sense on reality. The internet has dominated the world of travel industries in many countries and Hong Kong is no exception of the latter. The internet surges on a high end leveling wherein travel agencies are getting positive scoop on sales, profits as well as several online based promotions. The internet impacts positively on the easy arrangement and fast online purchase on several services/products, offered by the travel agents. The future of travel agents, as there can relate to traditional intermediary became an uncertain base. The role of travel agencies would remain secure if the advice offering capability were strengthened by the presence of the Internet, rather than if they functioned according to the more negative image of being simply in the booking agency.

Performance of agents due to internet presence

HK travel agents have made effective performance on the verge of internet and its impact into travel agents services as ready to hand to manage financial crisis when unexpected turn of events have affected travel agents as the internet has change attitudes of customers and advertise internet dominance and popularity by word of mouth. There was indeed an effective development on travel agents and chain which responded promptly to the internet presence, the ability to engage in a spontaneous research over a period of time.

Indeed, HK travel agents were putting more emphasis on innovation culture and technology, the internet has allowed a more patterned and designed upgrade on travel agents effectiveness and performance along with internet disposition and impact on the industry base. HK travel industry had been diversifying into services complementary to customer service, including fast service, culture success and travel agents timing and management. There were desires of helping HK travel agents into the travel industry, amicably understand the emergence of technology by means of the internet age and the recognition of modern technology approaches, in order to anticipate the various engagement of internet base into the future specification of HK travel agents and other aspects that allow technology strategies to be on top of awareness and change areas.

Travel industry services

The emergence of travel services and products, coupled with increase in tourism demand, has driven wide scale adoption of information technology as a whole, particularly the Internet presence as one effective electronic intermediary tool. Ideally, the impact of the internet has been towards the serves of innovation and culture that lies within open communication and feasible distribution of integrative channel for such online based travelers as well as to the suppliers of travel services and products by means of internet assumption. The innovative channel enable travel agents and its business improve value and substance in competitiveness and performance, internet has brought in business networks to people in the industry.

 

Several of the researchers have emphasized importance of the internet on travel agents as the latter ideally provide ways for the travel agents to sell online services and products globally as such to several potential travelers at any given time. Indeed, the travel agents can now understand every customer needs, target the customers individually and deliver tailor made online products, travel agents can understand how to deliver information and sell products and services to customers directly through the internet and such websites. The rapid growth of internet is having an impact on some distribution of travel services and had heightened speculation about the potential for disintermediation of the travel agents. There was a research investigation that recognizes the impact of the internet on distribution of travel services and the extent to which it has influenced travel agencies, thus one which has witnessed speedy growth of the internet.

HK travel agents internet attribution

There provided  perception of respondents regarding the key challenge in terms of internet impact towards Hong Kong travel agents, in this regard, the respondents from the Hong Kong travel agency sectors have revealed that complete agreement and agreement to the given statements. The respondents have agreed that the factors that affect Hong Kong travel industry sectors is the market demand and supply, the changing internet base, disintermediation and intermediation issues in of posing internet impact towards Hong Kong travel agents respectively.

Behavior on internet presence

The respondents have agreed that internet adheres effective standing among Hong Kong travel agents affecting HK tourism. It has been noted that the internet led market and Hong Kong travel factors have affected the way travel sectors operate due to internet usage. Travel agency sectors have revealed that strong agreement and agreement to the given statements. The respondents have strongly agreed that the factors that affect travel sectors in Hong Kong is the market demand and supply, the changing pace of internet innovation, intermediation and disintermediation modes and many others, the core impact of IT in making HK travel agents perform better and put real sense into the picture.

Internet base and performance

HK travel agents have agreed also that, Internet had great usage within Hong Kong based agencies as there adheres to the effective presence of the internet and all of its important aspects which  dramatically increased, due to innovative base of information which implies to the situation known by travel agents into the travel agency market in Hong Kong.

Travel agents effectiveness and success

Respondents have agreed that intermediation and disintermediation modes in HK travel agencies affect HK tourism and its prospect zone. It has been noted that HK internet market factors have affected the way HK travel agents operate. Furthermore, agreed that internet culture and innovation beginning may affect operations and performance of HK travel agencies and travel agents during internet influence and its transition period, specifically in terms of capabilities to incorporate other services as part of travelling industry approach.

