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A new distribution model for leisure travel — Initially, the Leisure Travel supply chain was linear, involving travel providers who supplied Tour Operators who turned to Travel Agents who sold to travelers. With the emergence of new technologies, all the players of the supply chain now have direct access to travelers.

More choices and flexibility for the consumers — With direct access to thousands of travel suppliers, the travelers can now compare different sources, and check prices and availability for their trip at anytime without the help of a travel agent. While they are getting used to booking basic travel (air+hotel+car) online, travel web sites are now offering more and more complex products such as cruises, vacation packages, travel insurances, passes, excursions and other local activities.

A highly competitive marketplace — In the US, online leisure travel bookings totaled $12.2 billions in 2000 and are projected to grow to $29 billions in 2004 (Forrester Research). While Tour Operators and Travel Providers are already taking advantage of this new marketplace, they will have to keep pace with the evolving traveler's expectations and implement comprehensive online presences.



 

 



 
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Tourism is an information-intensive industry in which e-commerce is playing a significant role.

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