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Project

Investigating the Impact of technology in business organizations


Specifically Online air ticketing system on travel agencies.

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Table of Contents

1. INTRODUCTION: - 5

1.1INTRODUCTION TO ANALYSIS DOCUMENT: -.......................................................................................5


1.1.1 AIM OF THE PROJECT:-..................................................................................................................5
1.1.2 COMPLICATIONS AND PROBLEMS OF THE PROJECT:-............................................................................6
1.1.3 NEED OF SPECIFIC RESEARCH:-......................................................................................................7
1.1.4 NEED OF INVESTIGATION:-..............................................................................................................7
1.2 INTRODUCTION TO TECHNOLOGY: -.................................................................................................8
1.3 INTRODUCTION TO E-TICKETING: - ................................................................................................9
1.4 INTRODUCTION TO IATA: - .........................................................................................................10
1.5 INTRODUCTION TO GALILEO: -......................................................................................................11
1.6 INTRODUCTION TO AMADEUS: - ....................................................................................................12

2. FACT FINDING: - 14

2.1 JUSTIFICATIONS: -.......................................................................................................................14


2.1.1 JUSTIFICATION OF CHOOSING PARTICULAR AGENCIES: -....................................................................14
2.1.2 JUSTIFICATION OF INTERVIEW: -....................................................................................................14
2.1.3 JUSTIFICATION FOR QUESTIONNAIRE: -...........................................................................................16
2.2 ISSUES: -.....................................................................................................................................17
2.2.1 KNOWLEDGE OF E-TICKETING: -....................................................................................................17
2.2.2 FINANCIAL SOURCES: -................................................................................................................18
2.2.3 BUSINESS COMPETITION: -...........................................................................................................18
2.2.4 AIRLINE POLICIES: -....................................................................................................................19
2.2.5 CUSTOMERS COMFORT: -.............................................................................................................20
2.3 SURVEYS: -..................................................................................................................................21
2.3.1 CUSTOMERS SURVEY: -...............................................................................................................22
2.3.2 TRAVEL AGENTS SURVEY: -.........................................................................................................23

3. OBSERVATIONS: - 24

4. RECOMMENDATIONS:- 28

4.1 CURRENT SYSTEM:-....................................................................................................................28


........................................................................................................................................................28
4.2 LATEST TECHNOLOGIES AND SURVIVAL:-........................................................................................29
4.3 E-COMMERCE AND TRAVEL AGENCIES:-........................................................................................30
4.4 BENEFITS OF NEW SYSTEM:-.......................................................................................................31
4.4.1 COMPLICATIONS:-.......................................................................................................................32

5. REFERENCES: 33

6. APPENDICES:- 36

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6.1 APPENDIX 1:-..............................................................................................................................36
6.2 APPENDIX 2:-..............................................................................................................................37
6.3 APPENDIX 3:-..............................................................................................................................38

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Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the following people who have contributed in different

ways towards the successful completion of my Project and I would not hesitate

to say that without their effective help and cooperation I would not have been

able to produce quality work.

First of all I would like to thank Mr. Tony Olden who is my project supervisor

and finalize my topic and gave me effective tips about management of the

project. Moreover Travel Connections management especially Mr. Shahid Nawaz

has been very helpful in collecting the required data and conducting the

interviews with the staff and management people.

And my special thanks to Mr. Haris Sajjad from Ababeel Travels who has been

kind enough to support me throughout the fact finding process and guided me

step by step towards the project. It is only because of his guidance and help

that I have been able to complete my fact findings.

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1. Introduction: -

1.1 Introduction to Analysis Document: -

The following document is the Analysis Report for investigating the


impact of e-ticketing on travel agencies. It was generated after an in-
depth study of the working and using fact-finding techniques. It aims to
give a comprehensive idea about the way how e ticketing affects this
field and how it’s working currently in the organizations and to a
common person and to expose areas lacking efficiency. It expresses what
customers expect from the agency or from airline and outlines their
opinions as well as those of the travel agents. What is the basic impact
of it to the organizations and what could be their new strategy to survive
in this field.

1.1.1 Aim of the Project:-

The project aims to investigate the eliminating business of travel


agencies because of e-ticketing systems and how they can survive
within this business as new policies has been introduced from the
airlines and IATA. “While much research has been undertaken to
examine how technology impacts individuals and groups in
organizations, as well as how it impacts organizations in their
entirety, attention has not been directed at how technology
impacts the relationships between these different levels in an
organization.” [1] With the recent IT revolution, the age-old
relationship between business, technology, society and innovation
has changed, leading to confusions in identifying proper driving
factors in business. High impacting innovation plays a leading role
in initiating the assimilation process of innovation in society.
Companies need to anticipate change or deliver the profound
transformation required to succeed in complex and rapidly
evolving markets by bringing together the latest thinking tools and
methods from the world of business and technology. Investigation
will raise all the issues and solutions for the travel industry crisis
like new airline policies for travel agents after e-ticketing has
been introduced. Primary research could be a base for
investigation and action research could help me to combine
theory and practice through change and reflection in an
immediate problematic situation. Investigation will find the
technology essentials, their impact on travel business
performance; report would help travel industry to survive in
future.

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1.1.2 Complications and problems of the Project:-

The problem faced by the travel agents of the moment is not


being imposed by a particular airline or organization but the
changing strategies of the market and up to date technologies has
a huge impact on this business. Working specifically on travel
business, reasons and facts were intended to find for this rapidly
eliminating business. The basic factor for the destruction of this
business is the E-ticketing and rapidly growing e-commerce
industry. Almost all major airlines have introduced the system of
e-ticketing and they are saving their revenues with the help of e-
ticketing. Even if one airline adopts new strategy with regards to
new technology then due to market competition all airlines adopt
it to maintain equity in their flight rates and commissions.

“The airline industry, one of the first to adapt computers for


flight reservations and back office work, has slowly moved toward
the Internet as an information and sales resource. The use of
paperless electronic tickets, introduced eleven years ago, was the
key that opened airlines and other outlets to begin offering
tickets for sale from their Web sites.”[27] For one, it's cheaper for
the airlines to issue e-tickets 10 times cheaper than issuing a
ticket through a travel agent, according to Southwest Airlines.
Analysts estimate that the Internet sales are almost one-third the
cost of travel agency sales and a key element in the low cost
structures of the airlines. “On first hand e-ticketing offers many
benefits. Says Pearson “it’s all I use now. You don’t carry tons of
paper and you don’t have to wait for ticket to be delivered.”,
“Travelers who change flights at the last minute do not require a
new ticket or a sticker on their existing ticket indicating revised
travel plans.” But on the other hand it still has obstacles to
overcome. Passengers have reported problems when passing
through the airport security, because the concept is relatively
new.” [2] A major disadvantage is the e-tickets cannot be used on
multi segments. Experts are confident that e-ticketing will
flourish and in near future travelers will become more
comfortable with this type of technology; the paper ticket and
even fax will disappear, you will go just with a file number like
you would with a hotel.