Statement response interpretation

Reasons for Internet Innovation

Internet innovation is needed by HK travel agents for convenience and ease of work. About eleven f the respondents have placed answer on internet innovation is needed by HK travel agents for mobility and updated resources. The other four did tackle on convenience and ease of work. There has to be convenience and ease of work so that HK travel agents can render full service to HK tourists and visitors equally. Also, mobility and updated resources to bring in positive wisdom on how travel agency projects into the HK tourism market.

Reasons for standards and guidelines

Majority of the respondents placed relevance to travel agency standards and guidelines of operations on Internet sites and databases for their work use.  Thirteen of them have grounded the need for HK travel agency to set aside traditional means of doing travel agency work but to process and embrace modernism and utilize pc network and internet based activities such as online approval of tourists booking of flights and payments, e-payments to be appropriate.

Advice for HK agencies

Thirteen respondents had advised HK travel agencies to post and update enough informative content on its traveling websites, putting everything in categorization such as home page (about the agency), product/service page, ticketing and schedule page, travel and tourism promotions and a lot more. The other two more on traditional means and did not fully support the Internet dependence for HK travel agents.

Goal of internet (innovation and culture/intermediation and or disintermediation)

All respondents have tackled on innovation and culture being the imperative measure to internet goal but it is also a one matter of intermediation or disintermediation of HK travel agents despite studies on disintermediation, limiting Internet base and travel agents effectiveness. There poses disintermediation on HK travel business economic and issues on intermediaries, and IT enabled reintermediation for instance. Intermediation or disintermediation of HK travel agents matters travel industry condition and stop lack of knowledge by travel agents.

Internet coverage and ways

Fourteen HK travel agents accepted full coverage of internet and its salient aspects of function into the travel industry by carefully partaking each of the actual scenery, like HK travel agents engagement into 2 weeks long of IT based training and development for an added wisdom of the internet and its numerous application to the HK travel industry.

HK travel agent’s definite status and performance

Thirteen respondents implied that being one of HK travel agent is of definite status and performance upon utilizing the internet and its relevant drivers for innovative value and culture inculcation by continuously updating his/her knowledge and skills when it comes to internet know-how and actual and direct basis of culture and value of innovative prospects. For example, Aileen, a HK travel agent manager for two years is serious when it comes to performance effectiveness of her team and constantly monitors her practical knowledge as well as the team on travel industry and its modern use of the computers and the internet as a whole. In turn, she exhibits a definite status and performance because of her initiative and leadership mindset.

The two respondents answer question unclearly.

Managerial Implications

For the implications, it has found out that the impact of internet on travel agents into the travel industry had been key part of Hong Kong's economy. The total travel agents services on the internet were in stable valuation, presenting debates on intermediation and some disintermediation of travel agencies due to technological innovation, culture and change. The impact of internet on travel agents can be seen as human based cycle consisting of number of performance oriented activities.  The internet contributes to the most high end value of HK travel industry through the agents high end performance as well as considering coverage of internet foundation and sense. Research study is not just for the benefit of the readers and the researcher in general but for the Hong Kong government and society as well. The impact of internet on travel agents has been at large; therefore HK travel agents operating in the travel industry and its nature do imply positive inference of the initial research paradigm.

Thus, various Hong Kong travel perspectives and the Internet would need attention on the basis of research. The concept of Internet effectiveness and performance as well as influence into the industry would have provided interesting concepts to tackle research aims and purpose. Thus, to apply theory perspective on enough opportunity for future research in relation to the research premises. In addition, there has been wide scope of travel agent actors and perspectives in future research, it could be interesting to study emerging tenets on travel agencies and the progression of Internet media in other travel industries aside Hong Kong. Indeed, it would be interesting to gain an understanding of Hong Kong travel agencies and its travel agents in relation to the different impact of Internet presently.

Conclusion

The core findings of study focus on the impact of internet on travel agents and evidence on how the Internet has changed the way travel agents operate in Hong Kong. This put basis on the answers to part two, answers to initial 10 questions and part c which adhere to the responses made to the statement like questions in categorical standing using the likert scale interpretation.  This chapter therefore, posed an innovative channel enable travel agents and its business improve value and substance in competitiveness and performance, internet has brought in business networks to people in the industry. Several of the researchers have emphasized importance of the internet on travel agents as the latter ideally provide ways for the travel agents to sell online services and products globally as such to several potential travelers at any given time.

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