IMPACT OF THE INTERNET ON TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY IN KENYA

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ABSTRACT
This thesis gives an insight into the importance of the use of the Internet in tourism and hospitality industries in Kenya. The aim of this thesis was to find out the impacts of the Internet in tourism and hospitality industries and the advantages and disadvantages of the Internet use in tourism and hospitality. The authors’ focus was on hotel and tour companies.

The theoretical framework of the thesis includes Internet marketing, business-to-business (B2B) internet marketing, business to consumer (B2C) internet marketing, cus-tomer relationship management (CRM) and marketing mix.

The aim of this study was to find out how the selected hotel and tour companies use the Internet for bookings and reservations and how tourists are able to make prior bookings and reservations. For the findings, qualitative and quantitative research approaches were used. Questionnaires were used to gather information, which the authors analyzed in the end.


The results show that the selected hotel and tour companies in Kenya operate by using the Internet daily for bookings and reservations. It was also found out that domestic and international tourists prefer to use the Internet for their travelling arrangements. Most of the international tourists of this survey were from Europe and most of them had visited Kenya before. The results from the survey indicate that most respondents prefer the In-ternet to telephone bookings.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 INTRODUCTION
2 RESERCH PLAN
            2.1  Research topic
            2.2  Concepts and theoretical framework
            2.2.1 Business to Business (B2B) Internet Marketing
            2.2.2 Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
            2.2.3 Marketing Mix
            2.2.4 Business to Consumer (B2C) Internet Marketing
            2.2.5 Internet Marketing
            2.3  Research Questions
            2.3.1 What are the impacts of the internet on tourism and hospitality industries in Kenya?
            2.3.2 What are the advantages and disadvantages of the internet use in tourism and hospitality industries in Kenya?
            2.4  Data and research methods
            2.4.1 Questionnaires
            2.4.2 Observation
            2.4.3 Interviews

3   TOURISM COMPANIES AND INTERNET USAGE
            3.1  Introduction of the visited companies
            3.1.1 African Horizons
            3.1.2 Kobo Safaris
            3.1.3 Pollmans Tours & Safaris
            3.1.4 Safe ride Tours and Safaris
            3.1.5 The Sarova Panafric Hotel

4 SURVEY RESULTS
            4.1  Results of the tourist survey
            4.1.1 Gender of the respondents
            4.1.2 Age of the respondents
            4.1.3 First time in Nairobi?
            4.1.4 Online purchases
            4.1.5 Have you checked destinations online?
            4.1.6 Did the use of the internet have any impact on your bookings?
            4.1.7 Would you use the internet for future bookings?
4.2       Managers set of questionnaires
4.2.1    Duration of the business
4.2.2    Does your company have a website?
4.2.3    How often do you promote your company?
4.2.4    Online promotions

5          CONCLUSIONS
REFERENCES

APPENDICES


1    INTRODUCTION

The aim of this study was to find out how by the authors selected hotel and tour compa-nies use the internet for bookings and reservations and how tourists are able to make prior bookings and reservations. For the findings, qualitative and quantitative research approaches were used. Questionnaires were used to gather information, which the au-thors analyzed at the end. The Internet is an important new channel for commerce in a wide range of sectors.


The main research questions in this bachelor’s thesis are: ‘What are the impacts of the internet in tourism and hospitality industries in Kenya? and `What are the advantages and disadvantages of the internet use in tourism and hospitality industries in Kenya?

The research was carried out in Nairobi in various tour companies and one luxurious hotel. The questionnaires helped the authors to find out what attracts tourists to Kenya and how many tourists make bookings on a daily basis. They also showed the number of local and international tourists. This thesis will therefore analyze the positive and negative influences of the internet on the tourism and hospitality sector, using as a case study the tourism industry in the Republic of Kenya.



While the opportunities afforded by this phenomenon seem readily apparent, there is still much debate and speculation on exactly how the use of the Internet and in particu-lar the World Wide Web (www) will affect established industries. The tourism indus-try, unlike many other industries is a composite of service providers that are grouped with other industries in the national system of accounts. These service providers in-clude travel agencies and tour operators, air, rail, road, and sea transportation operators, hotels, guest houses and inns, tourist attraction operators and other operators of interest to tourists.

2        RESERCH PLAN 2.1 Research topic

The internet has had a profound effect on the hospitality and travel industries. The internet has created a new distribution channel for hospitality and travel products. Ex-pedia sells more than ten million hotel room nights a year. Today, over 50 % of busi-ness travellers book travel services online; this is up 33% from just two years ago. Most hotels, rental car companies and hotel chains have set up their own online reservation systems, allowing the guest to book directly online (Kotler et al 2006, 131.)


The tourists are turning in increasing numbers to the internet to help them plan and book their travel. Some stakeholders in the travel industry, such as airlines, car rental companies and international hotel chains, have been quick to grasp the potential for marketing and selling their services online (Hudson 2008, 229). The internet is being used by the tourism and hospitality industry to perform six key functions: direct mail marketing, advertising, providing information, distribution and selling services to cus-tomers, relationship marketing and marketing research.


The Internet first became available in Kenya during 1993. Full Internet access was es-tablished in 1995. The African Regional Centre for Computing (ARCC), a non govern-mental organization (NGO) based in Nairobi, Kenya, became the first provider of web-based Internet service. The first commercial internet service provider (ISP), Formnet began operating in 1995. Soon competition increased with the entry of three other ISPs. All the ISPs would lease analogue or digital data lines from Kenya to the US to access the Internet backbone. In 2000, there were about 200,000 Internet users in Kenya, with an estimated monthly growth of 300 new subscribers each month. http://www.internetworldstats.com/af/ke.htm

The latest estimate of Internet users for Kenya from the international telecommunication union (ITU) is 3,995,500 people, corresponding to a penetration rate of 9.7%. The main users of the Internet in Kenya are multinational corporations, international organizations and NGOs.



The authors’ objectives in the research were to find out how the internet usage came to Kenya and penetrated into the big industries like the hotels, travel and tour companies...


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