A sound tourism industry is being seen as sign of nation's social development, evolution as well as progression. Due to the influence of globalization greater number of people now a days are promoted towards purchasing touristic products in varied countries. Information and communication technologies has greater impact on all the industries and sectors. The interactive integration among the technology as well as tourism in the present era has resulted in bringing alteration in the particular sector (Buhalis and Jun, 2011). Several travel and tourism sector businesses have made adoption of the new technologies of information that has offered new shape to the entire process of tourism service development, management, marketing and whole tourism. This has greater influence on the efficiency and effectiveness of travel and tourism business. Such information and communication technology is considered as the integral part of the present tourism firms.
Since the tourism is considered as the major industry in the present era many nation's are competing towards attracting the tourists by various means of communication and this has become main driver of touristic sectors across the globe. E-tourism is referred to as the tourism technology that includes application of information technology. It has important role in travel, hospitality as well as tourism sector. In past times the travel technology was associated with just Computer Reservation system (CRS) applied in airline sector. But in the present era this is used in much broader perspective within travel and hospitality industry.
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The concept of E-tourism can be referred to analyzing, designing, implementation of IT as well as e-commerce solution with travel and tourism sector. It acts as an aid in analyzing the particular economic processes, customer relationship management as well as market structure. In relation with communication science, e-tourism can be considered as each application of ICT in both hospitality and tourism that increase the customer experience and makes the travel companies operations much easy (Garcia, Sebastia and Onaindia, 2011). In the recent times e-tourism makes use of monitoring as well as management of travel operations, travel tracking as well as flight tracking systems.
E-tourism is comprised of varied procedures such as dynamic packaging that makes delivery of effective and new options for the customers. In the present era GPS of smart phone is performing as tour guide for the users. There is presence of several city audio guides that are present through which the traveler can visit the location and can gain more information regarding the place and their languages. The several format of guidebook is comprised of audioguide, podguide, I-Tours etc. In this relation various nations have adopted biometric passport in relation with travel technology that can increase visitors experience in positive manner (Schuckert, Liu and Law, 2015). Along with this, XML technologies can be utilized by the travel and tourism sector as it provides assistance to air reservation bookings and other merchandising functions within the procedure of booking.
Within travel and tourism, role of internet is important in several aspects. Such firms makes utilization of the internet technology in an effective way for the sake of enhancing the revenue. They are making use of websites, online advertising, blogs, social media in order to convince the targets market towards selecting location either for vacations or business events. For instance booking engines assist the users in making reservations and comparing the prices of several travel and tourism firms (Smith, MacLeod and Robertson, 2010.). Such tool cut costs for the travel firms through reducing the number of calls and affects the decision making of travellers. In contrast to this through the assistance of computer system there is greater opportunity for the tourism business in establishing communication among the several branches as well as locations that increases ease in streamlining the reservation as well as cross the policies of business. In addition to this it assist the organization in keeping all the personnel on the similar page and increases ease in accessing the data for the sake of enhancing the experience of guest, housekeeping procedure, preferences of guest, checking details regarding reservation from a particular system. For the purpose of attracting prospective tourists suitable communication strategies are required. As today an individual lives in digitalized world thus it is important for the tourism industry to depend on the information and communication technology. This is comprised of specifically internet as well as tools of international communication. The system of online reservation is the greater impact of ICT on tourism and hospitality sector.
In the present essay discussion is made on e-tourism. This is comprised of gaining knowledge regarding the significance of ICT in the firm (Usoro, Shoyelu and Kuofie, 2010). In this regard small size hospitality firm that is Brooklands in UK is considered. Brooklands hotel is being situated within South East of United Kingdom. The hotel was being opened in the year 2010. It possess 103 employees who have average age of 26 years. The ratio of the female and male working within the firm is equal that is 50-50%. The company's profitability in the past year is £8.1m that demonstrates that Brooklands hotel has enhanced its revenue. In the business every third personnel possess greater than three years experience and has stronger sense of security related to job. The particular hotel made utilization of several social media in order to promote its services in broad way and attain attention of greater number of customers. In addition to this Brooklands hotel made use of ICT in order to increase ease in organizational operations and gain offer sound experience to customers.
