Travel agents are under pressure as the Internet enables airlines to bypass the agents' intermediary role. Creating a web presence and adopting Internet commerce cannot guarantee that those agents survive. An instrument is developed and tailored to measure the effectiveness of (Travel Agent) web sites based on earlier e-commerce site evaluation models. A survey was used to compare user reactions to the sites. A key finding of this analysis is that there is no correlation between 'better' websites (using the web analysis model) and how frequently users visit those websites. The research also indicates that the branding or reputation of the travel organisation is the main influence of visit intention and the making of e-commerce transactions. Recommendations are made to the agents to improve the effectiveness of their sites. These include design issues such as ensuring that all elements of the marketing mix (product, price, promotion, place) are present, that revisit techniques are used, that the site pays attention to build trust by providing Legal, Privacy and Security statements, and that the site's URL is advertised as part of any advertising strategy.
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