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Chapter Six Expectations vs Delivery This chapter describes the

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Chapter Six Expectations vs Delivery This chapter describes the ...

    Chapter Six

    Expectations vs. Delivery

This chapter describes the correlation between the respondents’ overall expectations

    of tourism web site features and the delivery of those features on some of the best

    tourism web sites in the World and New Zealand. The overall means expectations

    are based on the average of the means of three respondent categories; academia,

    people from the tourism industry, and tourists. The delivery values are the

    percentage of features present on 60 World and New Zealand tourism web sites. The

    findings discuss the 59 features in an expectation vs. delivery diagram; the features

    that have extreme values (those that have high expectations but very low delivery and

    those that have low expectations but very high deliver); and the expectations vs. delivery of the top ten and the bottom ten features. Before these findings are

    examined, overall means of expectations and the expectations vs. delivery quadrants will be discussed.

6.1 Overall Means of Expectations

    The overall means of expectations were calculated for each of the 59 features as listed

    in Figure 3.3, Chapter Three. The overall means are the average means of the three

    categories of respondents; academia, people from the tourism industry, and tourists.

    The average means of the three categories were used instead of the means of all

    respondents because the number of respondents in each category varies significantly.

    From the total of 170 responses, 90 responses came from academia, 29 responses

    from the tourism industry, and 51 responses from tourists. By taking the average

    means of the three categories, rather than the means of all respondents, the larger

    number of respondents in one category would not overwhelm the lower ones.

    Appendix 9A shows the overall means of response and the means of the three

    categories of respondents. Appendix 9B shows the features sorted according to their

    means with the top ten, and the bottom ten features highlighted.

    Chapter Six. Expectations vs. Delivery 61

6.2 Expectations vs. Delivery Quadrants

    This section describes the expectations vs. delivery quadrants. The four quadrants

    are high expectations-high delivery (quadrant I), high expectations-low delivery (quadrant II), low expectations-low delivery (quadrant III), and low expectations-high delivery (quadrant IV). It was decided that values above 3.5 would constitute high expectations and values above 60% would constitute high deliveries. Figure 6.1 shows the four quadrants. Quadrant I is represented as a star, quadrant II as disappointing, quadrant III as common, and quadrant IV as questionable.

    Delivery

    100%

    Quadrant IV Quadrant I low expectation-high delivery high expectation-high delivery 80%QUESTIONABLE STAR

    60%

    40%Quadrant II Quadrant III high expectation-low delivery low expectation-low delivery DISAPPOINTING COMMON 20% Expectation 0%

    012345

    Figure 6.1 The four quadrants of expectations vs. delivery

A non-extreme range according to the trend of expectations vs. delivery in a scatter

    diagram has been established. An example is shown in Figure 6.2. Extreme values

    are those that have high expectations but very low delivery and low expectations but very high delivery.

    Delivery

    100%

    80%

    60%

    40%

    20%

    0%Expectation 012345

    Figure 6.2 Example of a non-extreme range of expectations vs. delivery Chapter Six. Expectations vs. Delivery 62

    6.3 Expectations vs. Delivery of the 59 Features The expectations vs. delivery of the 59 features for the World and New Zealand sites

    are listed in Appendix 10. Figure 6.3 and Figure 6.4 show the features placed in the

    expectations vs. delivery diagram for the World and New Zealand sites respectively.

    The figures show that within one quadrant the features are divided into higher and

    lower groups. Features with delivery above 80%, form higher groups for the star (I) and questionable (IV) quadrants; and features below 80% form lower groups. Features

    with delivery above 30% form higher groups for disappointing (II) and common (III) quadrants; and features below 30% form the lower. For example, on Figure 6.3, the

    features logo and company information are in the higher group of questionable quadrant, while tourism search engine, automatic suggestion to save money, and automatic plan change are in the lower group of disappointing quadrant. Therefore, the position of the features in the diagrams shows approximate points of expectations

    vs. delivery.