Airlines have been gradually reducing commissions for travel


agents over the past few years, but Delta Airlines was to first to
take initiative towards e-ticketing and became the first to reduce
commissions for travel agents on tickets sold in the United States
and some other parts of the world, “the change severely affect

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travel agencies. Airlines will negotiate performance based
commissions with high volume travel agencies, but smaller
agencies are out of luck. They will have to offer value added
services such as specialized vocational packages to justify the
fees they will need to impose on customers.” [3]

1.1.3 Need of Specific Research:-

In certain conditions is was necessary to use fact finding


techniques and get the facts about the business cycle and its
flaws, In certain criterias there is no better approach rather to
work by action research; “where one could compare his/her
theory with practitioners and in real situation and organizations.
Whether or not an approach is appropriate depends on the
research topic and the research questions being addressed. A
particular strength of qualitative methods is their value in
explaining what goes on in organizations.” [4] By emphasizing
collaboration between researchers and practitioners, action
research would seem to represent an ideal research method for
information systems. Such systems represent an applied
discipline, and the related research is often justified in terms of
its implications for practice. “Action research can address
complex real-life problems and the immediate concerns of
practitioners. Yet, paradoxically, the academic community has
almost totally ignored action research. Only one of the 155
articles in a survey of 19 journals in 1991 describing research
theories and methods used in information systems covered action
research” [5]. Using this approach one shall be getting the
appropriate information from the organizations and that would
help me to find out the accurate flaws and disadvantages of the
current system. The planning is to visit at least three travel
agencies and to meet people in agencies on different posts to
gather different views from different departments of agencies.
The main reason to chose this topic and investigate the problems
of this industry is that One of my very close friend had travel
agency and they were gone bankrupt and it happened so quickly
that they could not even get time to plan for survival.

1.1.4 Need of investigation:-

If one shall be enquiring different questionnaires from different


people in the agencies regarding to their designations and their
role for the agency. It would be more convenient if the

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questionnaires are short so other people could give comfortable
time during the questionnaires or interviews. As we already have
noticed it was a great curiosity that why this business is rapidly
eliminating, what are the reasons of destruction of this business
which some time earlier used to be considered as a high
profitable business and why the agencies with very low running
budgets could not take stand so they could change their business
plans and mold their business with introducing other related stuff.
So action research has been decided to adopt.

Before continuing the action research it was necessary to get


knowledge of travel industry i.e. what is IATA how it deals with
travel agents? What is the online reservation system and how
travel agents use it? Finally how e-ticketing replaced traditional
paper tickets? What were the basic factors involved? How new
technologies and e-commerce interact with travel industry? IATA is
the International Air Transport Association and directly interacts
with airlines and travel agents. This association provide business
guarantee to the airlines and maintain the travel industry
structure. Furthermore there are couple of reservation system
which are being used by travel agents throughout the word i.e.
Galileo, Amadeus, SABRE and wordspan. Galileo and Amadeus are
most commonly used reservation systems, acquiring their
functioning is necessary.

1.2 Introduction to Technology: -

Technology is the evolution of an idea. It’s the thinking of a man or


woman who sees before them an opportunity to improve a process, or to
create a device or object that facilitates, improves or aids something or
someone else. Technology is about taking action to meet a human need
rather than merely understanding the workings of the natural world,
which is the goal of science. The invention of the microscope was driven
by a need to explore the world of the small, beyond our unaided vision.
This technological solution to a long standing problem has in turn
enabled us to understand more the workings of the world which in turn
has led to the development of more technologies. “It involves organized
ways of doing things. It covers the intended and unintended interactions
between products (machines, devices, artifacts) the people and systems
which make them, use them or are affected by them through various
processes. Many people like to drink coffee, often in a coffee shop. That
coffee may have come from trees which have been bred specifically for
increased yields that support a small farmer and his family but that

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requires pesticides that were developed and manufactured in another
country. The harvested coffee beans will themselves be transported
around the world to be processed and placed in packages which are
distributed to shops that then make the cup of coffee in a polystyrene
cup that was manufactured for the purpose but which then needs to be
disposed of and so on. Every choice we make relies on, and feeds, a
highly interdependent and far reaching way of life where some have
much and some have little.” [6]

Technology has influenced this world from people’s social to business


life; it has completely changed the environment and shape of this world.
Some people believe that it is technology which has made this world a
global village and its impacts can be seen specifically in business
sectors. If we compare the impact of technology with the travel industry
the driven conclusions shows that technology made a major impact in
growth if this industry whether it is global communication or in house
development, it interacts in all way of this business. For example: Travel
industry was the first which realized the need of global communication
as they used to make reservations within the certain criteria and there
was no centralized system which could support passenger’s information,
all work used to be done manually and information passed through
telephone lines. Technology revolutionized the air transport system and
provided centralized system for air travel industry So travel agents could
check the availability of other airlines and book seats for passengers to
give them more comfort for their journeys.

1.3 Introduction to E-Ticketing: -

E-ticketing was introduced in 1995 in North America and due to its


significance it rapidly grown worldwide. In USA almost all airlines use e-
ticketing for their passengers. The importance of e-ticketing was
realized when it returned high value of savings with respect to paper
ticket, it reduced the handling costs associated with paper tickets,
revenue accounting and billing processes of the airlines and It gave a
huge potential to customer for buying online giving them multiple
platforms and packages.

In future e-ticketing can shape into more advanced shape and can be
seen in different successful ways, travel industry have got potential to
adopt latest technologies. They are working on advance shape of e-
ticketing which can replace the airport formalities into simple way of
proceedings. Customer would not need to take personal references as
they would have everything stored in their integrated circuit card (Smart

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Card) which would help buying tickets and further processes for their
journeys including their reward points.

Now a day after e-ticketing airlines are working for the multi segments
e-ticketing. E-ticketing can not be used on multi segments. For example:
If a passenger has to travel from New York to Cape Town but for some
reasons he/she has to stop in London, in this case passenger has to buy
two tickets if first airline is not operating on the destination required. It
is considerably a big problem for such customers. Passenger has to buy
first return ticket from New York to London and then second return
ticket from London to Cape Town. There can be delays in flights from
one segment which can disturb the entire route journey. “Standards
evolution continues to play a major role with airlines coming together at
the ATA/IATA Electronic Ticketing Working Group at least twice a year.
Here the airlines have begun to focus on the delivery of electronic
ticketing in the airport environment and especially as it impacts third
party ground-handling companies. Ground handling raises specific
operating issues that are not necessarily documented within the
resolutions. Furthermore it raises the issue of how multiple airlines can
effectively communicate electronic ticketing data and provides
consistent customer service.” [7]

1.4 Introduction to IATA: -

IATA - The International Air Transport Association - was founded in


Havana, Cuba, in April 1945. It is the leading platform for inter-airline
cooperation in promoting safe, reliable, secure and economical air
services for the benefit of the world's consumers. The
international scheduled air transport industry is now more than 100
times larger than it was in 1945.

International air transport is one of the most dynamic and rapidly


growing industries in the world. Due it its rapid growth IATA is aimed to
provide and lead the airline industry with highest standards possible,
IATA ensures that people, cargo and post can reach to destinations easily
and airlines are providing safe, secure and reliable services to the
customer and they have policies and rules towards customers.

