Sites for sore eyes: an analysis of Australian tourism and hospitality web sites
Weeks, P & Crouch, I 1999, 'Sites for sore eyes: an analysis of Australian tourism and hospitality web sites', Journal of Information Technology & Tourism, vol. 2, no. 3/4, pp. 153-72.
This study sought to examine the content of Australian-based tourism and hospitality Web sites reflecting the predominant features that organizations believe are essential on sites. The research was based on a previous study that examined hotel Web sites in North America. Using the Inference Find search engine, 20 sites in six tourism and hospitality sectors were chosen as the sample base. A checklist was devised to isolate features within each of the chosen sites. Totals for elements appearing on sites within each industry sector were calculated. Each sector was then analyzed to find differences and similarities of items included in these sites. Few sites included audio and video on their pages, a growing trend that suggests Web designers are more mindful of those of us who do not yet have state-of-the-art computers! On average, 48% of sites provided maps of locations, and 80% of all sites had updated their sites within the last 3 months, with travel agents and tour organizers updating more regularly. While more and more customers are turning to e-commerce, only 34% of sites offered their visitors provision for purchase on-line. E-mail addresses were the second most common feature found in the surveyed sites. The Accommodation sector appeared to be less keen than other sectors to tell its visitors about other accommodation or tourism sites. Functional groups within the surveyed sample varied considerably. The management functionality of the sites was extremely low across all sectors while the use of sites for promotion and advertising was consistently high.