In the present essay discussion is being made towards development of the social media as well as mobile technology in hospitality organization. In this relation analysis is being conducted for Brooklands hotel that would define social media portfolio for the hotel with effectiveness. Along with this detail social media strategy for the hotel chosen would also be developed. The structure of whole essay is categorized into five parts (Kumar, Bhaskaran, Mirchandani and Shah, 2013). This is comprised of introduction, literature review, discussion of major themes and development within ICT in hospitality. In involves clear evaluation with the findings and discussion of the outcomes, future strategy of social media for the cited hotel.
Information and communication technology is combination of telecommunications as well as computer technology that is enabling the users in accessing, storing, transmitting and manipulating the information. In the recent time the ICT role has enhanced in all the sectors around the globe. Several firms have begin to utilize such in order enhance ease within organization operation. Further it results in enhancing the effectiveness that lead to delivery of quality services and experiences to their customers. With the passage of time there are greater development that took place in ICT area which increases its importance as well. It offers opportunity to the users in sharing greater resources and information with one another around the globe (Saravanakumar and SuganthaLakshmi, 2012). It assist the customers in communicating at any point of time from any location and place. For example, a particular message can be sent by the user to varied recipients in an instant manner within the globe.
In contrast to this hospitality sector is broader field that is comprised of event planning, lodging, theme parks, hotels, restaurant etc. One of the most significant aspect related with hospitality is that it lay focus on satisfaction of customers. Though it is the major fact that nearly all firms depends on customers. But in situation of hospitality firm they have the responsibility towards offering luxury services to the customers. Other aspect of such industry is referred to as the reliance on the disposable income as well as leisure time of the target market. In this regard greater number of hospitality firms are for travelers as well as rich patrons. For example, in case there is decrease in the disposable income of the customers because of reason that includes recession or slump then the industry would suffer due to the reason that customers would not have additional money for enjoying the services.
The system of online reservation is one of the main application of ICT that has greater influence on the hospitality industry. In the recent era small and medium size business are making utilization of such function over official website of business. The following tools makes delivery of the sustainable cost saving opportunities for hospitality business as in case personnel of the firm do the reservation in manual way (Siamagka and et. al., 2015). Thus business is required to spend greater amount of money on human resources. By carrying out investigation it has been determined that greater number of firms within hospitality sector has made adoption of several ICT in varied context through which they are able to gain competitive edge and attain more customer attention in comparison with competitors. However there is presence certain factors that obstructs small medium hospitality business from making adoption of ICT. In this regard initial is shortage of skills and absence of knowledge of the personnel that unable business in adoption varied information and communication technology. Ineffectiveness in the IT infrastructure of the country is the main issues that affects the small medium hospitality firm in making adoption of ICT tools and carry out operations in more effective as well as smooth way. Moreover the cost of acquiring as well as maintaining ICT is higher and because of such hospitality business has not adopted such for their business purpose (Beritelli, Strobl and Peters, 2013). Apart from this owner's attitude is other reason through which they are not ready towards adoption of new technology for communication and information. These are regarded as certain factors that affects small and medium size hospitality business.
With the evolution within ICT, it has made development of several tools and techniques that are beneficial for small hospitality firm. In this relation Electronic point of Sale as well as Payment Management system technologies have made delivery of several opportunities to hospitality industry in relation with enhancement in the customer experience and improvise the varied aspects of the services with more effectiveness. In addition to this it has bought improvement in the operational cost of firm, offer convenience to customer and enhance the speed of transactions of money. In this relation search engine optimization has become the part of ICT wherein hospitality business edit the content of website so that it can enhance the search engine ranking of the firm and can attract greater number of visitors (Costa and et.al., 2010). Through the implementation of such it is easier for the user to make identification of the key words and terms that are associated with hotel or restaurant services. In this small and medium hospitality business ventures are utilized. This includes Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. for SEO purpose.
Beside this, social media is regarded as one of the ICT that is referred to as the website as well as application that offers possibilities to users of the content creation as well as sharing. In the present era the major social media platform for small and medium hospitality business includes blogging, social networking, widgets, chat rooms, message boards, photo sharing, video sharing. In simple words it can be stated that social networking circles that are utilized by small medium hospitality firm towards sending marketing message assist in targeting the customers so that they can attract greater number of customers and can enhance the revenues (Ruiz-Molina, Gil-Saura and Šeric, 2013). Moreover website is considered as the part of ICT that is providing several information regarding the products and services of the firm to its target market. By the means of research it has been determined that procedure of decision making of visitors is based on content accessibility and data on website while browsing. For the purpose of attracting customers in greater number, several small and medium size hospitality business provide greater range special offers through website. In this regard it is significant for the firm to make sure that their website are compactable with several browsers and effectively adjustable in accordance with the size of device.
