e-commerce

The impact of e-commerce on travel agencies

Within a few years, tourism and travel have become the most widely represented sector on the internet. In fact, the domain owes it’s success to the integration of the Internet culture into our daily lives because it is in perfect harmony with the habits of today’s consumer society. But the success of the Internet is due to it’s users: that means us, also known as « generation X ». Travel agencies  popularity are gradually increasing and this trend is far from fading. Thanks to the Internet any information a traveler requires is available 24/7. Consumers are becoming  experts when searching the best within this domain, therefore, they become extremely demanding. All of this occurs without the individual even needing to leave their homes.

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In just a few clicks, cybersurfers are able to access a wide range of information to learn everything about their chosen destination, (a particular region of a country, hotels,  or even services available on their future resort), and make comparisons to find the best deal.

 The problem with all this is the impact it has on the tourism sector: disintermediation.  This is an economic and commercial phenomenon that translates into the reduction or the complete suppression of intermediaries in the distribution services. Providers can directly address consumers via the Internet, whereas previously they used travel agents to whom they paid commission. Moreover, since surfing on the Web has become much simpler, people in general don’t really go to travel agencies in general anymore.  I-Phone applications and specialised online agencies have taken over the sector. They are both easier and faster. In this sector, the most popular agencies are:  Voyagesprivés.com, Booking.com, Expedia.fr and lastminute.com.  They offer flights and hotels ranging all kinds of prices. Living in the Digital Age, applications and websites are slowly replacing human contact.

But although it may sound like it will soon to be doomed, the future of travel agencies is, in fact, not entirely threatened. Travel agencies simply have to adapt their business by offering personalized services to the customers in order to differentiate themselves from an increasingly intense competition. In addition, Genuine agencies have a crucial advantage over cyber-agencies: human contact. Indeed, although Internet users are becoming more familiar with the Web, most of them prefer to benefit from the personal advice and experience of their travel agent.

Clara

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