Electronic Commerce in Tourism in China: B2B or B2C?
E-commerce has significantly changed the distribution channels of travel products in the world including China. Online channels are growing important in travel service distribution. In China tourism industry has been developed rapidly with the economic development, more and more international travel service providers are trying to expand their Chinese market through the Internet. This paper sheds lights on the e-commerce development models in China for international travel service providers. It explores the current e-tourism in China from the three different participants in the value chain in tourism industry - consumer, travel agent and travel service provider. The paper also identifies the barriers in B2C arena in international outbound travel market, and discusses the possible approaches for international travel service providers to develop their e-commerce in the huge Chinese market. The results in this study reveal that international travel service providers should focus on B2B model to expand their electronic market in China. B2C development in tourism largely depends on the change of Chinese customers’ behavior and the change of international tourism regulations. The findings of the study are expected to assist international travel service providers to understand current e-tourism in China and to support their planning for future e-commerce development in China.
KeywordsTourism Industry Travel Agency Electronic Market Chinese Market Online Channel
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