This studygives an insight into the importance of the use of the Internet in tourism and hospitality industries in Nigeria. 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 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 Nigeria 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 Nigeria before. The results from the survey indicate that most respondents prefer the In- ternet to telephone bookings.

The tourism industry can be seen as one of the business sectors where business functions are almost exclusively using information and communications technologies (ICTs) (Apichai, 201 1). ICTs facilitate this integration and enable customisation of the tourism products to suit the needs of the individuals. The potential values ICTs offer in the development of tourism need to be exploited in order to raise corporate performance and a competitive position. The consideration of ICTs in tourism promotion and development and its impact on strategically managing tour and travel has only recently emerged as a serious area of research (Anand, 2013). The tourism sector is one of the leading sectors in marketing and selling online and is therefore, considered to use ICTs for very specific purposes (Lynda, 2013).

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 operlCTs broadly include the radio [analogue, digital and high frequency two-way], television, telephone, fax, computers and the Internet. Newspapers are also included as they also often now have an electronic form on the World Wide Web (Baryamureeba, nd.). The old types of ICTs [newspapers, radio and television] have the advantages of low cost, requiring little skill to operate and the potential to be highly relevant to the needs of the users in terms of local information delivered in local languages. Their downsides are to do with the often one-sided nature of the communication and potential for censure by governments.

The new and more advanced forms of ICTs include the networked computers, satellite-sourced communication, wireless technology and the Internet. A feature of these technologies is their capacity to be networked and interlinked to form a massive infrastructure of interconnected telephone services, standardized computing hardware, the Internet, radio and television, which reach into every corner of the globe (Baryamureeba, nd.). Tourists have changed their behaviour and technology progresses have conveyed new services and applications. For example, the Internet enables tourists to search, select, create and share information, contributing to the dissemination of their experiences in a collaborative approach (Rodolfo et. al., 2014).

1.2 Statement of the problem
The advent of ICTs has had a paramount impact on tourism. The effects of this revolution continue to change the nature of contemporary tourism on a day-to-day base. The globalization of information, open innovation, better access and collaboration in generation of information and technological convergence, have all contributed to the design of a new scientific paradigm. Thanks to our passion for research and to the continuous advancements in the technological ecosystem as well as the possibility of better understanding human activity and behavior we are on the threshold of a new era of the social science of tourism (Rodolfo et. al., 2014). This new social and technological paradigm affects tourism and human mobility in a way that gives the research process unheard-of possibilities. The current level of technological development allows for the construction of objects that are smaller, more intelligent and embedded in the environment and even wearable. These objects which record and learn our habits are connected to the Internet and they have computing capabilities. They can also be interconnected and generate large quantities of information to benefit the environment in which they are located as well as the travellers that possess them. This gives rise to a new world of interconnected personal machines. This new world involves a convergence among what is physical, what is social and what is digital. Within this context, research assumes the principal role to guide evolution, transferring knowledge to the industry. Relevant academic research is more necessary than ever before in order to explore how ICTs in tourism can contribute to face the challenges of the travel and tourism industries of the next 20 years (ibid.).

1.3 Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study was to investigate the perspectives on information communication and technology in the development of tourism in Calabar metropolis.

1.4 Specific objectives
The study was guided by the following objectives:
1. To establish the types of ITs used to promote tourism in Calabar metropolis.

2. To examine the role of ITs in the development of tourism in Calabar metropolis.

3. To find out the challenges faced in the development of tourism in Calabar metropolis using ITs.

1.5 Research questions
The study was guided by the following research questions:

1. What types of ITs are used to promote tourism in Calabar metropolis?

2. What is the role of ITs in the development of tourism in Calabar metropolis?

3. What challenges are faced in the development of tourism in Calabar metropolis using ITs?

1.6 Significance of the study
Information on ITs in the development of tourism in Calabar metropolis is very sketchy and often generalised. This study generated data presumed to be useful for proper planning and institutionalisation of a framework of action into the integration of ITs in the development of tourism in Calabar metropolis in particular and Uganda as whole. The findings, recommendations and conclusions will hopefully, benefit the marketers of tourism, hoteliers, economic planners, city authorities, entertainers, hospitality industry, politicians, government, non~governmental organisations (NGOs), academics and opinion leaders. Thus, they will have to base their decisions and actions on researched information. The researcher also hopes that this study will form a basis for further research into ITs and tourism in Uganda.

1.7 Scope of the study
The study on IT in the development of tourism in Calabar metropolis was carried out in the Calabar metropolis. The major concepts investigated included: the types of ITs used to promote tourism; role of ITs in the development of tourism; and the challenges faced in the development of tourism using ITs. The study was qualitative and conducted in March 2016 using a case study design and purposive sampling technique. A sample of 30 respondents was selected for the study. The respondents included lodge and hotel workers, taxi and tour operators, commuters and tourists, academics and opinion leaders across Calabar metropolis. The data were collected using interviews and observations for primary data and documents analysis for secondary data.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 44 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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