eLearning Courses Offered by Tourism Destinations: Factors Affecting Participation and Awareness Among British and Indian Travel Agents

  • Nadzeya Kalbaska
  • Lorenzo Cantoni
Conference paper


Destination Management Organizations are using ICTs not only to reach individual tourists, but also to educate through eLearning courses travel agents on how to better sell tourism destinations. While the “supply side” of such training offers has been mapped, its “demand side” is still under-researched. In particular, awareness of and participation in destinational eLearning courses on the side of travel agents need to be investigated in order to provide a clearer picture of this area within eTourism environment. In this research, 462 British and Indian travel agents have been surveyed through phone interviews, in order to understand which factors influence their participation in and awareness of the existence of destinational eLearning courses. Results show that country where travel agents work has a significant influence on participation and awareness, while type of agency plays a significant role only on participation; gender, age and level of instruction do not play any relevant role.


eLearning Distance education Tourism training Travel agents DMOs 


  1. Baum, T., & Sigala, M. (2001). E-learning in hospitality and tourism. Education, Singapore’s Knowledge Industry Journal 32–34.Google Scholar
  2. Bromley, H., & Apple, M. (1998). Education, technology, power: Educational computing as a social practice. New York: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  3. Buhalis, D. (2001). Tourism distribution channels: Practices and processes. In D. Buhalis & E. Laws (Eds.), Tourism distribution channels: Practices, issues and transformations (pp. 7–32). London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  4. Cantoni L. (2012). Special issue on eTourism and eLearning. Journal of information technology and tourism, 13, 1.Google Scholar
  5. Cantoni, L., & Kalbaska, N. (2010). eLearning offers by destination management organizations. In U. Gretzel, R. Law., & M. Fuchs (Eds.), Information and communication technologies in tourism (pp. 247–259). New York: Springer-Wien.Google Scholar
  6. Cantoni, L., Kalbaska, N., & Inversini, A. (2009). eLearning in tourism and hospitality: A map. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education, 8(2), 148–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cho, W., & Schmelzer, C. (2000). Just-in-time education: Tools for hospitality managers of the future? International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 12(1), 31–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Collins, C., Buhalis, D., & Peters, M. (2003). Enhancing small medium tourism enterprises’ business performances through the internet and e-learning platforms. Education and Training, 45(8/9), 483–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. European Travel Commission. (2010). India. Market insights. Retrieved in November 2012 from
  10. Haven, C., & Botterill, D. (2003). Virtual learning environments in hospitality, leisure, tourism and sport: A review. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sports and Tourism Education, 2(1), 75–92.Google Scholar
  11. Haven-Tang, C. (2005). Tourism SMEs, service quality, and destination competitiveness. Wallingford: CABI Publishing.Google Scholar
  12. Kalbaska, N. (2012). Travel agents and destination management organizations: eLearning as a strategy to train tourism trade partners. Journal of Information Technology & Tourism, 13(1), 1–12.Google Scholar
  13. Kalbaska, N., Lee, H. A., Cantoni, L., & Law, R. (2013). UK travel agents’ evaluation of eLearning courses offered by destinations: An exploratory study. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education, 12(1), 7–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Khare, A., & Khare, A. (2010). Travel and tourism industry yet to exploit the Internet fully in India. Database Marketing & Customer Strategy, 17(2), 106–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Klein, S. (2007). Handbook for achieving gender equity through education (2nd ed.). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.Google Scholar
  16. Kuttainen, C., & Lexhagen, M. (2012). Overcoming barriers to SME E-commerce adoption using blended learning: A Swedish action research case study. Journal of Information Technology & Tourism, 13(1), 13–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lawton, L., & Weaver, D. (2009). Travel agency threats and opportunities: The perspective of successful owners. International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration, 10, 68–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Li, L. (2003). Synergies between export channels in mature and emerging markets. International Business Review, 45(5), 567–585.Google Scholar
  19. Lominé, L. (2002). Online learning and teaching in hospitality, leisure, sport and tourism: Myths, opportunities and challenges. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 1(1), 43–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nadkarni, S., & Venema, M. (2012). Tourism capacity building in developing geographies: A case for open educational resources. Journal of Information Technology & Tourism, 13(1), 27–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. O’Donnell, D. (2012). Trading places with interfaces: an investigation into online training for the travel agency sector within the United Kingdom. Master of tourism studies dissertation. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University of Technology.Google Scholar
  22. Office of National Statistics. (2011). Supply Side of Tourism Report. Retrieved in April 2012, from
  23. Patterson, I. (2006). Growing older: Tourism and leisure behavior of older adults. Wallingford: CABI.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. People 1st. (2011). State of the nation report. An analysis of labour market trends, skills, education and training within the UK hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industries. Retrieved in March 2013, from
  25. PhoCusWright. (2012). The once and future agent: PhoCusWright’s travel agency distribution landscape 20092013. Retrieved in November 2012, from
  26. Rapetti, E., & Cantoni, L. (2010). Nativi digitali e apprendimento con le ICT. La ricerca GenY@work in Ticino, Svizzera. Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society, 6(1), 39–49.Google Scholar
  27. Reid, L., & Pearce, D. (2008). Distribution channels for New Zealand outbound tourism. International Journal of Tourism Research, 10, 577–592.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Schweizer, H. (2004). E-Learning in business. Journal of Management Education, 28(6), 674–692.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Selwyn, N. (2009). The digital native—myth and reality. Aslib Proceedings, 61(4), 364–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sigala, M. (2002). The evolution of internet pedagogy: Benefits for tourism and hospitality education. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 1(2), 29–45.Google Scholar
  31. UNWTO. (2008). Handbook on e-marketing for tourism destination. Madrid: World Tourism Organization & European Travel Commission.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Faculty of Communication SciencesUniversità della Svizzera ItalianaLuganoSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations