Dealing with online intermediaries reading
The reading focuses on the relationship between IHG and online intermediaries in the online marketing environment. The key stakeholders are: IHG that seek to develop direct online sales, online intermediaries who are the link between accommodation, catering and travel service producers and consumers; travel sector who provide traveling services; hotel sector who provide accommodation and catering services and; consumer s who seek the accommodation, catering and travel services. The development approach reflected is the use of online marketing.
The outcome of the online marketing approach for tourism development is the increase in sales at competitive and affordable rates. Online marketing is achieved through online intermediaries or through online direct sales by individual hotels such as IHG. The strength of the approach to tourism destination development is that it provides a one stop shopping opportunity for consumers. The weakness is that online intermediaries do not allow the hotels to respond to market fluctuations by varying rate and room allocation and when they do, a penalty is instituted.
The sustainable policy or practice evident in the reading is enhancing brand integrity and price parity to ensure fair display by online intermediaries. In my own capacity I would recommend the application of online intermediaries as well as direct sales to popularize the brands and to get access to more customers. In conclusion, online marketing can be a very effective and frugal method of reaching target groups. It allows brands research, price comparisons as well as online purchasing without traveling a lot (O’Conner, 2008).