THE EFFECT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN THE HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM INDUSTRY
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE RESEARCH
The use of information technology in the hospitality industry has grown tremendously over the past 20 years. This journey has not always been smooth, but it has become clear that information technology is now a critical competitive weapon in the industry. This article examines how the use of information technology in hospitality has developed, highlights the current role that information technology plays within international hospitality companies, and examines current trends and issues while also attempting to speculate on the role that this technology will play in the industry in the early part of the 21st century.
As with almost every industry, ICT applications have an enormous impact on the Tourism and Hospitality industry. From social media to smart phones and automatic check-ins, Information and Communication Technology effects even the smallest areas of the industry. ICT applications are evolving at an ever quicker pace and industries have to adapt quickly to keep ahead of the curve, or else risk falling behind the competition.
In particular, social media has become a big player in a variety of industries in recent years. With the growth of Facebook and Twitter, many companies have found it an ideal way to promote and sell their wares. As it stands, it is difficult for travel related companies to utilise the likes of Facebook to its full potential. Unlike other, more physical technological advances, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter cannot yet keep up to date with live changes in flight prices and schedules etc. Products such as iPhones and tablet computers have quickly been adapted for flight and hotel bookings, as well as getting up-to-the-minute information on many different locations.
Every organization, business, industry and government uses technology to convert its inputs into output to attain its organizational objectives, structures and strategic planning processes (Glover R.H, 1993). The quality of strategic planning is limited by the quality of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) available to the decision makers and executive information system. The Nigerian hospitality and tourism sector is not an exception. Technology and more specifically Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are one of the resources needed in the hospitality & tourism sector for effective management. It has significantly improved the ability of the manager to monitor individual or team Operation and performance and it has allowed employees to have more complete information to make faster decisions.
1.2STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
Information and Communication Technology has become a potential tool in the hands of the hospitality and tourism industry for sustainable growth it has revolutionized the industry and its advent has enormously increased the capabilities of hospitality industry as they are now able to offer wider range of services to their customers including internet adverts, online tourism and internet service and also expand at a great rate. Despite all these innovations in the hospitality industry and tourism industry, it is highly disheartening to observe that some hospitality industry are still finding it difficult to meet the expectations of their customers as regards service delivery. It is not uncommon to find some clients request clashing with one another’s client, delay in attending to clients, inability to properly sort out transaction and clients general loss of trust in industry. These has therefore led to the interest of the researcher to examine the impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on hospitality industry and tourism industry and also to realize the significant impact ICT has had on their operations so as to guarantee their profitability and growth.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The broad objective of this study is to identify the impact of Information and Communication Technology on hospitality and tourism industry in Nigerian. The specific objectives of the study are;
1. Identify the effects of developments in information technology on hospitality management and operations.
2.Analyze current key issues associated with information technology and explore their implications for the hospitality industry.
3.Evaluate key challenges limiting the use of technology within the international hospitality sector and tourism.
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