Motivation for ‘Consumer–Producer‘ Interactions in Tourism: Disintermediation and Scope for Travel Agencies
Increase in accessibility to the internet and consumer’s faith in conducting online transactions, have paved way for a steady change in how consumers plan and buy their holidays. The role of traditional travel agents and online travel portals, as sources most knowledgeable about holiday destinations is on the wane due to the emergence of online reviewing platforms, and easily accessible and first-hand information from the service producers. Consumers today prefer to approach service producers such as resorts, restaurants, transport providers and guides to book their services. Given this scenario, this paper attempts to determine the catalyst for the changing trends in tourist buying behavior, the role of the internet and whether travel agents are aware of the said changes. The paper also looks at possible opportunities for travel agents to expand their products’ portfolio to maintain or increase their revenue in tandem with the changes in the industry. The study takes into consideration responses received from 75 tourists and structured interviews conducted with sixteen travel agents.