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E-Tourism in Europe. The E-CRM and ITCs adoption issues: how to retain customers?

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  1. The General Context
    1. Economic importance of the sector
    2. Weight of the SMEs in the sector
    3. Online Travel sales in Europe
    4. Internet users profile
  2. The Travel industry specific features and the Information and Communication Technologies impact
    1. The Travel industry value chain
    2. Providing the overall travel experience
    3. The impact of the Information and Communication technologies
    4. Trends and challenges of the EU e-tourism market
  3. The Internet features and its e-CRM benefits
    1. The CRM definition and the Nykamp consulting group model
    2. Internet features and its e-CRM benefits
  4. E-marketing: decreasing customer uncertainty
    1. An intangible product
    2. A fragmented product
    3. The e-customised offer
    4. Electronic ticketing and ticketless travel
  5. E-marketing: providing a reliable and useful customer database
    1. The marketing research perspective
    2. The Customer databases management practises
    3. Market targeting

E-tourism offers the potential to make information and booking facilities available to a large number of consumers at a relatively lower cost. Among its several advantages are that it enables the tourism sector to make large scale savings on the production and distribution of print and other traditional activities such as call centers and information centers. It also provides a tool for communication and relationship development with the end-consumers as well as tourism suppliers and market intermediaries. Tourism can be viewed as very different from most other sectors of e-commerce as the consumer goes and collects the product at the point of production which is the destination. Consequently, e-tourism avoids the need to deliver products around the world. All these factors enable e-commerce to grab a greater slice of the pie globally. As a result, the Internet can be considered as the last revolution in the distribution of tourism information and sales. The internet is even becoming the primary channel for business to business communication. It offers suppliers the potential to by-pass intermediaries in the value chain and thus increases their revenue base. Consequently, new business models must be developed by travel and tourism companies in order to manage their relationships with intermediaries and final customers. It is obvious that the application of e-business methods in Customer Relations Management (e-CRM) provides such an opportunity.

[...] The Customer relationship management philosophy: how to retain customers 3.1 Customer relationship management definition and the Nykamp consulting group model Customer relationship management (CRM) is one of the key aspect of e-business and emarketing. It is a higly and cost efficient approach. We can even call it a philosophy which is based on the knowledge and the relationship with customer. The knowledge and relationship with the customer is key to maximising the sales opportunities and especially repeat purchase. CRM impacts the structure of the organisation itself as it helps to refocus and restructure it, it can be applied to the end-consumers or intermediaries. [...]

[...] It is obvious that in order to maximize CRM solutions the staff must be trained and highly motivated. The staff must be ready to fulfil the needs of specific customer segments. Their targets should be in terms of customer acquisition, retention, value and profitability, as well as satisfaction. These objectives will require excellent monitoring systems, together with creative and focused market research. As described above, the Internet provides good means for instant research on customer requirements through e-mail or surveys linked to Website usage. [...]

[...] From a pricing point of view, the tour operator is enabled to offer lower prices to ecustomers, as they negotiated and bought the components of the holiday package in a bulk. The Internet increases the reactivity level of the tour operator who is able to adjust the prices of the holiday packages in ?real-time? according to the level of the customer demand. As a result, tour operators provide low cost and flexible holidays packages meaning that they are can sell individual and high quality products at a unit cost level of mass production!!!!! [...]

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