Where IATA interacts with airlines it interacts with travel agents as well,
it performs a role of a middle man between travel agents and airlines.
Airlines deal only with their head offices, GSA and PSA and make direct
sales to the customer from these offices rest of the sales are being made

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from the travel agencies whether they are non IATA or IATA. Travel
agencies holding IATA license can issue tickets of different airlines but
there is still limitation for some agencies that they can only issue tickets
on few airlines, non IATA agencies can book tickets but they can not
issue tickets as they do not have IATA license and they can not purchase
ticket documents (Blank Ticket Paper). They queue their reservations to
airline or IATA license holding agency to issue tickets. “Development of
the Clearing House was followed by the establishment of Billing and
Settlement Plans and Cargo Accounts Settlement Systems in effect, one
way clearing houses to speed the flow of revenue from agents to
airlines. Sales Agents were given the opportunity to prove their
professional status under an accreditation process, and training - in
conjunction with the Universal Federation of Travel Agents' Associations
and the Federation of Freight Forwarders' Associations - was introduced.
The pattern for airline-agent relations was set with the introduction of
the Standard Agency Agreement in 1952. There are now nearly 81,000
IATA agents worldwide and 135,000 students have enrolled for IATA
sponsored agency training courses since they were introduced.” [8] IATA
has taken legal international counter measures after its rapid growth
and it can advise the airline industry on latest technologies and
aircrafts.

1.5 Introduction to Galileo: -

Galileo International, they make it their business to provide the travel


industry with reliable, accurate access to inventory, schedule, and
pricing information. “Galileo International was founded by 11 major
North American and European airlines Air Lingus, Air Canada, Alitalia,
Austrian Airlines, British Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Olympic
Airways, Swissair, TAP Air Portugal, United Airlines and US Airways.” [9]

Galileo has been experienced the most effective reservation system by


the travel agents due to its user friendly interface and coding. However
it does not has a latest graphical interface but due to reliable back end
support makes it the reliable reservation system in travel industry.

The need of such software was raised when travel industry was lacking
the global communication and for the development of travel industry it
was necessary to share all the information from one platform so all
airlines and travel agents could get benefit from it by utilizing TCP/IP
protocols. Galileo support a complete software package for the web
based travel agencies which operate their business only through
internet. “With 30 years of experience, they have the expertise those

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airlines, other travel suppliers, and travel agencies around the world
depend on. Maybe that’s why they are one of the world’s leading
providers of electronic global distribution services, connecting
approximately 44,000 travel agency locations to 470 airlines, 24 car
rental companies, 56,000 hotel properties, 430 tour operators and all
major cruise lines throughout the world.” [10] Headquartered in
Parsippany, New Jersey, USA, Galileo International has offices
worldwide. They also have a presence in 116 countries.

Galileo provide the system and support information to the travel agents
all over the word and it has one state of the art centralized system with
almost 100% of accurate performance. “Located in Greenwood Village,
near Denver, Colorado, the Data Center handles, on average, over 175
million requests for information per day. At peak times the company
processes more than 2,915 messages per second.” [11] Galileo is the
most commonly using software all over the word and has easier queries
if we compare it with other reservation systems, it provides even in-
house services where travel agents can take advantage of the system
and can improve their distribution system to their own customers.
“Galileo International also provides subscribers with information and
booking capabilities covering all the major hotel chains, car rental
companies, cruise lines and numerous tour operators throughout the
world.” [12]

1.6 Introduction to Amadeus: -

Amadeus is the second largest air reservation system vastly used by the
travel agents after Galileo. It enables travel agents and travel service
providers to market and sell travel, to corporate and consumer;
Amadeus is being used by over 140 airlines all over the world and they
have a unique modular approach. Adopting the latest technology and
software Amadeus is growing rapidly in the travel industry, concerning
more on related products they have successfully launched and
implemented multiple services in travel industry “They base these
solutions on the intelligent application of new technology. The core of
there business is to serve many different companies - whether airlines,
travel agents, hotel operators or car rental firms. The rapid expansion of
this business has helped them establish a reputation as the fastest
growing and most widely used global distribution system (GDS).” [13]
Some travel agents think that Amadeus queries are easy understandable
rather than any other reservation systems; In fact all reservations
systems has almost common coding language but it differs at some
instants, somehow Amadeus have got quiet smaller queries than Galileo.
That makes Amadeus the second largest reservation system all over the
world to be used by travel agents and airlines, they provide broad

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services to their travel agency subscribers and there are numerous
Amadeus terminals connected with travel agencies.

Amadeus provide special services to their online travel agencies and take
the lead on other travel technology providers. Amadeus deals with other
products as well they provide service solutions for airlines, travel
agencies, car rental companies, cruise lines, hotels, tour operators,
railway companies and insurance companies. “There powerful software
tools manage sales processes and agency networks. There corporate
travel management solutions allow business travelers to book
arrangements from their desktop. Amadeus systems enable leading
travel providers to run their business efficiently and effectively,
Amadeus e-commerce solutions range from a simple connection to the
Amadeus System to the most sophisticated travel e-commerce platform
available.” [14] They enable airlines to use Amadeus system for
reservations at their city ticket offices as well as their airport ticket
offices.

Amadeus realized the need of time and they started collaborating with
other related organizations to give superior services to the customer and
gather huge revenue for the organization, this policy plays a major roll
in Amadeus rapid growth in recent years. They collaborated with Oracle
Corporation and introduced e-travel. “The e-Travel solutions integrate
all components of a managed travel programmed into a single Internet-
based service that enable travelers to book air, car, hotel and rail, all
within corporate guidelines.” [15] e-travel is completely owned by
Amadeus and they are providing better services in means of e-
commerce.

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2. Fact Finding: -

2.1 Justifications: -

2.1.1 Justification of Choosing Particular Agencies: -

Because of the project complications as it required in depth


knowledge and a quiet long time to be investigate the problems
from the travel agents, plan was to visit large agencies and
visited Southall Travels in Southall was visited, but unfortunately
they was not able to give their very busy time and they was not
even agree to see with appointment as their directors does not
come to office everyday and management staff usually busy with
their work, some other agencies in surroundings were being
visited Regal Travels was one of them, information tried to be
acquired from counter staff and they were not allowed to share
our company matter to anybody as it is our company policy and
they do not know much about travel industry they only knew their
office work to be done, presumably Regal Travels did not have
well qualified staff and company owners or directors were not
available.

Contacts in travel industry were utilized to make some


appointments with travel agents as we know if we visit some
business place with reference it always works. Finally it was
successful to get couple of appointment in London and Essex.
These agencies were well known and one of them was in travel
business more than 15 years. Some travel agencies work only on
particular routes as London is a multicultural city where people
from different race live and some parts of it completely affiliated
with a particular race and its been observed that it was one of the
fact involved in travel agency’s business growth. IATA agencies has
no restrictions to issue tickets on any segment all over the word,
but in some agencies they work only on particular segments as
they deal most of the time one particular race.

2.1.2 Justification of Interview: -

Interview is a face-to-face communication technique, used to


gather facts, to be used in the analysis phase, to know the
problems in the current situation and how can we overcome it.
There were five people who were interviewed in the action
search. A face-to-face interview permits to reduce

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misunderstandings and give more opportunities to know the facts
better.

The first person interviewed was Director, Mr. Shahid Nawaz who
is the owner of Travel Connections. There is one director of the
company so interviewing him was the best option to use as a fact-
finding technique. The questions that were to be asked from him
were those, which required a detailed answer. Before proceeding
on with the project report, it was important to know as what he is
forecasting as how to expand the business after the e-ticketing
had been introduced and how e-ticketing influenced their
business. Did he feel that staying in business with after e-
ticketing was tough? As the project was to develop a report, so
wanted to see whether he had some knowledge of online systems
and what was his main aim behind coming into this field? A face-
to-face communication technique like interview seemed the most
appropriate approach to get the answers.

