In this second section of our course I introduce you to some of our
industry’s leading and most fascinating (but drastically edited)
distribution channel research. The following should be read in HTT 303 Fall
2012 taking you up to the examination. This looks like a lot but it’s not;
the readings have been edited heavily to avoid wasting your time. They are
also easy to read. No numbers are ascribed to blank pages.
The Travel Agent
Growing More...pgs. 1 to 13 and Redefining the...pgs. 26 to 28 and Super Agents...pgs. 29 to
30 Exactly what pressures are being placed on travel agents and why? Also, to stay in and to
enhance business what can agents do? Why too are suppliers “less than honest with their
clients” and finally, how and how effectively does management motivate travel agents?
Beware pitfalls...pg. 14 What is TICO, what does it do and why?
Tico is the Travel Industry Council of Ontario, a not-for profit organization that administers the
protective Travel Industry Act and the Travel Compensation Fund. The fund pays travellers
when their holidays become a nightmare, being cheated out of their money, or stranded at
their destination when dealing with a crooked company, or a company who has since gone
Agents use...pg. 15 How do travel agents become familiar with hotel properties?
Descriptions found on the computer or internet, telephone, contacting the hotel, printed
matter such as brochures, hotel indexes or directories, asking agents, colleagues or API
associates, though nothing beats a one night stay.
How the prime...pgs. 16 to 17 What are fams, how are they changing and why? What is
replacing them, why and how well?
Fams are familiarization trips, travel agents go on these trips at a lower cost to evaluate the
hotel so they can promote it in the future. They are changing because of the ability to purchase
agent ID cards for $495, guests think that they can pay the amount, and receive special
treatment following, when in reality they have no intention of promoting the hotel. Now hotels
are tightening standards, offering fewer trips and more invitation only events. New policies are
being created such as the Hyatt selecting a minimum of 15 agents for their trips, agents that
have produced the most business for them. They introduce he agent to the product, and to any
new features. Hotels and Travel...pgs. 18 to 23 What can and/or has been done to ensure hotels and travel
agents work together harmoniously?
Guidebooks...pg. 24 What is the quality and importance of written guides in travel and
The guides are helpful with providing an overall picture of the country, and its must see’s. They
are useful as a crash course, but not when they are written carelessly, with errors and
generalizations. Typos, factual errors, misspellings, “CNN Tower”.
The days may...pg. 25 What is the possible future of the corporate travel agent and why?
The corporate travel agent is being considered a financial drain due to the shift in purchasing
online tickets, and the dwindling jobs that the agent could cover. They will stay around however
as long as the company is willing to to pay more to have the privilege.
Super Agents...pgs. 29 to 30 Why might travel agents be necessary?
Despite the allure of one-click and book websites, travel agents may be necessary because
people know their agent has the training and professionalism to anticipate their needs and to
avoid some of the pitfalls do-it-yourselfers may encounter.
COST CONUNDRUM...pgs. 31 to 32 Who is United Airlines upsetting and why and for whom is
paying for travel by credit card good and bad and why? Also, who gets paid what in a $100
interchange credit card purchase why and why may changes to this be necessary but bad?
United Airlines is upsetting travel agents in the fight over rising credit card merchant fees, in
which the agents say they can’t afford to absorb the processing fees.
Information Sources... pgs. 1 and 2 How important are LPAs and why? As well why should
they understand their distribution channels, does the literature address this and what is their
key distribution source?
Low Profile Attractions the way a consumer hears about your product, though not through
mass promotion. Positive word of mouth etc. Information provision...pg 3 In the distribution channel why do TICs exist, how financially
effective is Rhode Island’s and why is distributed information’s quality important?
Tourist information centres provide information to tourists and thereby reduce the
unfamiliarity they face when venturing into a new environment . The welcome centre in Rhode
Island generates $35 for every dollar earned. Distributed information’s quality is important
because it is a direct indicator of the quality of a visitor’s experience.
We are...pg. 4 and Q Can you... the left column of pg. 5 What do travel writers and
Travel Writers go from location to location documenting and writing about each place they
visit, the secrets of the town, amusements and attractions. They then write books, magazines,
or articles. Consolidators provide what is often the most inexpensive means to purchase air
tickets, due to the discount they get with the volume of sales they produce.
An advertising...pg. 6 Where is the best untapped “dwell time real estate” tourism
distribution channel plus how, where and by whom is it being employed, why and isn’t it too
intrusive? Finally what can a campaign get from it for further distribution channel use?
Dwell time is the best untapped tourism distribution channel, the number of seconds or
minutes you engage with a digital ad or website. TV screens on the back of taxi cabs is the next
big thing, New York, Canada, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Taxi TV is everywhere. Play Taxi
media has been a “driving” (lol) force in the movement. It is not too intrusive because it
features an off button, though only 3-5% of riders use it. Travel service Flight Center ran a
campaign featuring an interactive game, and upon doing well you would be entered in a
contest for a free trip. The campaign garnered 7000 email addresses of potential customers.
Earn extra...pg. 7 How do points apply even to students on a budget?
Aeroplan miles on consumers CIBC Visa Classic was once reserved for frequent flyers, but now
is open to the majority of consumer. “Groceries, gas, etc. all go on the card” You collect one Air
Mile for each $20 you spend. Members can also earn bonus points for shopping at the
companies online store.
Canadians collect...pg. 8 How can points be accumulated fast, what can they be redeemed
for, how do suppliers protect themselves, should a point user book late and use the web and
what would price divided by # of points reveal?