In contrast to this mobile technology is used as promotional e-campaigns for the purpose of marketing the products and services to the customers by the corporation. Small and medium size hospitality business needs to make adoption of such tool for distributing its services in the market. Under this business send message of marketing to the client on phone. Mobile marketing can be categorized into several parts that includes chat sessions, peer to peer gifting, alerts, contests, calls to action etc (Chen and et. al., 2009). In addition to this, small medium sized hospitality business has begin to utilize mobile coupons that includes QR Code, bar codes as well as array of extra iconic expressions. Through the assistance of such it becomes easier for the customer to gain more information regarding the hotel or restaurant services and products, contact information, new offers etc. Beside this various mobile POS like Goggle Wallet as well as iPay Mobile etc have been utilized by small size hospitality industry in order to make the process of transaction effective and safer for the guests. Along with this through use of mobile GPS system, hotel or restaurant offers readily available data to future as well as existing guests on time (Puzis and et. al., 2009). For example, a mobile technology inquiry through West East of UK would automatically gain prompt for making booking in Brooklands hotels when making promotion of special deals as well as packages.
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Thus by the means of discussion carried out above it can be inferred that role of ICT is significant within hospitality sector. It is essential for small and medium size business for their growth and development. Technological changes within information and communication has positive influence on small and medium size hospitality venture. But there is presence of certain factors that obstructs such firms from making adoption of ICT. In addition to this new technology within this area like social networking, SEO, internet, websites etc is utilized in rapid way by small business for the sake of gaining huge number of benefits.
Social media marketing makes a great impact on the hospitality business for improving the services and other aspects which are beneficial to customers. Generally hotels are more aware about the social networking sites. All the hospitality and tourism industries take part in to social networking sites in order to stay active online do not miss out any post. Brookland hotel also actively participate on the social networking sites in order to gain popularity in brand awareness. Its facility is very time saving and economical for the customer and management point of view (Vance and et.al., 2011). All the social sites are very convenient and inexpensive but for effective and efficient marketing tool. Better communication technology are more effective towards the teamwork and flexibility in order to provide the services. Mostly all organizations have the individual mobile app for easily connectivity to the customers. By this all the products and services are effectively shown on the social sites which creates the customer awareness towards the brand and product services. Mobile technology is also an effective use for providing the better service to the customers.
All the activities are effectively manage in the hospitality department by using the technology in order to enhance the improvement in the services. Mobile technology is used for the purpose of effective communication regarding to their services. Brookland hospital manage all the operational activities are interrelated with each other by using the technology for easy communication. Social sites are used for promotional purpose to promote their services in comparison to others (Hinkin, 2005). All the facilities and services are shown on the single screen at the same platform so that it is a convenient for the customers point of view. Customers can assess all the services in order to evaluate the characteristics of all the services with comparison to other service provider. Which makes an sustainable position and reputation in market place. Social sites is useful for advertisement purpose throughout the world for building relationship and maintain the customer loyalty towards the offered services.
Social networking mostly depends on word of mouth now the electronic word of mouth for marketing the services. Large number of hospitals have participated in social networking sites, which helps to build the image and to promote their hospital on social sites to achieve large amount of responses by viewers. Its a better mode of convening the people regarding to their services. By the use of mobile technology which helps to identify and easy to assess the customer target and their expectations with respect to their income level. Social media marking is a key element for marketing and making brand image and maintain reputation in market place which helps in to generate revenue and get the profit (Prideaux, Moscardo, Laws, 2006). Its also beneficial for strategic planning and its implementation and also useful for identifying the other competitors strategic planning regarding to their new innovation and improvement in the existing services. All the activities are effectively correlated towards the achievement of objectives and to accomplish predefined targets. Social media and mobile technology makes a great impact on the achievement of following target in order to maintain loyalty.
