With IT, great benefits have been achieved, such as knowing better the needs of customers, offering better service delivery, reaching a greater number of customers and optimizing their resources, increasing their efficiency. The most relevant cases of IT application in tourism are online reservation systems, sales of services over the Internet, and data mining systems. It is concluded that well-applied information technologies translate into better interaction between hotels, restaurants,
The tourism industry is one of the largest in the world, generating about 212 million jobs and representing an important contribution to the gross domestic product of many countries. In an industry of these dimensions, information technology (IT) has played a fundamental role as a means to improve the efficiency of organizations and service delivery. This document will show the new role that IT has in the administration and strategic planning of companies related to tourism and its different branches such as hotels, airlines, and travel companies; some examples of how these companies are applying advances in IT will also be shown.
- First applications of information technologies in tourism
Without a doubt, information technology (IT) has revolutionized the world’s business landscape and the tourism industry is no exception. It has changed the hotel, restaurant, and travel service industries and now plays a fundamental role in the rules that govern the business world and the way we approach customers. The advantages of IT in terms of increasing competitiveness, reducing errors, and creating new functionalities are unquestionable in any sector, including tourism (Valles, 1999).
According to Valles (1999), there are two factors that make the tourism industry potentially attractive for the development of information technologies: tourism is an inter-territorial activity that promotes and markets activities offered far from the place where the client is located, and; On the other hand, being part of an industry that involves leisure and entertainment, you need promotional media based on audiovisual media that are attractive.
Currently, around 80% of hotel reservations are made through this type of system, as it offers great advantages for both hotel companies and travel agents. While for hotels GDSs are an excellent marketing opportunity; For travel agents, it represents a tool that allows them to have updated information on both hotels and the operations they carry out through the system, has a single database with information on hotels, plane tickets, and car rentals, and generate reports. with relevant information for the operation of their companies.
- Tourism on the Internet
Undoubtedly, no other information technology currently impacts the tourism sector as much as the Internet, which has changed global trade and competition schemes. Through its use, little by little it is changing into an economy that works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year anywhere in the world.
The Meeting of Experts on Electronic Commerce and Tourism of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (2000) establishes that the tourism sector is quickly learning that the Internet can satisfy much better than any other current technology the need of users to receive quality information that is reliable. More than any other medium, the Internet and the interactivity that comes with it allow people to quickly and accurately find information about any destination or leisure activity that interests them. Thanks to the Internet, consumers expect to obtain instant information and, increasingly, the possibility of using the network to conceive or adapt to their convenience the tourist product they are looking for and pay for it online.
In general, the entire tourism sector has undergone a great change with the use of the Internet. Diagram 1 shows the structure it had before the Internet and diagram 2 shows the changes it has undergone. The main change that it presents is the infomediaries, that is, those who are dedicated to providing information through a Web site. Consumers now have the option to book any combination of services using any combination of infomediaries.