Figure 6.3 and Figure 6.4 show that the World sites have high delivery (47.5%) for

    nearly twice as many features as the New Zealand sites (25.4%). About two-thirds of

    the features (74.6%) have low delivery for New Zealand sites. The features are

    concentrated in the star (35.6%) and common (35.6%) quadrants for the World sites.

    The features for New Zealand sites are concentrated in the disappointing (30.5%) and common (44.1%) quadrants. There are nearly twice as many features in the

    disappointing quadrant at New Zealand sites (30.5%) as those at the World sites

    (16.9%). It can be concluded that New Zealand sites are lagging behind in the

    delivery of features, especially for those most expected by the respondents.

Thirteen of the top 15 quartile features discussed in Chapter Four, are located in the

    star quadrant for the World sites. Two other features, itineraries information and calendars/events information, are located in the higher group of the disappointing quadrant. It can be concluded that the World sites have delivered features that are

    considered most important. New Zealand sites also delivered reasonably well. Ten of the top 15 features are located in the star quadrant.

    Chapter Six. Expectations vs. Delivery 63

     Products/services Delivery Price of products/services Contact information E-mail 100%Tips/FAQ New information Logo, brand name Online customer service Company information Payment methods On-line reservation/ordering Programs/activities Transport information Maps Discounts Important organisation contacts

    80%IV I

    Online security transaction Product's search engine 47.5% 11.9% Press releases Digital signature/encryption 35.6% Employment opportunities Travel schedules/planners Something free Special offers AffiliationsAvailability checking Travel guides Hot links

    60%

    Customising travel plan facility Outstanding web design Weather report Itineraries information Job status tracking Calendars/events information Warranty & return policies Exchange rates Awards Contests, sweepstakes Multimedia 40%Testimonials Chat/discussion forum

    III II

    Company’s stock quotes 52.5% Catchy information display 35.6% 16.9% Current time Air miles calculator Research data Travel insurance information 20%Multi-language support Customised news report Facility for interactive brokering Automatic proposals “Surprise” discounts/bonuses/ Accreditation Web cam Tourism search engine Benchmarking information Automatic suggestion to save money On-line auctionsAutomatic plan change

     Expectation 0%

    012345

    Figure 6.3 Expectations vs. delivery of the 59 features for the World tourism web sites

    Chapter Six. Expectations vs. Delivery 64

Delivery

    100%

    Products/services Logo, brand name Company informationE-mail Contact information Price of products/services Online customer service Maps Programs/activities 80%I IV

    Transport information Hot Links 25.4% 3.4% 22.0% Travel guides Payment methods On-line reservation/ordering Itineraries information 60%

    New information Important organisation contacts Travel schedules/planners Customising travel plan facility Calendars/events information Outstanding web design Special offers Affiliations Discounts Awards Tips/FAQ Online security transaction Digital signature/encryption Warranty & return policies Product's search engine Travel insurance information40%Exchange rates

    III II 74.6% 44.1% Multimedia 30.5% Accreditation Testimonials Chat/discussion forum Multi-language support Tourism search engine 20%Contests, sweepstakes Availability checking Press releases Weather report Something free Employment opportunities Job status tracking Current time Research data Automatic suggestion to save money Facility for interactive brokering Benchmarking information Automatic plan changeWeb cam Customised news report Company’s stock quotes Automatic proposals Catchy information display Air miles calculator On-line auctions “Surprise” discounts/bonuses/ Expectation

    0%

    012345

Figure 6.4 Expectations vs. delivery of the 59 features for New Zealand tourism web sites

    Chapter Six. Expectations vs. Delivery 65

6.4 Expectations vs. Delivery of the World Tourism Web Sites

    This section discusses the features that have extreme values in disappointing (II) and questionable (IV) quadrants; the expectations vs. delivery of the top ten features; and

    the expectations vs. delivery of the bottom ten features of the World tourism web

    sites.

6.4.1 Features With Extreme Values for the Word Tourism Web Sites

    Figure 6.5 shows that most features lie in the star and common quadrants. Therefore, in general, the respondents’ expectations correspond to the delivery of the World

    tourism web sites (ie. the higher the expectations the higher the delivery). There are

    ten features in the disappointing quadrant (16.9%) where the expectations are high

    and deliveries are low, and seven features in the questionable quadrant (11.9%) where the expectations are low and deliveries are high. However, most of these

    features are close to the center of the quadrants (3.5, 60%).