Social media is regarded as computer mediated online tool of communication that provides greater advantages to the business for the purpose of sharing the content, interact with the customers by means of website. In the present era individual on continuous basis are making use of such sites for own use and professional purpose. This assist business in expanding the brand and increasing the sales with such channel of marketing. Such assist in supporting the viewers in gaining insight about the business as well as activities such as discount offers, special trip, adventures etc. Social media is regarded as powerful medium of coordination through this manner organization can develop strong association with consumers. System of feedback on the website act as an aid for the firm in knowing the opinions of the valuable viewers as well as resolve the issues and to develop confidence among them. Various social media tools exists in this competitive complex environment such as twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, snapchat, youtube, slideshare, Zee-Box etc are considered as channel of communication that offers advantages to the customers and firms. In the past many years such sites have offered growth to several business. Sales promotion as well as expansion of the brand supports such sites of social media (Jones and Ball, 2003). At present it is the easiest manner that leads to enhancing the sales of the business and develop image of the brand. At present it is the easy way foe enhancing the sales of the business and develop brand image of any business. From the viewpoint of the customer it is effective in accessing and individual can gain all the information through website.
Brooklands hotel possess social media presence as it is attached with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google plus, Trip advisor. Google plus is regarded as the most attractive tool of social media that provides assistance to Brooklands as it is effective search engine that offers greater advantages to the consumers. They can make booking and reserve the hotel in accordance with the need as well as budget. Google plus divides every update so it is effective for the customers in searching regarding the quarry. Organization's cover photo of the business on the google plus can be viewed and one can effectively determine the actual outlook of the hotel. The name of the hotel in every section is clear thus search of index is easier. The reviews of the customers are demonstrated here that are positive and also facility in relation with reservation is provided for the customers (Groote, 2005). Within URL the name of the hotel is maintained om clear manner so it is effective to access the guests. The location is being addressed but the map is not clear, the first time user is unable to gain knowledge regarding actual location of Brooklands with ease. Telephone number also exists over Google plus that assist customers in contacting with the hotel. Less number of photos are demonstrated also there are no videos uploaded by the hotel so there is average profile. Certain enhancement as well as alterations are being made by the hotel such as greater number of videos as well as photos are offered so that customer can develop clear image of the hotel.
Brooklands is associated with Tripadvisor, such social site is effective tool that assist in making comparison of several hotels so that one can book. Over this particular website the name of the hotel is not visible in clear manner thus it is difficult for the customer to attain information regarding the business. Quality pictures are being uploaded that attracts greater number of target customers. Address, location and map needs to be maintained in clear manner on Tripadvisor. However absence contact detail can create greater issues for the firm in terms of establishing interaction by means of website (Bernick and Boo, 2013). The overall reviews regarding the hotel is suitable and positive over the Tripadvisor. Earlier trip photos, management photos are adventurous as well as sound. In the section of Amenities attractive details are being maintained such free WiFi, non smoking hotel, fitness centre, services etc. details have clarity as well as understandable. In section of question and answer Brooklands has answered every quarry of the customers that is effective criteria in attracting the customers and building trust. Overall Brooklands is financially strong and presents strong image on Tripadvisor.
Brooklands hotel is associated with Pinterest social network. There is absence of cover photo. The hotel uploads attractive photos as well as videos that assist in gathering customer attention. Location address is being presented as well as website is presented in this. But the contact detail is not provided. Further map is also not demonstrated. Thus there is difficulty for the viewers to gain in-depth knowledge about the hotel. Less information is being maintained by the hotel but in meeting section, URL is provided that offer detail regarding Brooklands. It is difficult for the customers in gaining direct information through social network site. There profile overall is quite poor. The page of Facebook of Brooklands is amazing. There is presence of attractive cover page (Malhotra and Venkatesh, 2009). All the important details in relation to services, facilities, discounts, videos, photos are being demonstrated in significant manner. Address, contact number, map are exists as well as even hotel name is being presented by Brooklands under this social network. Clients can effectively search regarding the hotel as well as associated services. The profile of Brookland over Facebook is sound. Thus many followers are of such hotel. The major attractive thing about the social site is discount offers. The complaints and quarry of the customers are being answered and being monitored by Brooklands.
Nowadays Twitter is considered as the most popular site. Several people can access such website for personal as well as professional use. Brooklands is associated with such networking. The front page is excellent and is attractive. The views are positive as well as impressive. The services as well as facilities details are being maintained in detail. Hotel share previous events photos as well as videos on such social site. The customers can effectively know about Brookland through such website.
