A famous person once said and I quote, “Follow your dreams”. Holidays are dreams which people perceive and Tourism is all about selling those “far-fetched dreams” and bridging the gap between ‘fantasy and reality’. Tour operators use the internet to portray a “picturesque description” of a “dream destination” which we as tourists are lured to follow. Tourism can be viewed as an unforeseen, unpredictable service industry which offers an intangible and perishable yet desirable experience to the consumer. It can be defined as a multifaceted, multidimensional activity which touches many lives and many different economic activities. (Chris Cooper et al, 2005)
Tourism produces and sells product bundles instead of products (products being “experiences”) which are very intangible, products that cannot be stored (simultaneity of production and consumption), therefore perishable. As far as the tourist is concerned, the product covers the complete experience from the time he leaves home till the time he reaches his chosen destination. (Barnett, M & Standing, C, 2001)
For travel and tourism in the Twenty First century, intermediation comes about through ‘tour operators’ or ‘wholesalers’ assembling the components of the tourist’s “ideal/dream” holiday destinations into attractive packages and promoting the same by offering them at appealing prices through such mediums as the internet. (A, Lockwood, & S, Medlik, 2001).
Traditionally, tour operators tend to pre-reserve or pre-purchase combinations of transport and accommodation services to integrate them into standardized “inclusive tours” or “holiday packages”, distribute them through brochures displayed in travel agencies and sell them at inclusive prices. (Buhalis, D, 1998). But as tourists become sophisticated and more demanding, they seek high quality... [continues]
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