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This article examines the effect of Internet-based electronic markets on consumer search in the travel and tourism industry. Two experiments provide the empirical basis for the article. We address the question of whether consumer search in electronic markets is different from search in conventional markets. In this work we refine the efficiency of consumer search and its effects with the following questions: 1) Is consumer search in electronic markets more productive? 2) Is consumer search in electronic markets more efficient? Based on our analyses, we present propositions about major obstacles that have prevented current travel markets from reaching the hypothesized high efficiency related to electronic markets. The article ends with a critical outlook of the market development. Are there ways to overcome some of the observed obstacles and are there indications that the industry has understood the problems and is reacting?

Keywords: Consumer search; Electronic travel markets; Search costs

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830503108751180

Affiliations: 1: *Department of Information Systems, Helsinki School of Economics, Runeberginkatu 14-16, 00100 Helsinki, Finland 2: †Department of Management Information Systems, University College Dublin, Ireland

Publication date: January 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • 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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