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The Future eTourism intermediaries

By Dimitrios Buhalis and Maria Cristina Licata


<p>Hitherto, the travel distribution role has been performed by traditional outgoing travel agents, tour operators and incoming travel agencies. They were supported by computer reservation systems, Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) or tour operators’ videotext systems (or leisure travel networks). These <i>traditional electronic intermediaries</i> (eMediaries), particularly GDSs, progressively consolidated their position. The Internet created the conditions for the emergence of new eMediaries, based on three ePlatforms, namely the Internet, Interactive Digital Television (IDTV) and mobile devices. <i>New eMediaries</i> include a wide range of organisations including suppliers (eg airlines, hotels etc) selling direct on the Internet by allowing users to access directly their reservation systems; web-based travel agents; Internet portals and vortals, and auction sites. The expected proliferation of Digital TV and mCommerce will gradually intensify competition further. As a result, traditional eMediaries must reengineer their business processes in order to survive and remain competitive. This exploratory research identifies experts’ opinions on the future of both new and traditional eMediaries as well as the evolution of their business models.</p

Year: 2002
DOI identifier: 10.1016/S0261-5177(01)00085-1
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