Points can be accumulated by keeping your account active, “double dipping” - or earning
points for purchases from both credit card companies and businesses that participate in
loyalty programs, booking 330 days in advance, or within the last 2 weeks before departure
are the best time to find deals on prices. They can be redeemed for almost anything, DVDs,
concert tickets, unique items. The suppliers protect themselves by offering a disclaimer
stating they must be used within seven years, prior to the date they expire, and if your account has been inactive for a year is will disappear.
The Drivers... pgs. 10 to 12 What do managers need to know about loyalty programs and
Managers need to know that virtually all hotels, restaurants etc. now provide some form of
loyalty incentive. Millions of people participate in them, and properly designed programs can
increase repeat-purchase rates, willingness to pay price premiums, support, and share of
FACT...pg. 9 How do Toronto’s tour guides differ from those elsewhere, why and so what?
Unlike Athens, Zurich, Montreal, etc. Toronto’s tour guides are not licensed. Apparently it
would conflict with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms on free speech. The city will continue to
cope with renegade walking tours, incorrect information, and double decker buses.
The Destination...pgs. 1 to 4 Why do DMOs exist and can they fail and why? As well why do
they need website evaluation?
Regional DMOs...pg. 5 What is the job of a DMO and how does that job get done?
Destination Management Organizations exist to attract visitors to a certain place to improve
the development and market of a destination. They make use of many of the operational and
marketing strategies common to their peers who are selling a city or state. These include
attendance at industry trade shows, familiarization tours, distribution of tour manuals, mini-
marketplaces, and cooperative ventures with city, state, or provincial tourism offices.
What Tour...pgs. 6 to 11 How can a DMO best serve its main customer? Also what does a CVB
do, how easily and why?
Destination Management Organizations can best serve its main customer by China opens...pg. 12 Note this other element in travel distribution.
The other element in travel distribution is bureaus to heighten their marketing endeavours to
attract visitors to their city, destionational marketing is not simply a promotional effort but a
sophisticated, well-developed plan of action executed
National Tourist...pgs. 13 to 18 How and why are NTO activities & structures changing?
How does... pg. 1 What are companies beginning to realize, why, what testing phase is over
and social media the best and most flexible means of doing what and why?
Companies are beginning to realize the power and reach that comes with building pages and
running advertising campaigns on Facebook. Facebook is perfect for marketers to reach
specific consumer segments. Every major brand has a Facebook. Yes, Consumers are said to be
more likely to purchase a product that was liked by a friend.
Apps... pg. 2 Why would a company and a tourist use AR apps?
Augmented Reality apps make tourist recommendations, directions and even language
translations that pop up through your phones camera. AR helps more travellers get around; it
also presents an opportunity to boost the entertainment value of travel attractions.
Designing persuasive... pgs. 3 to 4 Why is it important to approach Website design
It is important to approach Website design scientifically because websites can influence the
attitudes of the web site user, and can effectively persuade and encourage users to form a
connection with the brand
Investigation of... pgs. 5 to 7 Is SM important to hospitality and tourism and if so why plus
how many types of SM are there?
Social Media is important because it is an online distribution channel, an effective service
recovery channel, able to develop relationships with customers, build brand loyalty. Most
importantly it allows the sharing of information. Types of Social Media: Blogs, Social
Networking Sites, Virtual Worlds, Collaborative Projects, Content Community Sites, Sites
Dedicated for feedback
BUYING A... pg. 8 Where is vehicle distribution off- or on- line and why?
vehicle distribution is done offline because of shipping costs, paperwork processes, and the
barriers of not being able to test drive or trade in your product. The US and Canada have
ironclad franchise agreements, making only dealers allowed to sell you cars. The impact... pg 9 How many people consult the informal distribution channels’ online hotel
reviews, with what effects and why is this study necessary? As well, what do previous studies
say about brand and source expertise? Plus what did this study find are the impacts of positive
and negative reviews?
each year hundreds of millions of people visit informal distribution channel and websites for
-84% have their hotel choices affected by the reviews and $10billion a year are
-this study is necessary to learn online review’s impact on the consumer’s
decision making and tend to the growing consumer demand for unbiased
-consumers tend to trust non-expert source reviews
-branded hotels tend to be less affected by negative reviews based on the
image they have rooted in the consumer’s mind
-positive reviews have a huge impact whereas a negative review has little
impact (unless there are lots of them)
An analysis... pg. 10 What is dis- and re- intermediation and why is this study necessary? Also,
what findings are relevant to more than just travel agencies and how?
Disintermediation is associated with the significant decreased role of traditional intermediaries,
due to the customer receiving his product directly from the supplier.
Re-intermediation is the emergence of online travel intermediaries (ex. Epedia.ca) and have
achieved considerable growth in recent years.
- Travel agencies must adopt and stay current with info tech to stay competitive and to
survive, people still appreciate personal touch
Media Richness... pg. 11 How can a distribution channel manager ensure a web site and
destination are viewed favourably?
- a distribution channel manager can ensure that their website/destination is favourably viewed
through rich media and higher levels of user control on the sites display. Does gender... pg. 12 How do females search for product/service information and what is the
best way to distribute it to them?
Females search for product info mainly through electronic or online search engines. The most
effective way to distribute it is through mobile commerce.
Digital Divide... pgs. 13 to 14 What is meant by the Digital Divide, why does it matter and to
whom? Also, what needs to be further researched and why?
The digital divide is the gap between individuals, households, businesses and areas with regard
to their opportunity to access info communication technologies and use the internet.
- Wealthy tourists travel to destinations with less access to ICTs, huge opportunity cost to
Progress in... pg. 15 Why and what is essential for tourism web si