    Delivery Extreme values

    100%

    80%

    60%

    40%

    20%Extreme values

    0%

     012345

    Expectation

    Figure 6.5 Scatter diagram for expectations vs. delivery of the World tourism web sites

    Extreme values in the disappointing (high expectations but very low delivery) and questionable (low expectations but very high delivery) quadrants fall outside the

    shaded area. There are seven features with extreme values; three in the disappointing Chapter Six. Expectations vs. Delivery 66

quadrant and four in the questionable quadrant. These features are listed in the

    following Table 6.1.

    Tourism search engine 3.91 16.7%

    Disappointing Automatic suggestion to save money 3.84 13.3%

    II Automatic plan change 3.78 0% Logo, brand name 3.13 100%

    Questionable Company information 2.79 93.3%

    IV Press releases 2.63 76.7%

     Employment opportunities 2.35 70%

Table 6.1 Features in the disappointing and questionable quadrants with extreme values for the

    World sites

The four features in the questionable quadrant are not of major concern. These are

    features that benefit companies more than tourists. Although in this study these

    features are not considered important (less than 3.5), in some cases these features

    may provide a competitive advantage for the companies. Logo and company information are features that any web sites are most likely to have regardless of

    whether they are considered important by tourists. All World sites being reviewed

    have logo/brand name and 93.3% of the sites contain company information (eg.

    Sheraton hotel at

    www.sheraton.com/common/company_info/cor_history.html). The press

    releases feature, on the other hand, could have promotional value for the sites. The

    feature is present at over three-quarters of the World sites (76.7%) reviewed. Many

    of these sites include promotional materials in their press releases to increase their

    credibility. For example, the press releases of Preview Travel report the company

    growth in terms of revenue, number of visitors, number of subscribers, and the

    number of tickets sold (www.previewtravel.com/About/Mediaguide/press.html).

    Seventy percent of the World sites provide information about employment

    opportunities, many offering a means to submit an application and resume online.

    This feature also benefits companies rather than tourists. Using the online method

    these companies may easily receive applications from highly qualified people around

    the world. This is an effective recruitment method in a fast changing and highly

    Chapter Six. Expectations vs. Delivery 67

    competitive environment. For example, MGM Grand employment opportunities can be found at www.mgmgrand.com/employment/index.asp.

    Of great concern are features with extreme values in the disappointing quadrant. These are features with high expectations and very low delivery. There are three

    features with these extreme values at the World tourism web sites; tourism search engine, automatic suggestion to save money, and automatic plan change. Only 16.7% of the World sites provide a search engine for tourism information in general.

    However, most World sites (76.7%) provide a search engine for products/services

    information within their sites. Therefore, tourists can only search information within

    their sites, not from outside. The reason could be that the World sites do not want the

    visitors to jump to competitor sites.

    Automatic suggestion to save money and Automatic plan change features are two of the features that can be categorized as context oriented (Martin, 1997). The features

    help tourists to make decisions based on individual and specific needs. Automatic suggestion to save money feature is considered important since respondents can also

    be considered as an advance breed of Internet users who would shop around for

    bargain prices. However, the feature is only provided by 13.3% of the World sites.

Automatic plan change is a feature that automatically changes a travel plan, with

    customer’s consent, when one part of the travel plan is delayed or cancelled. None of

    the World sites appear to offer this feature. The feature may not be available yet

    since it requires at least four systems; real-time interconnection of many different

    companies (eg. airlines, car rentals, accommodations, tour operators), a tracking

    system to monitor change, change notification system, and customer’s change

    mechanism. The first system, real-time interconnection of many different companies,

    is available with CRS (computer reservation systems) companies like SABRE,

    Worldspan, and Galileo; and their cybertourism companies (Travelocity for SABRE,

    Expedia for Worldspan, and ITN for Galileo). The second and third systems, a

    tracking and a notification system, are also available. For example, Travelocity

    (

    www.travelocity.com) offers current arrival and departure information that can be

    relayed to an e-mail or a pager. The more advanced of such flight tracking systems

    provide real time and graphic information of a plane’s position on a map; the speed,

    Chapter Six. Expectations vs. Delivery 68

direction, and the height of the plane from the ground; the current time; and the

    departure and destination points (eg. TheTrip.com). The last system, customer’s

    change mechanism, is also available at most sites that have an online reservation

    system. A company that is able to put these systems together would have a

    competitive advantage.

