Development, Distribution and Evaluation of Online Tourism Services in China

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The development of electronic commerce (E-commerce) has led to great changes in the tourism industry in many countries around the world including China. The Chinese tourism industry has invested large amounts of money over last few years in the development of what is known as the ‘Golden Tourism Project.’ This study sheds more light on this project by investigating online tourism service development in China from three perspectives: the tourism website, the tourism website user and the tourism website provider. The results show that the majority of tourism website providers are regional tourism destination organizations that mainly provide comprehensive local tourism information and online services. The results also show the level of regional economic development has a significant impact on the construction of these local tourism websites. Through conducting a questionnaire survey, this paper identifies the types of web users and their evaluation for tourism websites. It assesses the level of current user satisfaction and discusses the principal barriers of implementation of online tourism services in China from a technical, financial and organizational point of view respectively. It is found that obtaining information is still the main aim of web users, however, the difficulties are slow Internet access and high fees. In conclusion, this paper proposes possible approaches to improve the quality of online tourism services in China.

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