The aim of this report is to look at the possible implementation of computer and information technologies at the Thames Valley University, London School of Hotel Training (TVU/LSHT). This has become necessary because the business has experienced a severe downturn in revenue since 2009 which has resulted in them experiencing trading losses and a lack of investment in both the business and the facilities. Consequently, it has been recognised that a new strategy needs to be devised; which will include the development of new facilities, the enhancement of existing facilities and the introduction of a hotel wide computerisation system which will maximise the hotels operational efficiency.
This proposal will specifically present the Consultants vision for the effective and successful introduction of information technology within the TVU training hotel; it will also take into account the increasing statutory obligations that it needs to meet.
According to Wood and Brotherton (2008, p.331) Lodging businesses can no longer expect to succeed without the solid support of information technologies (IT), this is true for a variety of reasons but is partly because the current customers that the lodging establishments are looking to attract are part of the Net Generation, these people are surrounded in their daily life by IT, if these people are not provided with the technology that they are used to using they will not return, hence lost business.
ICT is now a prominent part of our daily life, within the tourism industry it is quickly becoming an important tool for a hotels organisation, it enables them to become competitive and is a good way of communicating with both consumers and partners. ICT is increasingly becoming a source that is enabling competitive advantage for the hospitality industry (Buhalis 2003, p.336). (See table 1). The introduction of ICT is especially important for TVU as it is classed as a small to medium sized hotel, this is because it currently has 18 guest rooms which will be rising to 25 after the improvements have been implemented, this size of hotel was defined by the World Tourism Organisation (2000) as a SMHO when they stated that a hotel with less than 50 rooms is categorised as a small to medium sized hotel. Studies have shown that the smaller hotels can benefit significantly from the introduction of technology, these benefits can include:
• Operational advantage – Property management systems
• Tactical advantage – Yield management
• Strategic management – Decision support systems
TVU have made it quite clear in their brief that they are looking to upgrade and customise their accommodation they intend to do this by increasing their guest bedroom stock from its current 18 to 25, this increase is primarily to enable TVU to address the minimum needs which are required for them to compete in the conference and wedding markets, they will do this by introducing three different room types these are to include a Manor Deluxe Double Room, a Manor Double Room and a Manor Twin Room, by offering these three levels of accommodation they will be able to attract a variety of cliental and as a result will be able to achieve competitive advantage over other hotels which do not offer such a varied choice of accommodation. (Main 2002, p.168)
The internet has radically changed the tourism distribution channels and booking patterns and as such has changed tourism consumer behaviour (Mills & Law 2004). It has now become the most important pre departure tools, as travellers now have the ability to gather information about the places they want to visit as well as being able to make reservations directly. It has been identified that travel tickets and accommodation bookings are the most purchased products over the internet (see table 2) Booking online is in fact rapidly rivalling the...