The second person interviewed was the manager of the Travel


connection. There is one manager of the agency, so interviewing
him to identify problems with the current system seemed the
most appropriate approach. The manager is aware of the
problems being faced by the travel agents being in current
situation. All the complaints regarding the system come to him,
by both the customers and travel agents. Then specific problems
needed to be known faced by majority of customers and
employees. The manager is aware of the current technological
trends. It was important to know what he perceives as a solution
to the current problems.

The third person interviewed was the finance manager of the


Ababeel Travels. Finance department is very important source
from where one can know about the expenses of the organization.
It seemed appropriate to interview the finance manager, so that
one could trace up to the problems of dissolving travel agencies.
There was just one finance manager who could have provide us
with the information needed like whether maintaining the
expenditures of current system was within budgets or not?
Discussion about the payback period, how much they were paying
to their current employees and does the organization have the
expenditures to pay if their agency goes down.

The fourth person interviewed was Mr. Haris Sajjad the marketing
manager of Ababeel travels. The marketing manager was just one,
so interviewing him seemed the most appropriate fact finding
technique. The questions to be asked were open ended questions

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like getting to know the current marketing strategies and whether
they were beneficial or not and what strategies they are planning
to make after the e-ticketing is getting popular in consumers.

The fifth person interviewed was Mr. Shah the Director of Zak
travels. There was one Director. All the complaints by the
customers and travel agents come to him and he solves them. So
he had vast information about the problems encountered by the
consumers. He was to provide us with detailed information so
interviewing him seemed the most appropriate option as a fact-
finding technique.

2.1.3 Justification for Questionnaire: -

A questionnaire is a list of close and open-ended questions that


are to be asked from many people. A questionnaire is distributed
when the same questions are to be asked from many people.
Open-ended questions are those who do not have a fixed answer.
The answer varies from one person to the next for the same
question. There is also no restriction on the length of the answer.
The answers are usually not predictable. Close-ended questions
are those who have a predicted answer like either yes or no for a
particular question or opt for an answer from given options. It is
not feasible to go and interview every required person because it
is very time consuming. Hence it has a large target audience. The
audience fills in the answers according to their own convenient
time and as the questions designed are not hard to understand,
they give the answers.

Questionnaire was designed for two groups of people.

Customer: -

The first group was the customers. It is definitely quiet


hard to go place to place in the public and interview
several people. So a questionnaire is easy and contains
short questions so everybody feel free to answer them. The
questionnaire is designed with the aim to identify the
problems faced by different customers and what are their
recommendations for the e-ticketing and travel agents.
Customers are the most important asset of the company. If
the services provided to them are not up to the standards,
then they shall not come over again. Customers were the
main audience and a lot questions were to be asked from
them. The answers were to be different for different
customers as some are common problems being faced by

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most of the customers and some specific problems being
faced by few customers. So to get input from maximum
number of customers the questionnaire is simple.

Agents: -

The second group was the travel consultants and customer


services agents who were providing different services.
These are the people who handle the customers like finding
out availability of seats, reserving the seats, providing
information as required by customer etc. As there are many
travel agents, so it was not feasible to interview all of
them. There are some general problems being faced by
most of the travel agents and some specific problems being
faced by few travel agents. The answers were to vary from
person to person.

2.2 Issues: -

2.2.1 Knowledge of e-ticketing: -

Online air ticketing system is widely used now days but still there
are group of people who are not aware of the latest technologies
and trends. The ratio of these people is more in third word and
developing countries, travel agents have advantages in such
countries where people are not aware of such system. Knowledge
of online air ticketing system in developed countries is more than
remote parts of the word. In developed countries people are
willing to adopt latest technologies into their business to improve
its growth.

Travel agents have got knowledge of e-ticketing introduced by air


lines but only few of them know that how they can introduce it
within their organizations business persons who have got
opportunities to extend their business adopting e-ticketing portals
they have got further problems to proceed like finances and
license. In survey all travel agents were aware about the market
scope and future of the business and only two of them were
working to get their business online due to competition.

If we see it with customer’s prospective, there are few customers


who are not aware of the e-ticketing and people who know they
still wish to get the services form travel agents due to certain

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reasons like sharing information over the internet, access to the
internet is another factor for the customers.

2.2.2 Financial Sources: -

Travel agents are facing problems from the time e-ticketing was
introduced and airlines reduced their commissions for the travel
agents. Travel agencies if they are IATA license holder they work
with quiet big revenue and in return they are getting very low
profit. If investors invest such revenue in some other business
they can get better profit ratios, they plough their huge amount
as guarantee and they get equivalent or less credit compared to
their guarantee amount.

Working with such tight environment there are no chances for


travel agents to make sufficient profits and use them for the
growth of the business because all their profits hardly fulfills their
office expenditures and employee’s wage. Agencies working on
break-even sooner or later get dissolve.

Agencies which are established for a long time they use their good
reputation to get more credit from the airlines and they have
more opportunities to grow their business to invest in developing
online air ticketing portals.

End of the month after clearing their credits agencies profits does
not meet the sufficient level so they can grow. Air line tickets are
quiet expensive and profit margins and very low if they sale a
ticket worth 500 pounds may be they are saving 5 pounds per
ticket due to competition and on other hand there is very low
commission from the airline.

Zak Travel is experiencing this approach, they are just trying to be


stable working with conventional approach regardless they can
understand they can improve their business taking it online, but
they can not make it due to lake of revenues.

2.2.3 Business Competition: -

Business strategies have been changing day by day and there are
no such strategy or business rules that can restrict travel agents
to normalize the prices. Where ever you go to buy a ticket the
prices are different and that’s what makes customers keen to find
out cheapest rate for their air travel tickets.

- 18 -
Travel agencies situated in close distance to each other always
has competition due to walking clients, customer will buy the
ticket where ever he/she would find discount of even single
pound. No matter what the services are? Some customers visit
plenty of shops to get quotes before they buy their tickets. So the
cheapest quote they get they buy.

Travel agents due to such market environment they have adopt


new strategy, they give discount to the customer from the
commission which they get form the airline just not to lose them
as a prospective customer, more discount they give more
customers they get, if we observe; it does not make any sense
that they sale tickets in loss, lower then the original price ticket,
for the sake of not to lose customer.

It has made this industry such a competitive field that agencies


are selling ticket in a way which is illogical, they get their
commission from the airline after every second weak and how can
they make profit in such competitive environment if they are
accommodating customer within their commission?

Travel connections and Ababeel travels were having such problems


but due to their huge sale ratio and advance marketing strategies
they were surviving some how and even planning for the growth of
the business with such small profits.

2.2.4 Airline Policies: -

Airline policies are the major issue for the travel industry
specifically for small scale travel agents or non IATA travel agents.
Since airlines have adopted e-ticketing they started reducing
commission for travel agents straight away and give more benefit
to the customer so they can take full advantage of the market
selling cheap tickets directly to the customers.

For airlines it was revolutionized technology they could interact


directly to the customers rather then involving travel agents and
giving them their commissions, spending huge revenue on paper
tickets and credit from the travel agents. They started giving
compensation to the customer so more and more people come to
buy tickets directly form the airline.

