Cinema, Destination Image and Place Branding Cinema, Destination Image & Place Branding - Page 207

Considerations on constructing new business models in travel business Masayuki Maruyama 1 ABSTRACT Due to changes in conventional management environments caused by the spread of information communication methods, particularly the Internet, the raison d’être of travel agents is being questioned in these days. While their existence as sales agents of airline companies and accommodation facilities, domestic and overseas, has been a major aspect of business models of travel agents, the spread of the Internet has not only made these business models old-fashioned, but also raised discussions whether travel agents themselves are still necessary or not. It is nec- essary to widely appeal the significance of travel agents in the age of the Internet for the success of business. Innovations in business outlines for strongly appeal- ing to customer segments who are not aware of the significance of travel agents who are also inevitable. In other retail industries, companies closer to consumers exhibit stronger appealing power. Brand-building of the travel industry as a part of the distribution industry is considered to be an urgent need. 1. Introduction Due to changes in conventional management environments caused by the spread of information communication methods, particularly the Internet, the raison d’être of travel agents is being questioned in these days. While their exis- tence as sales agents of airline companies and accommodations, domestic and overseas, has been a major aspect of business models of travel agents, the spread of the Internet has not only made these business models old-fashioned but also raised discussions whether travel agents themselves are still necessary or not. Particularly in the field of international aviation, judging from the fact that sales charges have been abolished, international airline companies do not seem to attach much attention to travels agents. While accommodation facili- ties still think that travel agents are important considering the keen competi- tion among numerous proprietors, the oligopoly condition of airline companies causes them to disregard travel agents. While the tourism market somewhat return to the content page 207