Comparison of an Industry

968 Words4 Pages
With the Internet fast becoming the platform of the day for conducting commercial activities and business transactions, it is important for companies to take advantage of information communication technologies, electronic commerce, mobile computing, and software agents. Internet technologies bring about opportunities for automating customer transactions, internal business processes, as well as business collaborations with associate companies or alliance members for both B2C and B2B e-commerce activities. Electronic commerce, simply put, is the exchange of money for goods and services via electronic means. In other words, electronic commerce is when a consumer purchases something off of the Internet. Electronic commerce is often referred to as e-commerce, or e-business which is a subset of e-commerce. E-business can be anything from purchasing a toaster from a department store online to checking your bank statement online. All are examples of the many aspects of e-business.
In today's business world, e-business activities of various types contribute significantly to the efficiency of business processes, and to the recognition of products and services. The Internet plays a very important role in this process, as it offers numerous possibilities for communication with customers and performance of business activities. No wonder it has become a tool used daily by suppliers of products and services, as well as their users. For example a growing number of companies in the travel industry make use of the Internet platform as virtual shops for marketing and selling travel products and services. Web travel sales has almost doubled annually for the past three years. In 2003, Internet online sales reached 10% of the total bookings and business transactions of the travel industry, including the airlines, hotels, and car rental companies. The followings are indications of the current trends, activities and features:
1. Many hotels have set up their own Web sites to market and sell their hotel rooms (e.g. Holiday Inn, Sheraton Hotels, and the Marriott chain). Most sites allow visitors to check rates and availability, make reservations, and receive a confirmation number within a minute or so of the reservation request.
2. Airlines are selling tickets via their Internet portal at reduced prices.
3. Car rental companies do not hesitate in putting up Web sites to handle reservations (e.g. Hertz, Avis).
4. Travel companies compete with one another and various Internet travel portals by offering their own Internet e-shops that market their travel packages as well as provide reservation services for airfares, lodgings, and various travel products.
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