Technology has played an important role in achieving economic growth by garnering economic means for consumers to travel. The development and contribution of air travel as a means of transporting tourists to different locations is an important contribution of technology to the tourism and travel industry. The significant development of low-cost carriers is another means of successful technological applications to the tourism and travel industry (Stipanuk 1993).The tourism industry is often defined as the sectored system of innovation and production.
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Impact of the Internet in the travel and tourism industry
The advancement of the Internet has deeply affected the way tourism and travel intermediaries perform their business. The development of vertical portals like has redefined the travel business. This has led to the formation of various last-minute online travel portals which effectively organize and distribute distressed tourism inventories to the clients. Tourism suppliers like British Airways have started applying e-commerce applications thereby allowing their customers to directly access the reservations systems. Hence, a customer is able to make a flight search and go through the various options available and finally take a purchase decision. The Internet has made it possible for customers to access high-quality information within a short time. Also, it has made service expectations as consumers expect to be served 24 hrs / 365 days. Nowadays, customers expect to be served at all times rather than the office hours of the tourism providers (Buhalis & Licata 2002).
Mobile technology and the tourism and travel industry
The advent and application of mobile technologies have further impacted the tourism and travel industry. This has been possible due to the development of e-commerce. It is now possible for customers to view and choose various travel and tourism options by surfing the internet through their mobile phones. Short messaging services also provide a lot of information as the booking confirmation can simply be presented to the airline or the hotel and one is allowed to enjoy the service. The emergence of new and high tech mobile phones has again stirred a revolution in mobile technology. This is especially helpful as these phones allow a user to access internet and book services online. Hence, one can also book tour packages and other travel related services through the mobile.
Thus we have seen that the travel and tourism industry has revolutionized their travel plans and strategies with the help of improved information technology solutions. They are resorting to customer-focused travel solutions and are aiming to provide a one-stop solution for all travel related services through information technology. Travel and tourism providers need to work in collaboration with each other to provide a one-point platform to all its clients. Hence, they must embrace newly developed and effective information technology solutions to run travel operations smoothly and efficiently. At the same time, the prime focus should be on providing excellent customer service. For all these, the only answer is to embrace best and updated information technology.