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Online Reservations and Hotel Distribution Channels in European Tourism: A Case of Croatia

Iva Dadić, Iva Slivar and Tamara Floričić

Central European Business Review, 2022, vol. 2022, issue 1, 1-18

Abstract: Technologies transform the total marketing mix of hotel products in the dynamic tourism market, where the distribution is detected as a key factor of market placement and profitability. The main goal of this paper is to explore the distribution channels in the hospitality industry and to identify the most successful elements of online distribution for the purposes of realising future excellence in post-COVID-19 tourism. The online distribution elements that could enhance competitiveness and incentives for reservation were identified and ranked. This was realised by choosing the most representative sample and by researching it using a structured questionnaire, where the mix of competitiveness and marketing elements were evaluated. The research findings present the importance of online travel agents (OTA), tour operators, social networks and conferences (MICE segment). The potential of Global Distribution Systems (GDS) systems is detected and, although not fully valorised in practice, implicate future franchising and contracting with global hotel brands and consortia. The answer to the question: "Which tools and techniques of innovative online distribution should be used and what product elements enhance sales in the hotel industry of the future?" is explored by the scientific methodology, which supports the purpose and presents the main contribution of the paper. Implications for Central European audience: The paper represents a considerable contribution in the perception of the distribution channels, affirmed for exchange in the Central European tourism market as an emissive market for the receptive offer of Croatian tourism. Considered in the context of the accessibility of Croatia as a car destination that realises both long-term and short-term "impulsive" bookings, promptness, propulsion and dynamism of online distribution channels used by the hotel offer have exceptional importance for income management and profitability. Correspondingly, a positive perception is being developed of the Central European market demand, as well as tourism awareness about closeness and market potentials, which represents a platform for the development of applicative strategies in communication and business. Recognising the effect on intensification of tourist exchange through the affirmation of innovations and technology contributes to the development of science and practice of the hospitality industry.

Keywords: online reservations; distribution channels; hotel industry; competitiveness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L1 M16 Z3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.18267/j.cebr.272

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