Internet adoption in travel agents across the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Evidence from four Emirates

Dubey, A R and Dahms, S (2015) Internet adoption in travel agents across the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Evidence from four Emirates. Anatolia, 26 (1). pp. 85-88. ISSN 1303-2917

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Internet adoption has been widely discussed in the context of travel agents (TAs) such as in regard to supplier-networks (e.g. Andreau, Alda, Bigne, & Mattila, 2010), travellerrelationship development (Harris & Duckworth, 2005), or the TA industry at large (Abou- Shouk, Lim, & Megicks, 2013). Some of the key benefits derived from Internet adoption for the economy and companies are faster design and delivery of new products, direct access to new markets, increased productivity, and hence a contribution to economic growth (Poon, 1993). Small- and medium-sized companies (SMEs) are often seen as the backbone of economies in developing and developed countries (Manochehri, Al-Esmail, & Ashrafi, 2012). TAs, being a substantial part of the SME service sector, are seen as playing an important role in this context (Andreau et al., 2010). This research note investigates Internet adoption in TAs across the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE is a particular case; however, given its relatively fast growing economy, political stability, and on average affluent population, the study could provide revealing insights which might be transferred to other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The UAE has been described as one of the forerunners concerning ICT adoption among the GCC countries. Most notably, huge progress has been made concerning the implementation of eGovernment in the country. The UAE might be considered as one of the leading countries in the world for this kind of technology (Al-Khouri, 2012). However, it could be suspected that government agencies are well ahead of the average SME in the country, as it has been argued in the case of Qatar (Manochehri et al., 2012). This note contributes to this debate in providing indicative evidence on the state of Internet adoption of the TA sector in the UAE. The dawn of the Internet has led many researchers to believe that this would be the end of the traditional TA and other industries (Gharavi & Sor, 2006). This apocalyptic outlook, however, has only partially become true in developed countries, and appears even less to be the case in developing countries. Manochehri et al. (2012) found in their study on SMEs in Qatar that companies do show an inclination for Internet usage; however, it is rarely used for commercial purposes to its full potential. This lack of adoption of Internet in TAs and other SMEs has been also observed in developed countries (e.g. Stansfield & Grant, 2003). In a fast changing industry, such as the travel and tourism industry, such negligence could be fatal. This study aims at understanding Internet adoption of TAs in the UAE. The research design to achieve this objective is discussed in the following section.

Affiliation: Skyline University College
SUC Author(s): Dubey, A R ORCID:
All Author(s): Dubey, A R and Dahms, S
Item Type: Article
Subjects: A Business and Management > AM Business Innovation
A Business and Management > AN Information Technology and Economy
Divisions: Skyline University College > School of Business
Depositing User: Mr Mosys Team
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2021 08:10
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 10:59
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