Meta mediaries and eTourism

 Internet is the network of all networks. Internet is a network which associates
numerous networks and surfers around the world and a network that no one owns outright.
The terms, the Web and the Internet, have often been used interchangeably; however, the
Web is part of the Internet as a communication tool on the Internet. Additionally, the
terms, the Internet and ICTs, are often utilized in parallel; however, rigorously speaking,
the Internet is part of ICTs.
An electronic intermediary that provides and/or controls information flow in
cyberspace, often aggregating information and selling it to others. The most well-known
infomediaries in the tourism industry are Trip Advisor and Holiday Check which successfully
implement a Web 2.0 approach and integrate the users as producers of trusted content.

 Meta mediaries like travel meta-search engines (TSEs) appear between suppliers and
consumers to aggregate and filter out relevant and pertinent information from the wealth
of material. TSEs like Sidestep, Mobissimo and Kayak enable customers to compare offers
and prices by carrying out live queries to suppliers, consolidators and online agencies and
presenting the results transparently.
E-Tourism Players and their Activties
The main actors in the tourism industry include governments, tour operators, hotels,
airlines and other transport operators, and tourists or consumers. Each of these actors has
a stake in the development of the electronic market. Each is expected to be affected in
different ways by the changes brought about by electronic commerce. 

The concerns and interests of these stakeholders need to be addressed in order to
ensure that changes are managed and promoted to the benefit of all. Each of these players
utilise information and communication technology in their processes to complement each
other on making e-tourism efficient. Some of the e-tourism activities performed by the
main stakeholders are discussed below.
a. E - Airlines
Due to the complexity of airline operations, they realised the importance of IT very
early as they believed that it will help them making them efficient, quick, low-cost and
accurate management of their inventory and in-house organisation. Initially the bookings
and reservations were made on physical display boards, where the travellers were listed.
Travel agencies had to locate the finest routes and fares in physical and then check availability
and make bookings by phone, prior to issuing a ticket manually.
Distribution is a vital component of airlines’ approach and competitiveness, as it
determines the cost and the capacity to access the travellers. The cost of distribution is
increasing considerably and airlines find it difficult to control. Currently, the communication
technology is used heavily to support the Internet distribution of airline seats. These systems
are at the heart of airline operational and strategic agendas. This is particularly the case
for smaller and regional carriers as well as no-frills airlines which cannot afford GDSs’
fees and aim to sell their seats at competitive prices. This has forced even traditional or
full-service to recognise the need for re-engineering the distribution processes, costs and
pricing structures.
E-airlines focus on the following aspects:
➢➢ Improving the accessibility, customer relationship and their business associates;

➢ Electronic bookings
➢➢ Online ticketing;
➢➢ Yield management
➢➢ E-auctions for very last minute available seats
➢➢ Disintermediation and restructuring of agency charge schemes
➢➢ Increasing the productivity of the new channel in electronic distribution
Players like Air Asia, Tiger airways, all classical examples for e-airlines that work
on customising the services based on the customers to work out on low cost fares. The
electronic mode allows the customers to choose the options on unbundled packages in
terms of travel insurance, additional luggage, Food, Choice of seat etc.
The Air Asia Web page displaying the online air ticket information and promotions,
the web page contain provisions for checking availability, flight information, cost, etc. These
web pages are easy and customer friendly and keeps promoting their e-airline initiatives
through news papers, through promotions. 

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