Online consumer behaviour and the implications for the Irish tourism industry

Ward, Manus and Shafaghi, Mathew ORCID: 0000-0002-8578-3168 (2008) Online consumer behaviour and the implications for the Irish tourism industry. In: 4th Irish Tourism & Hospitality Research in Ireland Conference, 10th -11th June 2008, Institute of Technology, Tralee, Ireland.


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The purpose of this research paper was to; identify and analyse the Internet behavioural processes of Irish tourism consumers, propose a search engine optimisation strategy if standardised behavioural patterns are observed thus reducing the commission paid to travel intermediaries, identify and analyse the implications of Irish tourism providers’ online strategies including the financial cost of the industry’s current Internet positioning strategies and assess if a disintermediation strategy is financially viable to the Irish hospitality industry. Quantitative data was gathered from three main groups. 100 online consumers were mapped using observation of their pre-determined offline tourism decisions and their acceptance & adoption of the Internet medium. 304 offline consumers were interviewed examining the control factors of their online search & decisions and 100 General managers / proprietors in the accommodation industry were interviewed by phone and questioned in relation to their control factors of the Irish e-tourism industry. The research was gathered in an attempt to quantify the cost of intermediation to the Irish tourism industry and to access if this cost created added value or was an unnecessary expense. As well as estimating the total spend by the hospitality industry on travel intermediaries, the research noted some interesting observations. Individual consumers searching directly for particular hotels, who would normally pay near rack rate, were finding intermediaries and incorrectly identifying them as the actual hotel, thus the hotel was paying commission because the consumer found the intermediary and not the hotel. The accommodation providers interviewed, on average dramatically underestimated the number of intermediaries selling their rooms. Some accommodation providers were unaware of the intermediation commission rate they were paying and were incorrect in identifying whether they or an intermediary were selling their room cheaper online.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: This is an electronic version of the paper presented at the 4th Irish Tourism & Hospitality Research in Ireland Conference, hosted by the Hotel Catering & Tourism Department, Institute of Technology, Tralee, Ireland. June 10-11th 2008.The Institute of Technology can be found online here
Uncontrolled Keywords: Online consumer behaviour,Intermediaries,disintermediation
Divisions: Business, Accountancy and Law > Business
Depositing User: Scott Wilson
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2013 12:35
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2018 14:26

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