The Effectiveness of the Internet as a Marketing Tool in Tourism
With the ever-increasing number of people accessing the Internet and the recent explosion of e-commerce world wide, there are considerable implications for the tourism industry. Tourism suppliers are investing in the Internet via web pages, advertising and e-commerce, but what role does the Internet actually play in tourism? Before more money is placed into this new 'e-economy', it is important to study the effectiveness of the Internet as a marketing tool in tourism. In order to better address the concerns described above, this research accomplishes several tasks. First, the significance of researching Internet use within the tourism context is established. Specifically, theories and concepts from postmodernism, post-industrialism and post-structuralism are drawn upon as they frame this study. Second, this research explores motivation and decision making within tourism and how the Internet is used during stages of travel preparation, planning and activities. Third, this research explores tourist preferences for novelty and familiarity in three dimensions; travel services, social contact and destination choices, and examines how these are associated with Internet use. The general structure of tourism markets in relation to Internet use as well as novelty and familiarity preferences are also discussed. Three case studies are undertaken to examine these matters: winter tourists, summer tourists and cruise tourists. Novelty-seekers were found to be the most frequent group of Internet users, and also were the most likely to consult a wider variety of information sources when making travel-related decisions. Results also indicate that Internet use for travel varies according to seasonality and destination choices rather than primary activity.
School:University of Waterloo
School Location:Canada - Ontario
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:geography tourism internet marketing segmentation novelty seeking
Date of Publication:01/01/2004