Digital Transformation

The Blurring of Organizational Boundaries in Hotel Distribution

Authored by: Peter O’Connor

The Routledge Companion To International Hospitality Management

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138386372
eBook ISBN: 9780429426834
Adobe ISBN:


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The hotel industry is steeped in tradition, with the roles of value chain participants clearly defined and companies highly resistant to change. Such inflexibility is problematic in today’s hyper-dynamic competitive business environment, where the adoption of digital technologies is revolutionizing not just business models but the structure of industries themselves. The effect of these developments can be clearly seen within the hotel distribution arena, where technological advances are blurring organizational boundaries between distribution chain players, redefining the competitive environment and bringing into question the future survival of companies that fail to react appropriately. Analyzing the role of the hotel chain, this chapter illustrates how developments in digital technologies (Web, mobile and social) have revolutionized the business to consumer distribution value chain, resulting in industry participants entering into an uneasy state of simultaneous cooperation and competition in their efforts to sell to the customer. Likely future scenarios are explored and implications of continued digital transformation for hotel industry participants assessed.

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