Today, the tourism sector has experienced continued growth and diversification, becoming one of the largest and fastest-growing economic sectors in the world, as well as in Southeast Asia (SEA). With the rapid development of e-Commerce in recent years, the relationship between e-Commerce and tourism has become closer and closer, and tourism e-Commerce has also had a significant impact on the development of tourism. As of January 2019, the tourism sector emerged as the top category in the SEA as it recorded the highest total annual revenue on consumer e-Commerce ($26.95 billion), defeating other categories, including fashion and beauty, electronics, toys, food and personal care, etc.
As everything is technologically driven now, e-Commerce for tourism is not only about transactional activities anymore, but also about customer retention. E-Commerce offers opportunities for tourism organizations to expand their customer base, build communication with customers and related partners in a more cost-effective and directed way. For customers, e-Commerce allows them to access more information on their tourist destinations and services, communicate with tourism organizations, and make bookings at a relatively low costs.
Many years ago, people might depend on travel agents to arrange all travel schedules, but today, everyone can be their own travel agent to make their own tourism plans due to advanced usage of the Internet and the expansion of the e-Commerce industry.
How e-Commerce enables the tourism industry
The utilization of e-Commerce in the tourism industry provides so many advantages that it is no longer an option, but a necessity. Ultimately, e-Commerce has changed the whole concept of tourism. If tourism organizations and the country as a whole utilized e-Commerce effectively, e-Commerce can provide the opportunity to the suppliers of tourist services as well as the tourists to grow their revenue.
E-Commerce has grown to become one of the most important tools for business development and the impact of e-Commerce in the tourism industry is no less evident. With the widespread Internet usage and advanced functionalities, customers are no longer required to visit offices of travel agents anymore. The whole booking system can be made online with a feasible payment system. Every system works individually but the integration of this set-up has helped to build and increase business.
Electronic tourism is able to improve customer services since it is a useful tool to exchange information between stakeholders. For example, suppliers can receive feedback from customers and make changes to comply with customer needs. This kind of interaction will help to create good relationships and retain niche customers as well as increase the chance to attract new customers.
Apart from that, e-Commerce in tourism increases the ability of local tourism companies to expand their reach into global markets. With the expansion of technology, the internet has increased accessibility and convenience as it removes country boundaries. This paves the way for many businesses from countries including those from developing countries in the SEA to transact with millions of potential customers in different parts of the world.
E-Commerce also helps to reduce search cost, administration cost, distribution cost and labor costs. The cost of doing business in the web is low compared to other traditional methods such as advertising on the newspapers, TVs, posters and boards. With a few clicks, the Internet enables businesses to reach many customers at once efficiently and effectively. In addition to that, e-Commerce helps to reduce the managing cost by having less number of employees because a tourist can contact directly through e-mail for booking and receive the E-ticket in the fastest and most convenient way.
How Epost plays a part
As an e-Commerce logistics specialist, Epost has become an effective platform to promote and open up new opportunities in the tourism sector by creating better Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for the SEA market. CRM is important to build a relationship with customers that, in turn, creates loyalty and enhances customer retention. Since customer loyalty and retention are both qualities that can affect the company’s long-term revenue, CRM is a management strategy that results in increased profits for a business in the long run. At Epost, we care about customer reviews, which gives useful ideas for new service development and we believe that our customers are creating value for our business.
Epost also encourages tourists to make bigger volume purchases with the convenience of cross border delivery through our comprehensive integrated logistic quality services. Our services encompass the most widespread areas of transportation which include air and sea freight with speedy delivery at a lower cost compared to other logistics companies.
Today, selling souvenirs has been frequently considered a way for communities to benefit economically from tourism. Therefore, Epost plays a role in increasing sales by listing local souvenirs online for return purchases. Tourists can now purchase local souvenirs online and are able to receive their items with our services. This benefits both the tourists and local businesses simultaneously.Other than that, Epost increases brand recognition across the SEA market, with great potential to go global. With our presence in Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore and the Philippines, we believe that we will be able to help many e-Commerce tourism participants to expand their businesses globally.