Information and communication technologies (ICT) enable the access of information with the help of telecommunication channels and networks. ICT deals with both internet and mobile communication. Strong Travel and tourism sector adds to the country’s social and economical development and progression. In order to attract prospective tourist, a well-planned ICT comes into existence. ICT mainly uses internet as a tool for international as well as domestic communication.
Role and usage of ICT in Travel Agency
Travel agencies of many countries make use of ICT in developing the tourist industry. Countries like Australia and US have been successful in implementing ICT and attracting international tourist, while Iran could not increase the number of international tourist due to the lack of ICT. The lack of ICT provided Iran a very little scope of promoting and presenting the tourist resources of Iran. Moreover, the travel agents who use ICT as a medium of communication have been successful in accessing the global markets (Law, Buhalis & Cobanoglu, 2014).
How it works?
Internet is one of the fastest growing medium of communication. This medium when used as a platform of promoting the tourism of a particular country, it reaches billions of people without putting extra efforts. ICT enables the development of the e-tourism in accordance to the travel agencies. The website of the travel agency is contained with all the information and process regarding visa related issue, travel tickets, hotel bookings and transportation, necessary information about climatic condition and other offers and facilities. This helps the prospective tourist to gather all the required knowledge regarding the place of visit and the package and payment details (Bethapudi, 2013).
ICT makes the flow of information easier and faster. Most of the travel agencies provide certain sophisticated features like online booking of flights, secured credit and debit card payments, booking hotels and services.
The website also allows the visitors to leave their feedback regarding the services provided by the travel agency and the places they visited. These ratings help many prospective tourists to choose a particular travel agency and traveling destination. This rating system increases the transparency of the website and satisfaction of the tourist (Mokhtarian & Tal, (2013).
The ICT websites are generally interactive in nature, which helps the prospective tourist to clear their doubts by directly speaking to the travel agent executive. Furthermore, it provides navigational assistance in the website with the help of various communication tools like maps, photographs and videos (Fino et al., 2013).
ICT thus helps to change the business segment, helping it to achieve higher rates of profits. ICT is used as marketing and communication strategy, which helps to reach millions of users and global markets thus increasing the business prospect of the travel agency.
Thus, from the above discussion it can be concluded that, use of ICT in tourism sector has revolutionized the business possibility of travel agency. ICT has become an integral part of the tourism business as internet provides a wider scope of marketing and promotion. ICTs is widely used by the travel agencies in order to expand their business globally.
Bethapudi, A., 2013. The role of ICT in tourism industry. Journal of Applied Economics and Business, 1(4), pp.67-79.
Fino, E. R., Martín-Gutiérrez, J., Fernández, M. D. M., & Davara, E. A. (2013). Interactive tourist guide: connecting web 2.0, augmented reality and qr codes. Procedia Computer Science, 25, 338-344.
Law, R., Buhalis, D., & Cobanoglu, C. (2014). Progress on information and communication technologies in hospitality and tourism. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 26(5), 727-750.
Mokhtarian, P. L., & Tal, G. (2013). Impacts of ICT on Travel Behavior: a tapestry of Relationships. Handbook of Transport Studies, Sage