On other side commissions for travel agents were reduced and


they were left in market with very low profit ratio and very high

- 19 -
competition. Airline policies worked for their own benefits but
they let travel agents all alone in business to strive.

Working under new airline policies so many travel agencies went


bankrupt or liquidated, IATA took no clear initiative for the
survival of small travel agencies or non IATA travel agencies. Well
established travel agencies made changes into their internal
policies and introducing new packages to attract the customers.
But still there is no firm solution under the new airline policies for
the travel agents.

2.2.5 Customers Comfort: -

Whether it is field of travel or any other field, wherever we go


organization emphasizes on customer satisfaction that is the only
way one can keep their customer coming back to them.

Customers buy their ticket from a travel agent or over the


internet in both cases if they are getting better services by any
mean they would prefer to get it again from the same source.
Buying tickets online has only one technical disadvantage that
customer can not issue tickets for multiple segments or one ticket
for different airlines. In this scenario customer would get help of
the travel agent or from airlines.

Discussing online buying of e-ticketing user interface attracts


customer if the interface is user-friendly and more convenient to
use than others, then one can get advantage of it. Most of the
people are coming towards the e-ticketing and ratio between
buying tickets through internet and by travel agents has
significantly reduced for travel agents.

Travel agents in survey have admitted that sometimes they can


not deal with customer nicely with their full attention especially
in peak working hours when they have to answer calls and deal
with customer at same time.

Customers always need better services and price, it has been


observed that if travel agents take care of their customer even
after they buy tickets from them like at the time when they had
to amend their tickets or to get refund or needed any correction.
They always come back to them, only if they are treated nicely.

- 20 -
2.3 Surveys: -

In order to take customers and travel agents comments survey is


designed to understand the relationship between the customer and
travel agents how they interact with each other and what kind of views
they have got about each other and how technology interact it in real
time and do customers have enough knowledge about the e-ticketing.
What are the basic factors that some people wish to book their tickets
by themselves and some still prefer to book it through travel agent even
though they have knowledge how to book tickets on their own?

Due to contacts agency staff were agree to give some time for the
agents’ survey but only when they shall have free time, So altogether
ten travel agents were asked objective questionnaire and it was quiet
easy for them because they just had to choose their answer from the
given options.

The big part of the survey was customer survey and it was quiet difficult
to gather information from the customers as nobody had time to speak
especially if they are being stopped on road without any reason or
anything. Decision was taken to speak with the customers’ coming to the
travel agencies and waiting for their turn to be served. Permission had to
be taken from the agency management if survey could be done from
their customers who shall be sitting and waiting for their turn to be
served. Permission was granted from two travel agencies and the third
agency did not let it to be done, due to their company policy or may be
some other reasons were involved. Survey was quiet easy to be answered
because of objective questions and it hardly took 15 to 20 minutes for
each customer.

35 people were questioned from different races and countries, mostly


they were Asians. People were so cooperative and they liked to
participate in survey, couple of customers questioned after they were
served by travel agents. People were so exited to give their comments
about travel agents because they either were willing to buy tickets or
they bought it already. It was a great opportunity for to get most of this
survey as the information was from the related customers rather to get
information from the streets or some other place.

Questionnaire for the customers and agents was different and its motive
was to get comments and reviews between agents and customers and
customer and agents’ knowledge to e-commerce and e-ticketing.

- 21 -
2.3.1 Customers Survey: -

Customers’ survey first will be discussed first; information driven


in this survey has been calculated and described in percentage. E-
ticketing trend is taking over the travel agents business and it is
only possible when people are computer literate, 70% of the
customer were computer literate, and 85% had computers at
home, 90% had computer at office, 80% had access to the
internet, It means there are more people now who have access to
the internet and they can get most of the information about
travel from internet and utilize it either for price comparison or
for purchasing it.

70% people had credit cards, 95% wished to purchase items form
internet, 65% feel secure buying on internet, credit card fraud is
the most common fraud on the internet and it is quiet active in
the travel industry so most people do not like to buy their tickets
online or some times even trough travel agents they prefer to buy
cash tickets rather then paying them buy credit or debit cards.

80% travel often through airlines, 40% once a year, 30% Several
times a year, 20% once a month and 10% very often. Changing
strategies does not affect only travel agents it affect also to the
customers, Changes in fares has been reported after every month
and customer is the only one who is paying everything at the end.
Rapidly fluctuated fuel prices effects on rents and in last four
months fuel surcharge has been raised more then 100%.

70% face problems regarding their bookings through agents, 90%


had problem purchasing tickets through agents. 95% preferred
book and purchase tickets online. 60% of the customers had an
idea of e-commerce. 75% face problems knowing schedules for a
flight on different airlines.

Only 10% people were satisfied with customer services, 90%


wanted to get ticket ready without visiting travel agents. 5% of
the customer and their family had no computer knowledge. 10%
people do not buy through internet at all. Travel agents are
loosing their customers so rapidly because of their customer
services and complications of the business nature. Some people
get quotation from different agencies and price difference some
times is more then 100 pounds for the same scheduled flight
which make customer furious and give them a thought to visit
other places as well to find even cheaper quotes.

- 22 -
2.3.2 Travel Agents Survey: -

Travel agents did not have different views but familiar with the
customers and they think the things they are doing they can not
serve well than that. All travel agents were qualified and
computer literate and some learned more with experience. 95% of
the agents had training of the system they were using. Only 10%
believe that their reservation system is user friendly. 80% find
difficult to deal more than one customer at a time, for example if
they are dealing with a customer and meanwhile they have to
answer a call they get confused and they can not give proper
intention to any of the customers.

30% are able to manage their time with the customers. 80% are
facing problem using the reservation system it shows how they
can serve a customer at their best if they are having problem
their own system. 90% agents recommend their customers to buy
their tickets, 80% of agents are quiet happy to work in this
business and their earnings.

45% agents work 10 hours a day and they told they do not feel
satisfied when they go home they feel like they are taking their
work with them at home, as we know is a quiet huge work load
job, 80% think their job is too tiring due to customer load.

Customers who just come to get quotation some time annoys


travel agents, 40% consider it a problem when customers keep
asking about different flights and schedules.10% do not mind and
treat them with patient.90% they give preferences to their regular
customer does not matter they are acquiring a quote or buying
ticket.

Customer satisfaction is a big factor in travel agency business, 40%


travel agents believe that customers are often satisfied from their
service. 20% believe that they are satisfied only sometimes, 15%
believe that they are completely satisfied with their service and
25% believe that they are not satisfied at all from their services.

One thing is common in travel agents and customers which is they


do not think travel agent and customers’ relations are good and
they are getting or providing good service. Agents are more
concerned for potential customer rather than giving only quotes
because they get some percentage of commission on every ticket
from their company.

- 23 -
3. Observations: -

Three travel agencies were visited to get the facts. First agency was
Travel Connections second was Ababeel Travels and last was Zak Travels.
Time was spent in agencies and in the waiting list queue. The employees
were sitting on their seats and started doing there previous days
remaining work and start checking the booking and reservation of the
day before. It was checked out through the system that whether the
seats were confirmed or not.