6.4.2 Expectations vs. Delivery of the Top Ten Features of the World

    Tourism Web Sites

    Appendix 10 shows the expectations vs. delivery for the World and New Zealand sites

    sorted according to expectations. The Appendix also highlights the top ten features

    and the bottom ten features that will be discussed in the next two sections. The

    expectations vs. delivery of the top ten features for the World sites is shown in the

    following Table 6.2. The table shows that nine features are in the star quadrant and one feature is in the disappointing quadrant. The feature in the disappointing quadrant, itineraries information, has high expectation but is a little low on delivery (50%).

    However, the expectations vs. delivery value is not considered extreme.

    Products/Services 4.23 100.0%

     Price/Cost of products/services 4.62 96.7%

     E-mail 4.66 93.3%

    Star New information 4.09 90.0%

    I Online reservation/ordering 4.34 86.7%

     Programs/activities 4.08 86.7% Maps 4.10 80.0% Travel schedules/planners 4.22 73.3% Availability checking 4.27 66.7% Itineraries information 4.09 50.0% Disappointing II

    Table 6.2 Expectations vs. delivery of the top ten features of World tourism web sites

    The delivery of World sites for the nine features in the star quadrant is good. Four of the features are present at 90% or more of the World sites. All World sites contain

    information about products/services and nearly all (96.7%) sites provide information

    about their prices. Tourists can communicate online with most of the World tourism

    Chapter Six. Expectations vs. Delivery 69

web sites using E-mail, which is provided by 93.3% of the sites and are provided with

    new information on 90% of the sites. Tourists can check the availability of

    products/services online on 66.7% of the sites and can reserve/order the products

    online at 86.7% of the sites. Travel information such as programs/activities, maps,

    and travel schedule/planners are available at 86.7%, 80.0%, and 73.3% of the sites

    respectively. The high delivery in the top ten features suggests that the web sites have

    provided adequate attention to the features considered most important.

6.4.3 Expectations vs. Delivery of the Bottom Ten Features of the

    World Tourism Web Sites

    The expectations vs. delivery of the bottom ten features for the World sites is shown

    in Table 6.3. The Table shows that three features are located in the disappointing quadrant and seven in the common quadrant. The three features in the disappointing quadrant (company information, press releases, and employment opportunities) have been discussed in the previous section 6.3.1. They have extreme features. Although

    the expectations are low, a large number of World sites provide these features (93.3%,

    76.7%, 70% respectively). These features benefit the companies more than tourists.

    However, no disadvantage is detected from placing the features on the web sites.

Six features in the common quadrant are on the shaded area of non-extreme values

    and one feature, company stock quote, is outside. The company stock quote feature has the bottom expectation yet it is available at 26.7% of the World sites. The

    information is targeted to investors rather than tourists. For example, Preview Travel

    provides a link to its stock price at

    quicken.excite.com/investments/quotes/?symbol=PTVL.

    Within the common quadrant, awards and contests/sweepstakes features have the highest delivery (50%, 40%). The bottom deliveries are web cam and benchmarking information features (both 3.3%). Web cam is only available at the TravelTex site

    (www.traveltex.com) and benchmarking information is only available at the American

    Express site (www6.americanexpress.com/corporateservices/consulting/docs/benchmark.asp). The

    benchmarking information by American Express is quite comprehensive, comprising

    analysis on domestic and international air travel, room rates, and car rental

    information.

    Chapter Six. Expectations vs. Delivery 70

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