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Future social media strategy
Social media strategy related to attracting customers through Facebook, twitter and social networking sites is valuable for implementing planning in E-tourism. It provides various information existing in hotel including travelling and accommodation services. Including this, hotel services, user experience and views on Brooklands Hotel are determined. In this regard, more business activities and strategies are implemented for effectiveness of organization. Social media strategy plays crucial role to aware society and community for organization's services. However, it also generates idea for enhancing laity services of hotel industry. Therefore, entity sets different targets and strategies for collecting data and implementing action plan for further activities (Mak, 2011). In accordance to this, social media strategy is useful for emerging interests of tourists from different countries for taking advantages of travel and tourism.
In addition to this, entity also recognizes attitude and perception of various tourists through comments on social networking sites. Moreover, it advertises tourism services through email, Facebook and other information technologies' tools. It influences online marketing also increases standard of country. It impacts on market position of organization and also prepares business and competitive strategies for increasing in demand for tourism services. It utilizes different tools and techniques for obtaining creativity and exchange of services in wide range. However, it is beneficial for establishing good relationship with clients, suppliers and other stakeholders of organization effectively. Through this strategy, social media and qualitative services of hotel industry get impacted positively. It is useful for long term sustainability of entity in market. Moreover, it increases strength to face competition and effects on creative environment of firm. In addition to this, large number of demand for tourism services are determined. It generates ideas for effectiveness of natural resources. In this regard, natural resources of nation are protected.
Different types of tourists gets information of hotel service through online medium. It is beneficial to gain awareness of society and high number of customers for travelling and accommodation services. Attraction of tourists for Bookland hotel considers enhanced by looking at organization's effective services. Various positive comments if Facebook and social networking sites are obtained for e-tourism services. However, attractive videos on YouTube plays key element role in e tourism services that impacts on productivity and profitability of firm. In addition to this, it interrelates with other sectors of countries such as, financial growth of country is determined through this tourism system. However, organization upload advertising tools and technologies for implementing strategies of tourism. However, it is essential for achieving satisfaction of customers at high level (Buhalis and Darcy, 2010). It is useful tool to reach out objectives of ecotourism smoothly. It is determined that enhancement of tourism impacts on country's effectiveness. However, entire growth of nation is impacted through this technique. Therefore, tourism is crucial to aware society at large scale also increases interest towards travels and accommodation services of Brooklands hotel. Advertising on social media sites and obtaining customers' comments on sites are essentials for increasing efficiency of organization. In this regard, various ideas are generated for increasing in quality services of e tourism.
Discussion and Conclusion
It can be concluded from the present report that role played by ICT is crucial within hospitality sector. In the present era there is existence of various ICT tools for existing small and medium size hospitality business like Brooklands hotel. From the discussion carried out in the literature section it has been determined that ICT has greater impact on small size hospitality business. But there is existence of certain factors that obstructs ventures towards making adoption of ICT. From the case study it has been assessed that Brooklands hotel has presence on Twitter, Facebook, Google plus, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Tripadvisor. But in years to come for making sure greater growth of organization certain new social media strategies are identified. It has been assessed that development in social media as well as mobile technology has positive influence on the hospitality firms within UK.
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Journals and Books
- Beritelli, P., Strobl, A. and Peters, M., 2013. Interlocking directorships against community closure: a trade-off for development in tourist destinations. Tourism Review. 68(1). pp.21 - 34.
- Bernick, N. L. and Boo, S., 2013. Festival tourism and the entertainment age: interdisciplinary thought on an international travel phenomenon. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research.7(2). pp.169 – 174.
- Buhalis, D. and Darcy, S., 2010. Accessible Tourism: Concepts and Issues. Channel View Publications.
- Buhalis, D. and Jun, S .H., 2011. E-tourism. Contemporary tourism reviews, pp.2-38.
- Chen, G., L. and et. al., 2009. In-depth tourism's influences on service innovation. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research. 3 (4). pp.326 – 336.
- Costa, J., and et. al., 2010. How can tourist destinations become more competitive: What key tools can be used to achieve this aim? Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes. 2 (4). pp.455 - 457.
- Garcia, I., Sebastia, L. and Onaindia, E., 2011. On the design of individual and group recommender systems for tourism. Expert systems with applications, 38(6), pp.7683-7692.
- Groote, P. D., 2005. Economic & Tourism Aspects of the Olympic Games. Tourism Review. 60.pp.20 – 28
- Hinkin, T. R., 2005. Cases in Hospitality Management: A Critical Incident Approach. John Wiley & Sons.
- Jones, P. and Ball, S., 2003. Hospitality Operations: A Systems Approach. Continuum.