There were few customers in the morning time and travel agents were
relaxed. They were not over burdened. There are mostly phone calls in
the morning, and mostly calls are for the general information about the
different airlines and different countries, due to the general information
calls the phone are quite busy and the agents become annoyed before
the peak time. There were few customers that were interested in
booking/reservation. Then at around 11 am the customer starts coming
and all the counters of the booking started getting occupied. Then very
soon there was no space for more customers on the counter and waiting
list queue started filling.

There was a lot of workload on the travel agents. They were right about
telling me that it becomes difficult to handle customers in times of peak
load. Some customers left, as they didn’t want to wait. Others, who
could wait, waited for there turns.

Usually, the customer told the source and destination of where he wants
to travel and the date of travel. The travel agent entered the codes of
the particular source and destination. Now, here some of the travel
agents were facing problems. Some experienced travel agents who were
working in the agency for a long time, had the codes on their fingertips,
but the majority had to look up on the user manual of the software and
then they enter the codes. For some customers who were in a hurry, felt
annoyed while it was okay with some others. The codes for cities like
London, New York; Paris etc were easily remembered by most of the
travel agents. But such locations which were not frequently visited by
the majority of the customer like Cyprus, Bulgaria, Maldives Island etc.
even those employees couldn’t remember who were working for a long
time in the organization.

If the required seat was available with the required number of seats,
then it was displayed on the screen of the agent and told to customer.
For those customers, who were interested in booking seats told the
travel agent to book there seats. If the numbers of seats are
unavailable, then a travel agent tells the customer about the

- 24 -
unavailability of the seats and asks if he wishes to travel in other airlines
or on other dates. Those who just wanted to collect information didn’t
book the seats but instead either went away or if they were calling, put
the phone down. This really annoyed the travel agents because there
time is very precious in times of peak load and those clients who do not
reserve seats and just collect information cause delay to those
customers who are in a hurry and want to reserve seats. There was a
new agent who had been hired a few days back. It took him the most
time to handle customers. As he was new, and was in the process of
training of the current situation, so he was facing difficulties in
providing the customers the maximum comforts to the customer. There
was a lunch break from 1 to 2 pm due to this the customer have to wait,
this is the problem of unavailability.

After seat availability, the customers asked for the price. The prices
were read from a manual. Again those agents who had dealt with similar
flights, know the prices on the spot but some had to look in up in the
manual which caused delay as well. Then, it was noticed that a travel
agent was quoting the price to a customer for a flight and another
customer a different price for the same flight of the same airline. For
regular customer, the price was reasonable and according to the pricing
schedule but for other customers it wasn’t. Then customer insisted on
getting pricing information of the flight of some other airline. After
getting information from several flights, then they asked the travel
agent to book the seats.

The travel agent asked for the name of passenger, phone number,
reference person name, and passport information. The seat was booked
with the passenger record details asked above. A temporary id which is
known as PNR (passenger name record) was generated for each record
and told to the customer. When the customer will pay against the PNR
number, customer has to pay the fare of the flight at the cashier
counter. Customer comes to the casher counter and tells his PNR number
to the casher then casher checks the status of the seat and the price,
and receives the payment of the ticket and gives receipt to the customer
after verifying all the details. The cashier has a file. At the end of the
day all the payments are recorded on a file with the receipts. There is a
person in charge who is responsible to match the payments recorded on
register with the receipts. Then customer comes to the customer
services table and shows the receipt of the payment and from there the
tickets are printed and handed over to the customer after verifying of
the payment. Even if customer booked the seat through phone, he had
to come to the office, to pay the fare of the flight and to collect the
ticket.

- 25 -
Then a customer came over who had purchased the ticket but for some
reason couldn’t board the flight. He wanted to refund the ticket. In this
case there are different policies of international flights and for domestic
flights. For domestic flights if the customer comes before 48 hours of the
departure of the flight then the 10% will be deducted and the remaining
payment will be given back to the customer. If the customer comes
before 8 hours or after the flight had departure then the travel agent
deducts 50% and gives the remaining payment to the customer. For the
international flights if the customer didn’t travel then there is two
options for the customer, he can get his payment back and only ticket
price will be deducted. Or can get the ticket of some other dates.

The customer came up with the problem that the travel agent has
written the wrong departure time and due to that the customer was
unable to reach his destination on time. He was asking for the full
refund of his ticket. This was the human error but nobody was admitting
it.

There was another customer coming with the problem. She had reserved
her seat over the phone. The spelling of her name was misspelled. She
was not allowed to board her flight as the spellings of her name on her
passport and on the ticket was different. She had come over to refund
her money of the ticket. Now nobody knows who had booked her seat,
all the travel agents were quiet. As she complained to the higher
authorities, so quick action was taken to resolve the matter, her money
was refunded. She was very angry, as she had to go to her destination
urgently.

It was analyzed that customers faced problem related to the time factor
and customer were not provided with sufficient information as there are
lots of customer and the customer care officers were less to provide
facilities and divide their time to each customer.

The agents become very tired due to over work so they are unable to
give full attention to the customer who came after 3 pm.

In this situation customer would prefer to get their tickets direct from
the airlines with their mental satisfaction that they are paying direct to
the airline and if there would be any error, so the airline itself would be
responsible as airlines has big network of organization and they gather
big revenue because they save the commissions which they use to give to
travel agencies.

Travel agencies get less commission from the airlines either they sale it
through their own online system or they sale it to customer on agencies
because airlines have launched their or platform for customers.

- 26 -
Customers always prefer to get better services whether they pay little
bit more but in this case they always have satisfaction that they bought
their tickets from the airline or direct from their authorized agents.

Travel agencies sale tickets at a little bit less price as they compensate
the customers with some percentage of the commission which they get
from the airline. It is a very reasonable way to stay in their business but
most of the agents think that e-ticketing and direct purchasing from the
internet have made a very big impact on their businesses and the profit
margins has been dropped more than 60%. Travel agents are still trying
to survive by introducing new strategies to their organizations depending
on the airline policies towards them.

- 27 -
4. Recommendations:-

4.1 Current System:-

Currently, the organizations have several flows in their system due to


lack of introducing latest technologies and adopting new strategies.
Firstly travel agents need to have huge amount of money as the
guarantee to IATA which is about 50,000 GBP, it means you have to plug
this amount to IATA to get the rights to issue tickets to any segments. In
return an agency deals mostly with walking clients and few corporate
B2B customers. Walking clients gives them very low profit margins and
they can not survive dealing only with walking clients or customers over
the phone.

Non IATA travel agents have rights to reserve and book tickets but they
can not issue the tickets as they do not have guarantee to IATA, these
agencies book tickets for the customers and then they forward booking
reference number on a queue to the IATA identified agencies. These
agencies get commissions from the IATA agencies with very low profit
rate. That’s why non IATA travel agencies always have high fares for the
customers.

Small travel agencies are almost liquidated because of new commission


rates by the airlines and IATA. IATA guarantee holder agencies are facing
the same problem; they can not fulfill the expenses of the offices but
due to illuminating of small travel agencies IATA agencies have got more
clients and enquiries.

According to the survey and observations customers have problems to


book their tickets with travel agents and relationship between travel
agents and customers are not satisfied, “everyday more and more
customers are going towards the e-ticketing and prefer to book their
tickets by themselves. Negotiation between the traveler and a travel
agent are implicit in the development of a travel itinerary.” [16]

Travel Agencies working with B2B customers they work on credit and
mostly B2B customers clear their funds at the end of every month, if
their credit goes higher it disturbs the cash flow of the agency as they
pay twice in a month to airlines. B2B customers get even special
discount from the travel agencies as compared with regular consumers.

