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ICT Assignment: Use of Information & Communication Technology in Travel Agents Industry



The objective of the ICT assignment is to produce a written report addressing the question of how enterprises in the industry segment are using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to support business strategies, to seek competitive advantage (CA) or sustainable competitive advantage (SCA) and to identify opportunities for further use of these technologies by businesses in this industry segment to change or improve their businesses, or to gain CA and which of the strategies might be sustainable.

Industry – Travel Agents

  1. Flight center
  2. Travellers Choice
  3. Intro Travel

Q1. Explore the Internet and other sources to identify new and “trending” information and communication technologies, systems and applications that are becoming available or that will soon be available to businesses in this industry to assist them to gain a CA or SCA. Describe these new technologies, systems and applications.

Q2. Explain how the new information and communication technologies, systems, and applications identified in #1 above might be used to create a CA or SCA.

Your explanation should be in terms of some or all of the following:

  • effects on existing business models,
  • creating new business models,
  • supporting existing strategies,
  • creating new business strategies,
  • specific additions to a portfolio of information systems
  • improving ability to compete in terms of the five forces analysis,
  • improving / creating new processes in terms of the value chain analysis,
  • improving customer relations.

Q3. How might these ICTs or applications create competitive advantage?


The report on ICT assignment will evaluate Information and Communication Technologies for building competitive advantage in the Industry Travel Agencies.

Information & Communication Technologies, Systems & Applications
In the travel agencies industry Companies like Flight Center, Traveller’s Choice and Intro Travellers have been using technology on a broader scale for reducing their costs and increasing customer satisfaction. The services for clients have7 become more experience-oriented than before. Thus, the goal is not only reaching the destinations but also involves emotions, feelings, and experiences (Mihajlovi?, 2012, p. 152). The changing patterns in travel agencies like self-service, high internet usage will impact the services of travel agencies as the customers do not require centre service agencies for planning trips or booking hotels and availing other services (Sheng et al, 2013, p. 1). Hence, the aforementioned companies, are using the internet and social media platforms for establishing effective communications with the travellers.

The companies are using ICT infrastructure for maintaining their business network and partnerships. The readily available data helps in customizing the travel services in alignment with customer needs. The ICT infrastructure provides data in seconds that can be easily used and evaluated by potential users thus, transforming procedures, enhancing productivity, and reducing the dead times (Granados et al, 2012. p. 165). The aforementioned companies have been using social media as communicating and marketing tools for building the personality of firms. The advancement of the smartphone industry and easily available internet connections has enabled travellers to compare different services in the tourism industry and plan their trips in a cost-effective way along with enriching experiences. The services have become in nature and the travel agencies should create platforms that are operated on 24*7 and help customers in providing the best services.

The extensive use of technology will create high profitability for the above-mentioned firms. It is expected that extensive use of ICT infrastructure will enable the companies in the industry will create 305 billion dollars through efficient operational performance (Inversini & Masiero, 2014, p. 280). In the next two years, data availability will grow massively, encouraging the travel and tour industry to conduct analysis and prediction based on behavioural information.

Use of ICT in gaining Competitive Advantage and Sustainable Competitive Advantage
The business models of the three companies mentioned will be impacted as traditional models followed by the companies will not be effective. The firms will have to adapt ICT for aligning with changing market conditions of the tourism sector. Firms like Flight Center, Traveller Choice, and Intro Travel might adopt virtual assistants and services of ICT for aligning customer needs with business objectives.

The use of ICT will support the strategies of three companies by boosting productivity, enhanced customer satisfaction, faster reservations, and others.

The companies will change the existing business strategies by incorporating the use of big data, virtual reality, and robotics for attracting customers to their dreamland destinations.

Additions of Big data, robotics, virtual intelligence, and AI will help companies to provide- on-demand services for meeting the travel needs of the customers.

The incorporation of ICT will raise the competitiveness and rivalry in the industry most of the companies will take advantage of ICT infrastructure for retaining and attracting the customer base. Considering the five forces analysis, factors like buyers’ power, substitutes, suppliers’ power, and rivalry will be moderate to high in the travel agent industry.

The factors of value chain analysis like firm infrastructure, HRM, technology development, procurement, marketing sales, and services will be improved as all these factors can be operated through the application of ICT infrastructure.

The aspects of ICT like Virtual assistance and reality will help the customers in viewing travel destinations in advance while the 24*7 automated booking services will enable the travellers to reserve the services as per their feasibility. The improved services with technology, the companies will able to retain customers thereby improving customer relations.

ICT and Competitive Advantage
Many industries in current times have been using technology for operational efficiencies thus creating a competitive advantage over the other firms. For instance, Flight Center has been facing several issues reading waiving the cancellation fees of the customers. This has ruined its brand image. AI will enable the company to predict market conditions and customer behavior thereby helping in decision making. The behavioral predictions of the customer will help the firms in customizing travel trips thus achieving high customer satisfaction and competitive advantage (Mihalic&Buhalis, 2013, p. 33). Internet and Social media platforms will help in creating a new type of relations amongst the client, aforementioned travel agent companies, and partners. A strong social media presence will enable the firms in creating high brand awareness and customer relations. While booking travel and tourism services, the customers are often skeptical about the hotel rooms, services, and other places of visits (Ivanov et al, 2015, p. 55). The virtual reality will help them in viewing their dream place that is situated miles ago, this service will help the firms in building competitive advantage.

It can be said that changing patterns of Travel agents will be shaped with ICT in the upcoming years.

Reference List
Granados, N., Gupta, A., and Kauffman, R.J., 2012. Online and offline demand and price elasticities: Evidence from the air travel industry. Information Systems Research, 23(1), pp.164-181.

Inversini, A., and Masiero, L., 2014. Selling rooms online: The use of social media and online travel agents. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality

Management, 26(2), pp.272 – 292.

Ivanov, S., Stoilova, E., and Illum, S.F., 2015. Conflicts between accommodation establishments and travel agencies. Tourism and Hospitality Research, 15(1), pp.54-70.

Kamioka, T., and Tapanainen, T., 2014. Organizational Use of Big Data and Competitive Advantage-Exploration of Antecedents. PACIS, 2014, p.18th.

Mihajlovi?, I., 2012. The impact of information and communication technology (ICT) as a key factor of tourism development on the role of Croatian travel agencies. ICT assignment International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(24), pp.151-159.

Mihalic, T., and Buhalis, D., 2013. ICT as a new competitive advantage factor-Case of the small transitional hotel sector. Economic and Business Review for Central and South-Eastern Europe, 15(1), p.33.

Sheng, M.L., Chang, S.Y., Teo, T., and Lin, Y.F., 2013. Knowledge barriers, knowledge transfer, and innovation competitive advantage in healthcare settings. Management Decision.


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