Lebanese International University
ONLINE BOOKING: AN OPPORTUNITY OR A THREAT TO RETAIL TRAVEL AGENT
Year after year, the booking preferences for independent travelers are diverging towards online booking. The impacts of online booking on travel agents can be measured in terms of opportunities and threats, and vary according to the size of travel agents, the target market as well as the business structure. The purpose of this paper is to propose the investment in online-booking technology as an opportunity to retail travel agents, enabling them to overcome the threats of direct reservation on their business. In this context, we will refer to previous studies and researches that evaluate the impacts of the macro environment, on the business of travel agents. A research study about online-booking led us to believe that, despite its negative impacts, investing in online-booking technology can still create a competitive advantage for travel agents. Research outcomes should shed light on the understanding of the new trends in the tourism industry.
Keywords: Independent traveler, online booking, retail travel agents.