- 28 -
4.2 Latest Technologies and Survival:-

Travel industry is know as the trend setter industry, they were first to
bring in computers in travel industry and they enhanced their businesses
introducing computers working for their airline reservation systems.
“The adoption of information technology (IT) in organizations has been
growing at a rapid pace. The use of the technology has evolved from the
automation of structured processes to systems that are truly
revolutionary in that they introduce change into fundamental business
procedures. Indeed, it is believed that "More than being helped by
computers, companies will live by them, shaping strategy to fit new
information technology” [17]

Travel agents should understand the need of the time and they should
adopt the latest trends to survive in this filed. IATA agencies should
introduce their own online portals for customers connected with their
IATA identification, this way they can improve their business rapidly and
they can introduce holiday packages as well. “Each day users always get
plenty of spam mails for advertising purposes. These are not only
increase lot of traffics on the Internet but also create some irritations to
email receivers. Further there are the mountains of informative web
sites providing tremendous information for users. The existing search
engines do not allow users to find the relevant information easily.” [18]
Once they built up their own online reservation systems with the passage
of time and with the help of advanced marketing techniques they can
bring their portal on the top of search engines. As we know Google is the
word’s largest search engine, if somebody has to find anything he/she
will just go to Google and will look for the required web page to book
their tickets in addition their searching words can have different results.
Advertisement on different related website can help as well.

Current web technologies are although powerful but have a severe


limitation in that they force a fragmentation of potentially related
activities. “The emerging web services standards are intended to
facilitate global e-commerce through A2A transactions. These standards
are based on XML and cover important aspects of building dynamically
composed systems of services.” [19] It is a highly profitable way with a
reasonable investment, once you develop a dynamic web site with its
complete requirements you only need to pay every month for its
maintenance which is like you are paying your employee but
maintenance charges are far lass than you pay your employees and
office expenditures.

Travel agencies with small business can improve their business with
introducing holiday packages in their services, it has got a huge potential
they need to adopt new marketing strategies so they can get more

- 29 -
business, if their business is not getting enough profit from walking
clients, they can advertise their holiday packages business and can
operate from back office they do not need to stay on high streets to pay
more rent and expenditures they can hire a small office with less rent as
holiday packages are mostly operated by phone.

They can develop their web portal for holiday packages as they would
not be able to issue tickets by themselves, customers who buy holiday
packages they know they would not get their tickets hotel bookings and
other conformation at once they have to book it in advance and after
couple of days they get all tickets and confirmations. This is the only
way for small non IATA travel agencies to raise their profits within this
industry.

4.3 E-Commerce and Travel Agencies:-

The typical definition of Electronic Commerce can be described “where


business transactions take place via telecommunications networks”
Electronic commerce illustrates the development of trade or exchanging
of products and services over the internet. “According to the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, tourism is one
of the largest and most dynamic industries in OECD economies as well as
in some developing countries and is expected to continue to grow at a
rapid pace in the coming years.” [20]

Distinct websites and humanized service, the characteristic of foreign e-


commerce websites is distinct and they offer the humanized service to
users; by contrast, the domestic website's form is stiff, the mode is
duplicated, lacking of the characteristic and selling point. “A lot of
foreign websites have their own enterprises cultures. According to the
needs of consumer, they can choose travel destination, board and
lodging, etc.” [21] As the Internet is becoming more important now
days, retailers tend to change their ways of doing business and are
becoming e-tailers. This change does not only take place in the
education field, but to travel agents as well “large airlines relocate a
portion of their business to the World Wide Web. This raises the question
of understanding customer behavior for purchasing airline tickets via
online travel agents, and particularly: what keeps customers coming
back even though the competition is only a mouse-click away?” [22] This
problem has been observed in the survey, customer are willing to buy
their tickets on their own and they have all facilities at home to do it
then what are the reasons that they again prefer to book their tickets by
travel agents. There can be couple of reasons, some people can not do it
due to lack of time, some people do not like to buy from the internet or

- 30 -
do not want to disclose their credit card details on internet they do not
feel secure, some like to try different routes or multi segments which
online reservation system does not offer. These could be the reasons for
some people to come back to travel agents.

Today people like to buy even their groceries sitting back home and save
their time and organizations are introducing new ways for shopping day
by day. That day is not far when people would have approach to buy
everything online as we can drive this conclusion from seeing last few
years’ e-commerce development.

4.4 Benefits of New System:-

New system would be completely different from the old traditional


approach, customers could search and buy their tickets sitting back
home, regular customer can be advised to buy from their web site and
further changes can be made on phone or by person in the office if the
agency is still dealing with walking clients otherwise customer services
agents can help them on phone.

Travel agents can take full advantage of the new system as they will be
dealing only one customer at a time and they can concentrate on their
work. “It is therefore important to consider the future relationship
between software and society, even to the extent of considering
whether future development processes could become socially driven,
rather than technically driven. This relatively radical view of the future
of software seeks to bridge the gap between technology and society.”
[23] There shall be no credit involved as booking reference number will
be issued after the payment will be processed successfully. There would
be less staff for the management, less expenditure, less office rent as
compared to the high street rent, and all these small things would
contribute to get more profit.

“Forrester Research estimates that by 2003 online bookings will exceed


30% of all U.S. corporate travel spending. Online bookings are performed
by a company’s employees using the specific Internet-based travel
reservation system the company has implemented, instead of calling the
designated corporate travel agency.” [24] Travel agencies can improve
their business profits in different ways and it all depends of their
business policy that how they plan to improve as one of the interviewee
was not agree to take his travel business online because they consider it
is better to providing better customer service rather to take whole
system online.

- 31 -
4.4.1 Complications:-

Many travel agents have already taken their business online and
they are making good business but some customers still have
problems using their online systems. The agents are specially
trained to use a reservation system to obtain information and
interpret it for the customer. Such information includes the base
fare, taxes, travel and refund limitations, aircraft type and meals
and entertainment provided. Sometimes this information is
obscured in the display from a travel site in frequent Web pages
and irrelevant text. Other times the information is not provided
at all. “These guidelines describe how to display a picture of a
product, how to describe the product, and how to display the
price to the shopper. These guidelines fail to address how to
design a Web site when the product is either a service or uses a
variable pricing scheme involving many constraints and options,
such as a Web site that provides airline flight and fare
information. As a result, travel web sites have significant usability
problems.” [25] But complications are not that much bad as they
were in real time sales when a customer has got problem with
different name in booking or misguidance, In this case customer is
100% responsible for giving wrong or false information about
booking.

Nowadays, one of the main agent-based software engineering


application domains is the use of agents for automating
negotiation processes. The aim which is objectified by the major
researches in the automated negotiation subject is to make its
processes as similar as possible to the traditional commerce. [26]
In International travel and holiday packages where there is a
language barrier, trips with multiple segments, and cruises that
require airport transfers some complications are happening
online, still; there is a need of traditional travel agents who deal
with customers face to face and explain them everything verbally.

