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This study explored a small slice of the soaring electronic travel marketplace: how a representative sample of 125 Swiss hotels used Web-based marketing tools. Software agents in conjunction with personal observations benchmarked and analyzed over 200 different Web site criteria (information provision, transaction/reservation functions, communication and customer service, use of advanced Internet technologies, etc.). Results of this study correspond with prior research: most hotel Web sites broadcast static information and provide limited transactional functions. The Web's marketing potential is in its early stages. Comparing the analyzed hotels, the research found significant differences in Web site tools across hotel category and size, but no differences across geographic or linguistic region.

Keywords: Benchmarking; Hotels; Internet; Switzerland; Web site analysis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: *Lausanne Institute for Hospitality Research (LIHR), Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), Le Chalet-à-Gobet, 1000 Lausanne 25, Switzerland 2: †Competence Center ISnet-VS, University of Applied Sciences Valais, Technopôle 3, 3960 Sierre, Switzerland 3: ‡Hotel Valuation Services HVS, 372 Willis Avenue, Mineola, NY 11501 4: §University of Western Australia, Faculty of Business, Department of Information Management and Marketing, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, 6009, Western Australia

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • Information Technology & Tourism is the first scientific journal dealing with the exciting relationship between information technology and tourism. Information and communication systems embedded in a global net have profound influence on the tourism and travel industry. Reservation systems, distributed multimedia systems, highly mobile working places, electronic markets, and the dominant position of tourism applications in the Internet are noticeable results of this development. And the tourism industry poses several challenges to the IT field and its methodologies.

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