7. Objectives of the proposed study (including provisional title): c
The main aim of this proposed study is to investigate the overall capability of information technology such as the Internet, by both customers and journey agencies in the tourism market. That is to present an in-depth consideration on how enhancement of IT would Influence tourism performance
Provisional title of this study
Capability of Information Technology on Tourism Enhancement: Using Nigeria as
a Case Study
8. The Context(s):d
The development of the Internet has already facilitated journey agencies to chase an effective Information Technology (IT) design strategy in order to gain and maintain a comparable benefit inside both international and household markets. The benefits of IT in tourism have been explored by several researchers such as Buhalis and O'Connor (2005), who indicate that ‘e-tourism' has already proved as a competitive advantage for companies by revolutionising business processes, integrating various elements of the tourism value chain, developing strategic relationships with stakeholders, enhancing profitability
and in becoming increasingly consumer focussed. Even in lesser developed countries such as Nigeria, the Internet is becoming increasingly affordable and is providing good web presence, thus, making it more feasible to improve the management of tourism using IT (Usoro, 2007). Tourism and hospitality are the fastest growing part of international economy. According to Keynote (2009), the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) indicated that the travel and tourism market employed more than 225 million people around the world in 2008 and generated 9.6% of global gross domestic product (GDP) and that the last decade has seen a rapid rise in the size and value of the market. While international tourist arrivals in both Europe and Asia fell by 3% in the second half of 2008 compared with the corresponding period in 2007, arrivals in the Americas, Africa and the Middle East increased by 1%, 4% and 5%, respectively, in the second half of the year. As further section would indicate, most research that combine IT with tourism have been done in Western capitalist countries such as USA and UK. The Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation has been very active in promoting tourism especially in Cross River State (Usoro, 2007), which is becoming an emerging international tourist destination. Studying the enhancement of IT systems in the overall tourism scenario in Nigeria will provide academic insights into the development of such systems in emerging economies, thus adding to the current global knowledge base.
Information technology enhancement in Nigeria tourism and hospitality service, aim to be designed in such a way that, it will create an awareness required to motivate travellers. Journey arrangement like travel ticketing and booking of reservations by tourist which is already been facilitated using internet but more can still be done such as online advertisement and marketing optimisation of Nigerian tourist centres.
Previously registering a vacation through journey agencies used to be a tedious process. Enquiries about journey destinations were all finished through phone, and sought through paper files. This method was exceedingly mistake prone because if the documents were not aligned, it would be very tough to get the correct data from them. The entire process was very tedious and the customers had to plan and integrate various elements of their holiday (such as travel, hotels, etc) themselves which caused a lot of inefficiency and increased the general cost of holiday. Today, the Internet has enabled different organisations to showcase products directly to consumers and also connect with emerging intermediaries (such as Lastminute.com, Expedia, eBookers and Hotels.com). Many companies are expanding their value chain and promoting their products through a combination of systems and partners (Buhalis &Licata 2002; O'Connor 2003).
Buhalis and O'Connor describe how IT have integrated various elements in the tourism industry from a strategic perspective. To the customer, IT have provided user friendly interfaces, greater choice and greater flexibility in planning and budgeting. From a management perspective IT provided accurate market research, better understanding of consumer needs, reduced price offerings and lower costs, reduced bureaucracy and paper-work, new value-added services and internationalization of products by overcoming barriers of language and culture. Yield/Revenue management systems have helped in accurately estimating demand, eventually helping in various revenue optimization methods. Distribution costs are declining because many consumers can be served online in less time. Procurement from suppliers can be systematized using common platforms of technology. Virtual organizations and informational networks can link together various stakeholders to bring together the core competence of each.
Even though researchers such as Buhalis have contributed a lot on e-Tourism theory, they have focussed more in developed countries. There is some research on e-Tourism in lesser developed countries such as Greece (Buhalis & Deimezi, 2003) and China (Buhalis & Song, 2003), however ‘country-specific' factors particular to Nigeria have indicated barriers in the deployment of IT, such as higher costs of IT introduction due to large scale of public organizations, paper documents required for approval processing, security concerns, confidentiality of information, obsolete regulations and laws, lack of technical understanding and computer skills, difficulties of carrying out organizational change and the nature of public sector financing and procurement practices (Olabode & Akingbesote, 2007).
In summary, while most researchers have looked at IT in tourism from a general management perspective, a particularly quantitative analysis on IT capability is still lacking, hence there is a need to measure the capability of Nigerian IT resources. The research presents an in-depth consideration on interpreting how IT conceives ‘worth' through its influence on performance related estimates.
Buhalis,D & Deimezi R (2004).'eTourism developments in Greece; Information Communication Technologies adoption for the strategic management of the Greek tourism industry', International JournalOf Tourism and Hospitality Research,vol.5(2),pp103-130.
Buhalis, D.& Song H,(2003)'The adoption of ICTs & internet in China and impact to tourism industry Structure', International journal of Information Management, vol 23(6), pp.451-467
Keynote (2009).Travel & Tourism Market 2009', Market Review, Travel and Tourism, September 2009
Usoro, A (2007).'ICT (information and communications technologies)and tourism ;an initial exploratory Study of developing economies as suppliers of hospitality and destination', In proceedings of the 6th Annual ISO n Eworld Conference, April 11-13, 2007,Las Vegas
9. Research design (including methods) or critical approach: e
Most previous research in this area have used mixed methods - both qualitative (interviews, observation, etc) and quantitative (questionnaires, surveys, etc.) because tourism is a highly social phenomenon and its integration with IT cannot be studied from a purely quantitative standpoint. In my study, however, a ‘positivist/scientific' approach will be more suitable because, to measure the capability of IT in tourism, a quantifiable conceptual model that derives the relationship between IT capability (independent variable) and dependent variables can work best.
