A study of hotel information technology applications
Purpose - Information technology (IT) applications in the hotel industry have largely been devoted to the handling of the routine operational problems that crop up while running a hotel. Previously, the hotel industry has been criticised as reluctant to make full use of IT. This paper reports and analyses the findings of a recent survey on IT applications in Hong Kong hotels. Design/methodology/approach - Through personal interviews with 21 managers of hotel electronic data processing/management information systems (EDP/MIS) in 2003, different technical and behavioural aspects of IT were examined. Findings - Compared with a similar study performed in 1997, the empirical findings in 2003 showed that IT was used not merely to replace the existing paper system but also to improve customer services and to enhance operational effectiveness. Unfortunately, the empirical findings also indicated that hotel decision makers did not seem to realise the importance of IT for the purpose of developing business strategies and, therefore, IT was generally not used in hotels for high-level business decision-making. Research limitations/implications - A limitation of this study was the fairly low participation rate of hotel managers. Practical implications - The study does offer useful insights for hoteliers to realistically analyse the potential benefits of IT applications to their business. Originality/value - This paper will contribute to help raise the awareness of IT involvement at all levels of hotel business processes, and facilitate hoteliers to proactively incorporate IT into their efforts to remain competitive in the industry.
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