Loughborough University
Thesis-2006-Maswera.pdf (24.91 MB)

E-commerce in the travel and tourism industry in Sub-Saharan Africa

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posted on 2011-01-24, 11:28 authored by Tonderai D. Maswera
The e-commerce revolution in business can help African countries expand their tourism industry. Africa, with its great wealth in wildlife and unique resorts, can benefit from the ever increasing user population of the Internet, particularly in the USA and Western Europe where most of the tourists to Africa come from (Internet World Stats, 2004). E-commerce which runs on the backbone of the Internet can help the African tourism industry break into international tourism, thus increasing the flows of the much needed foreign currency. As there was little empirical data on the e-commerce activities in the African tourism industry the researcher first and foremost examined a large number of websites in order to paint a picture of the nature and extent of the e-commerce activities in four -African countries. For comparison, websites of tourism organisations from USA and Western Europe were also examined. The surveys revealed that few of the African organisations are embracing e-commerce and that although some websites were comparable to those of their western counterparts the majority had room for considerable improvement. After examining the websites another survey was carried out to find the current progress of e-commerce adoption and usage from the perspective of the African tourism organisations. Analysis of the data collected showed that e-commerce adoption among the tourism organisations was slow. This led to more surveys being carried out to find the barriers to e-commerce among tourism organisations with information-only websites and those whose websites had limited interactive facilities. These surveys revealed that tourism organisations with information-only websites faced more barriers than those with websites which had limited interactive features. They also revealed that the most common barriers were technological and security and legal barriers. The ultimate survey involved finding out from tourism organisations with fully-fledged e-commerce websites how they overcame the e-commerce barriers. The methods used by these organisations to overcome e-commerce barriers together with recommendations made in the surveys carried out earlier were used to formulate recommendations and guidelines for those organisations intending to adopt and e-commerce. The recommendations and guidelines were tested and results showed that they are helpful and easy to follow.



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© Tonderai Davidson Maswera

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Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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  • en