Changing Hospitality Distribution Model

 Changing Hospitality Distribution Model
The previous section exhibits the traditional distribution models that do not include
travel and tourism integrations. Later, distribution model was presented by Hudson (2008)
in his work on tourism destination marketing (figure) that includes components of travel
and tourism. He drew the information flow starting from the customer to an individual
operator website. He mentioned certain details regarding the browser and search engine
which were used by customers. These two boxes could not be considered as distribution
channels. Even if these two were considered as intermediaries, he neglected to draw an arrow
from “search engine” to corporate website which was presented as a chain hotel website. This
missing arrow could help hoteliers or destinations to enhance their position in the market
or to save some money which they would pay for intermediaries. The hotel or destination
would save money if they can optimise their use of search engines to secure a high rank
position. “

Via cross marketing” highlights the importance of building relationships with
other websites and is a tactic was used by -one of the 2004 e-commerce award
winners in UK - to increase the number of hits on its property website. Most of the online
intermediaries could be summarised under “electronic brokers” although merging these
complicated concepts into one box would hide a lot of information that would be useful
for hoteliers. One of the channels that might be hidden or missed was GDS. As this model
represented intermediaries involved in the online distribution, it neglected to represent the
direct link between the customer and the individual operator website.
Hudson’s (2008) Intermediaries Involved in the Online Distribution of
Destination Tourism Products and Services.
Source: Hudson (2008)
O’Connor and Frew (2002) neglected to include mobile phones and IDTV. The
reasons behind this could be that until recently mobile phones were not being used as an
active online distribution channel and IDTV did not get involved in distribution. O’Connor
and Frew (2002) tried to present in their model the relationships between hotels and EDCs
and were also keen to draw the internal relationships between EDCs.

 They mentioned in
their model CRS, GDS, GDS-based web site, Switch companies, Switch companies’ website,
DMS (Destination Management System), DMS web site, web intermediary, representative
company, representative company web site and Tourist Information Centre (TIC) as EDCs.
In addition they replaced NTOs, with DMS (figure) and called their model “Hotel electronic
distribution” although they included non- EDCs e.g. TIC and Travel agents.
ED Network Model by O’Connor and Frew (2002)
Source: O’Connor and Frew (2002)
O’Connor and Piccoli (2003) mentioned examples in their model for most of the
channels. They added airline sites, affiliates; web Switches, tour operators, chain website,
hotel website and other on-line retailers to Choi and Kime’s (2002) model.
They divided travel agents into two elements; ‘travel agents’ and‘travel agents websites’.
Global Distribution Network by O’Connor and Piccoli’s (2003)

 O’Connor and Piccoli (2003)
They replaced the term “Property Management System” (PMS) in Choi and Kimes’
model with “hotel” (see figure). O’Connor and Piccoli’s (2003) model in comparison with
O’Connor and Frew’s (2002) omitted both DMSs and Tourist information centres (TICs)
from the hotel distribution channels. Instead of listing GDS-based websites, they listed the
names of these websites with arrows to different GDSs (e.g. Sabre, World span). O’Connor
and Piccoli neglected to include a direct link from the hotel to the GDS.
In all previous models, the common comment was they failed to represent some
channels (e.g. mobile phones, IDTV) or certain relationships. Presenting the nature of
relationship between channels was crucial. A hotel distribution model was supposed to
reflect the distribution environment to the reader and how hotels could deliver its products
to customers.
The previous models needed to be updated with these neglected channels and
relationships to present the current distribution environment to hoteliers or readers. These
missed channels of distributions were critically important, whilst some of these channels
have become more important and relationships have strengthened.

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