Perception of disintermediation : a study of Hong Kong travel agencies

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Perception of disintermediation : a study of Hong Kong travel agencies

 

Author: Fong, Clare
Title: Perception of disintermediation : a study of Hong Kong travel agencies
Degree: M.B.A.
Year: 2002
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Travel agents -- China -- Hong Kong
Electronic commerce -- China -- Hong Kong -- Case studies
Business enterprises -- Computer network resources
Department: Dept. of Management
Pages: vii, 84 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1637798
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/3078
Abstract: Although there has been much publicity about the threat of disintermediation in the travel agency sector, empirical research focusing on industry practitioners' perception about disintermediation is still relatively sparse. Moreover, much of the existing research has been predicted upon data collected in America, Europe and Australia. There is a dearth of studies in the Hong Kong context. This exploratory study examines the attitude and views of professionals in the local travel agency industry on the impact of the Internet technology on their role as an intermediary. Using a survey of 362 industry practitioners, the study shows that perception of disintermediation in the travel agency context has five dimensions: (i) agents' ability to add value; (ii) airlines' move to bypass agents; (iii) agents' advantages over Internet-enabled distribution channels; (iv) the industry's professionalism; and (v) the traveling public's acceptance of the Internet technology. Results also indicate that people in the industry do not perceive that disintermediation will occur. While they feel that airlines' initiatives in reducing commission, selling through airlines' own Web sites and promoting ticketless travel are threatening, they think that their ability to add values will shield them from being bypassed. Gender, industry experience, position, and agency size were found to have a significant effect on perceptions about disintermediation. Female workers are generally more pessimistic about threat of being disintermediated. So are agencies who have only a small staff establishment. On the other hand, practitioners who have rich industry experience and those who are in managerial positions are confident that the travel agency industry can survive the Internet era. The report further suggests that training programs, increased specialization, closer cooperation, provision of value-adding services and presence on the Internet could be undertaken to address the situation.

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