- 32 -
5. References:

[1] Montano R., Dillon R., 2005, ‘The Impact of Technology on Relationships
within Organizations’, ‘Information Technology and Management’, Volume 6 ,
Issue 2-3, pp. 227-251.

[2]Green C., 1999, ‘E-ticketing takes off’, ‘CMA Management’, ‘ABI/INFORM


Global’, pg. 31

[3] Maselli J., 2002, ‘E-ticketing threatens travel agents’, ‘InformationWeek’,


‘ABI/INFORM Global’, pg. 28.

[4] Avison D., Lau F., 1999, ‘Action Research’, ‘To make academic research
relevant, researchers should try out their theories with practitioners in real
situations and real organizations.’, ‘Communications of the ACM’ Vol. 42, No.
1, PP. 94-97

[5] Lau F., Lee A., 1997, ‘A Review of action research in information systems
studies’ ‘Information Systems and Qualitative Research’, ‘Chapman & Hall,
U.K.’, pp. 31–68

[6] Lane A.,’ What Is Technology?’,’ The world around us’, Available At:
http://www.open2.net/sciencetechnologynature/worldaroundus/whatistechnol
ogy.html

[7] STTB, 2004, ‘Electronic Ticketing’ Available At: http://www.sttb.com/e-


ticketing.htm

[8] IATA, 2005, ‘50 years of IATA history in hard copy’ Available At:
http://www.iata.org/about/history_2.htm

[9] Dwyer L., Forsyth P., 2006, ‘International Handbook on the Economics of
Tourism’, ‘Edward Elgar Publishing’, ISBN:1843761041, pg. 194

[10] Hitchhiker Partners, 2008, Available At:http://www.hitchhiker.com/


desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-30/

[11] Zureik E., Salter M., 2005,‘Global Surveillance and Policing: Borders,
Security, Identity’, ‘Willan Publishing’, ISBN:184392160X, pg. 116

[12] Business Wire, 1999, ‘Business Services Industry’, ‘Lexington Services


Expects Record Year of Growth; Galileo International Recognizes Lexington as
One of the Fastest Growing Hotel Reservations Service Providers’
Available At: http://www.hitchhiker.com/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-30/

- 33 -
[13] ‘REZ: Online Hotel Network, 2007’, ‘Partners’, Available At: http://www.r-
h-n.net/en/partner.asp

[14] ‘UTIS: Ukranian Travel Information System’, ‘Partners’, Available At:


http://www.utis.com.ua/en/index.htm

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Personalization Travel Support Agent Using Q Learning’, ‘ACM Digital Library’
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6. Appendices:-

6.1 Appendix 1:-

History of Galileo:-

Galileo International uses a network of sales and marketing teams


comprising Galileo employees and distributors who operate from
116 countries around the world. This structure allows us to work
closely with associates who possess detailed knowledge of local
travel market conditions.

In 1997, Galileo International became a publicly traded company,


listed on the New York and Chicago Stock Exchanges.

Vision of Galileo:-

To be the leading provider of travel information and transaction


processing worldwide.

Technology: -

Key Facts:-

The Galileo and Apollo systems handle:

 7,036 million instructions per second (MIPS)


 130 terabytes of disk space and 600 terabytes
of tape storage

Annually, Galileo provides the following system


performance:

 99.95% prime time availability and improving


(average 99.98%)
 50,000 program changes without disrupting
systems operations
 Nearly 70 million fare changes
 250 million tickets
 2,915 messages per second in peak periods

Galileo International:-

 Represented in 116 countries

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 2,000 employees
 65 sales offices

Operates one of the world's largest commercial data centers

 175 million information requests daily


 92 billion transactions per year

Travel Suppliers:-

 470 airlines serving 5,000 destinations


 238 hotel companies with 56,000 properties
 24 car rental companies with 19,500 locations
 430 tour operators and all major cruise lines

Travel Subscribers:-

 6 continents
 44,000 locations

6.2 Appendix 2:-

Amadius Truly global: -

• 140 airline customers with more than 130,000 Amadeus


terminals installed
• present in over 210 markets worldwide
• the most extensive, worldwide international distribution
network
• market leader in Western Europe and Asia Pacific
• they are consolidating our position in the US, Africa and
Asia Pacific regions
• owner of e-Travel, Inc. - leading US supplier of hosted
corporate travel technology solutions with a product
development site in Boston
• owner of Vacation.com - largest US marketing network
for leisure travel
• IT services development sites in London and Sydney

Solutions for Travel Portals: -

Travel represents a third of all e-commerce. Customer


online presence and their travel solutions together:

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• add value to customer site
• expand customer product or service offer
• increase customer retention
• help you acquire new customers with more buying
power

Travel can also increase your revenue through cross-selling


and advertising up-sell opportunities.

If Customer Company wants to include travel products and


services as part of on-line offering, but core business is not
travel, they have the answer a range of online travel
solutions for both B2C and B2E markets.

6.3 Appendix 3:-

Interviews Questionnaire: -

Azhar: What are the goal and objectives of your organization?


Azhar: What are the main problems faced by this organization?
Azhar: In expanding your business, what do you think will be the
main source?
Azhar: Are you forecasting that if you expand your business by
bringing it online?
Azhar: Do you know about the Internet business and about its
growth? Are you comfortable with it?
So you are you planning to expand your business?
Azhar: Why you want to take your business online?
Azhar: Have you received any complaints from the customer?
Azhar: So sir thank you very much for your time and support. I
hope that your future business strategy help you with
maximum benefits.
Azhar: What are the problems you are facing in your agency?
Azhar: What will you suggest the solution for those problems?
Azhar: You have enough technical staff to handle online business?
Azhar: Do you have currently enough staff to handle customers
and there problems?
Azhar: Do you receive any suggestions/complaints from the
customer for providing them more facilities?
Azhar: Are you providing extra facilities that the competitors are
not providing?
Azhar: Are your expenses in accordance with the budgets that you
have allocated for your agency?
Azhar: sir, can you explain what you think is the reason?
Azhar: Is your company giving reasonable profits in current
situation?

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Azhar: If the output is profitable then it wouldn’t matter whether
to get that profitability the expenses have increased
because the company has to stay in competition. What are
your comments?
Azhar: How do you think you can gain more profit?
Azhar: Is their any problem facing in the situation related to cash
flow?
Azhar: Is there any problem related to the monthly balance sheet?
Azhar: Will online system increase your profitability?
Azhar: How is your marketing department set up?
Azhar: what is your company marketing policy?
Azhar: How do you carry out your marketing activities?
Azhar: Does it cost you much for advertising?
Azhar: Are you satisfied with the current tools for advertising?
Azhar: How do you perceive as a solution to introduce another
strategy for marketing?
Azhar: Do you use Internet as a means of marketing currently?
Azhar: Do you know that the agency is going to take the system
online?
Azhar: What are your comments?
Azhar: If the system goes online, do you feel that your workload
will be reduced?
Azhar: Do you think the current market shall increase?
Azhar: Do you have any idea of online marketing?
Azhar: What are the main problems faced by this organization?
Azhar: Are you planning to expand your business by bringing it
online?
Azhar: Do you know about the Internet business and about its
growth? Are you comfortable with it?
Azhar: How many employees you have hired for your agency?
Azhar: Do you want to hire more employees to deal with
customers?
Azhar: What is your strategy for your organization if airlines drop
down your commissions?

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