The Emerging Role of Vertical Search Engines in Travel Distribution: A Newly-Vulnerable Electronic Markets Perspective
Proceedings of the 41st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2008) (2008)
Waikoloa, Big Island, Hawaii
Jan. 7, 2008 to Jan. 10, 2008
turmoil and disturb existing industry structures. We analyze the impact of the Internet and e-commerce technologies on digital intermediaries in the travel distribution sector. We suggest that the emerging role of meta-search agents, which act as shopbots for online travel, lead to the increasing vulnerability of existing intermediaries in the industry, especially the information infra- structure-providing global distribution systems (GDSs) and the distribution-based online travel agencies (OTAs). We base our analysis on the theories of newly-vulnerable markets and in- termediation. This supports our examination of the character- istics of existing electronic distribution players in the industry that make them vulnerable to new search engine technologies. The main findings that we report are: (1) technological ad- vances change the defensibility of e-market intermediaries to new value-adding secondary intermediaries, and (2) the value- added opportunities come from providing consumers with en- hanced transparency-based price and feature search, as well as comparison capabilities. Our analysis allows us to make bold predictions about the future of the industry, and to apply our findings to other industry contexts. Keywords: Digital intermediation, electronic markets, meta- search travel agents, newly-vulnerable markets, secondary intermediaries, technology adapters, travel industry. ______________________________________________
B. King, R. J. Kauffman and N. F. Granados, "The Emerging Role of Vertical Search Engines in Travel Distribution: A Newly-Vulnerable Electronic Markets Perspective," Proceedings of the 41st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2008)(HICSS), Waikoloa, Big Island, Hawaii, 2008, pp. 389.