The UK tourism industry is the fifth largest industry and is worth 85 billion pounds and employs 2.1million people which as about 7.7% of the total workforce. (Visit Britain, press release, 11/Jan/2007)
Internet is the major driving force behind this growth, which has seen the development of latest technologies that encourage browsing on personal computers. These days, people can get tourism information easily anywhere in the world if they have access to a computer. Internet usage and popularity has continued to grow at an unprecedented rate ever since its invention. Today according to Internet world state (data), 1.1 billion people are connecting to it.
The Internet has generated new communication space, which is called cyberspace (Cyberspace 2 data). People can be in and out ‘virtually’ at any time in this space where a community of users is formed.
Recently the Internet has become an essential factor in the cyber market and in people’s life. Because of this the tourism industry needs to invest much of its resources towards establishing a comprehensive Internet marketing system. There are many travel agencies, hotels and airline companies opening their own web homepages and offering tourism information and related services for tourists. This makes it almost impossible today to operate without the Internet, because many organizations are selling their products on-line and covers all aspects of life service.
Since the advent of Internet, electronic commerce or E-commerce as popularly known has become an important factor for revenue generation for organizations. According to the Market Report of 2005, the amount of UK e-commerce consumption is expanding annually. (Figure 1)
Figure 1: The estimated total UK online market for leisure and entertainment by value (￡m), 2001-2005
Moreover, Internet electronic commerce revenue is predicted to increase by 177.4% between 2005 and 2009 to ￡236.9bn. As seen in the above chart, e-commerce in hotels has continued to increase over the time. (Keynote Ltd, 2005)
However, there would not be enough levels of revenue from hotel products over the Internet, because of unfamiliarity on the Internet. Over the last few years it has had a big impact on modern life, so people would not hesitate to pay for these products online using the electronic facilities available.
The Hotel on the Internet uses sophisticated technology in its business relationship-marketing program that helps to generate business-marketing leads and maintain long-term customer relationships. Hotels need to use effective reservation services for easy gathering of customer information, enhancing various services like media advertising, internal marketing programs and customer feedback platforms.
Therefore, the marketer and the manager of the hotel need to pursue a systematic and organized management process for their web homepage by regularly updating their website.
These study is a research on a hotel organization to see how they utilized their homepage in relations to their own Internet marketing and the most important factors to pay attention to. It also checks out the general performance using the Internet system. Finally, the research will suggest recommendations for future hotel Internet marketing.