Ict in Tourism

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Progress and development of information and communication technologies in hospitality Crystal Ip, Rosanna Leung and Rob Law
School of Hotel & Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Abstract
Purpose – In order to enhance operational efficiency, improve service quality and reduce costs, practitioners in the hospitality industry have widely adopted and implemented information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their businesses. Understanding what has been done and how ICTs have performed in the past and are performing in the present could assist practitioners and researchers in identifying research gaps and formulating future plans. This paper aims to address these issues Design/methodology/approach – This study analyzed 88 full-length ICT-related research articles that were published in the period 1999-2008 in eight leading hospitality journals. The research focuses on all selected articles were in suppliers’ perspectives, and each article was analyzed by content analysis. Findings – Seven dimensions were formed after content analysis including human resources and training, security, reservation, revenue management, marketing, guest services, as well as strategic and operational management. Published articles were comprehensively overviewed on ICT usage in suppliers’ perspectives. In this paper, suppliers refers to the providers of hospitality services. Research limitations/implications – The major limitation of this study is the inclusion of only eight leading journals. Nevertheless, findings should be of use to researchers and practitioners to understand various ICT applications in the hospitality industry. Originality/value – A major contribution of this paper is its comprehensive review of previous studies and their contributions to hospitality. Future research areas on ICT development and implementation in suppliers’ perspective are also offered. Keywords Communication technologies, Hospitality services, Tourism, Serials Paper type Literature review

Progress of ICTs in hospitality

533
Received 26 January 2010 Revised 28 April 2010 20 May 2010 Accepted 21 May 2010

Background Ever since the 1980s, ICTs have been changing the way in which business is conducted in the hospitality and tourism industries (Buhalis and Law, 2008). Progress in ICTs has transformed business practices, strategies and industry structures dramatically (Porter, 2001). The development of computer reservation systems (CRSs) in the 1970s, global distribution systems (GDSs) in the late 1980s, and the internet in the 1990s not only generated a new paradigm-shift, but also changed operational practices in the industries (Buhalis, 2003; Buhalis and Law, 2008; Emmer et al., 1993; O’Connor, 1999). As ICTs have become more important, they have had a great impact on hospitality and tourism organizations and destinations, as well as the entire set of industries as a This project was supported by a research grant funded by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management Vol. 23 No. 4, 2011 pp. 533-551 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0959-6119 DOI 10.1108/09596111111130029

IJCHM 23,4

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whole (Buhalis and Law, 2008; United Nations World Tourism Organization, 2001). For instance, more travelers are now using search engines to plan and experience their trips because of the search engines’ carrying capacity and speed of information retrieval (Buhalis and Law, 2008). ICTs not only enable customers to search for and purchase customized hospitality and tourism products, but also benefit suppliers by developing, managing, and distributing their products without any time limits and geographical constraints to support the globalization of the industries by providing effective tools (Buhalis and Law, 2008). Since the rapid development and...
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