Primary and secondary data collection can both be undertaken, based on the need. Secondary research will help with the background information and on the current scenario of the market as a whole. Firstly, it will help with in literature review to analyse top quality journals, newspapers and books. Secondly it can help in the empirical data analysis if online sources such as databases that provide information about variables concerning IT capability on e-Tourism are available easily. The cost of such databases can be measured against the time constraints of doing primary data collection. If secondary research is not sufficient, primary research can be undertaken by creating questionnaires (concerning capability of IT on Nigerian Tourism)which will be closely discussed with the allocated dissertation advisor and be distributed to travellers, individuals and Nigerian tourism companies that use IT in their operations. This will include both closed and open-end questions such as; how can Nigerian tourism Website be enhanced to improve the quality of its service? And closed question which will contain options. All the data collected can be used to form a case study for further analysis. From this analysis, conclusion will be formed.
The numerical data collected can be coded and analysed using standard statistical packages (such as SPSS) to examine any cross-tabulation, or associations, or grouping that emerges between the dependent and independent variables (e.g. through factor analysis). SPSS can also be used to get descriptive statistics and correlations among variables to understand the relative independence or relatedness among them. SPSS allows playing with the data in different ways like getting the Mean, Median Mode, Standard deviation e.tc. Various country-specific factors (in regard to Nigeria) can be used as control and uncontrolled variables to help in further analysis. From this analysis conclusion and implication will be formed.
10. Ethical issues: f
Ethics plays a major role in this research especially in carrying out primary data collection. In this case one major ethical issue that may emerge is that of ‘confidentiality'. Reluctances may arise because the respondent is giving out some important information in answering a questionnaire and this shall be dealt with by proper email consultation and sending out letter of consent before questionnaires are being distributed
11. Special resources required: g
Numerous periodical items and publications will be utilised for making this study as authentic as Possible .Furthermore some number of facts will be needed from past literature, books, individuals and Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) on specific usage of data and its future Proposition of usage. Time is another resources that is needed for carrying out this study which encompasses prime study and lesser research.
12. Timetable of main stages of the study: h
The study spans over 22 weeks starting mid January 2010 to June 2010. The following Gantt chart describes the proposed schedule for the project. Dissertation Activity Duration (in weeks) Month (2010) Initial Research
Jan 15 -Feb 5
Feb 6 - Feb 27
Feb 28 -March 21
Research Design and Data Collection
Mach 22 - April 19
April 20 - May 18
Findings and Result
May 19 - June 2
Conclusion,Implication,Summary and References
June 3 - June 24
Time-Plans for the Research
Activity 1 (3weeks); The first three weeks will be used for the writing the understanding, purpose of the study, significance of the study, and definition of terms, assumptions, validity and reliability of the study.
This will be done by discussing closely with the supervisor and taking valuable guidance .Attempt to write the Abstract, Introduction and Background of the research will be done.
Activity 2 (3weeks); The next three weeks will be dedicated to the review of all possible literature in regard to the research.
Activity 3 (3weeks); The next three weeks will be used to read case studies on the relevant topic. This will add to the knowledge gained by review of literature.
Activity 4(4weeks); Next four weeks will be used for writing the research methodology and research design this will also include designing and sending out questionnaires with receiving of feedbacks, Furthermore availability of data from online databases will be investigated.
Activity 5(4weeks);The next four weeks will be used for analysing the data collected.
Activity 6(2weeks); The proceeding two weeks will be used to document the results and findings.
Activity 7(3weeks);The last three weeks will be used for conclusions ,implications ,recommendations,
Summary, bibliography and reference
a. Student Records will be updated with this information. Note that we will continue to use your University email address and you should check your account regularly.
b. The University document Research Ethics: A Handbook of Principles and Procedures can be found via the University's Postgraduate internet pages.
c. Summary of proposed study should indicate the topic to be covered, and the study objectives or intended outcomes. Indicate here if your Dissertation is likely to include confidential material (eg commercially-sensitive information), so that a procedure for dealing with it can be agreed.
d. This section should summarise the context(s) to your study. You should clarify the academic context by indicating some of the principal themes, issues or problems identified by current or previous scholarship/research/practice. Include a short bibliography. You may also indicate any relevant social, professional and institutional/organizational contexts relating to the study. Your analysis of this context should make it clear why you consider the study to be worthwhile.
e. This section should describe how you plan to approach your topic and indicate briefly why you think this approach is appropriate. Any fieldwork elements should be described here. If the proposed study raises any health and safety issues you should identify them here, and attach securely to the form a statement signed by yourself declaring how these have been addressed.
f. Highlight any ethical issues raised by your study. If required, attach further information on how these have been addressed. Indicate on front page whether you need to seek ethical clearance from any external body.
g. Indicate here the location and availability of any resources, such as library or archive material or data sets, beyond those which are readily available in the University. Equipment to be used, and its availability, must be listed.
h. Take into account any seasonal constraints, for instance the school year for school-based projects, or natural constraints for work in the field.