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1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
As days goes by the level of competition in every business continues to grow; this simply means that the hospitality and tourism industry will put in all their available resources in order to achieve the organizational objectives, survive and develop their competitiveness (Brown, 2007).
The survival and growth of any business is seen in their ability to effectively utilize updated information in order to assist the management of an organization decision making and marketing processes (Pine, 2006). Hence, Information Technology (IT) assists organization to manage information dynamically and influences business competitiveness through assisting decision makers to make appropriate investments and decisions.
According to (Connolly & Lee, 2006; Singh & Kasavana, 2005) stated that information communication technology (ICT) helps to meet the demands for timely and accurate information by customers and the IT diffusion in the tourism and hospitality industries has recently increased at an unprecedented rate.
This is evident by the ubiquitous presence of IT systems that work cooperatively to assist managers to deliver quality service to their customers and to enhance operational efficiency and control costs. Researchers have stated that IT, by acting as a protector and enhancer, directly influences the experiences and behavior of tourists (Kim & Ham, 2007; Singh, Kim, & Huh, 2006; Winata & Mia, 2005).
More strategically ICT is gradually reshaping the fundamental structure of industry and society (Buhalis, 1998, 2003). IT can generate the knowledge at the center of a business’s competitiveness (Chathoth, 2007; Ham, Kim & Jeong, 2005).
According to (Law and Jogaratnam, 2005) further stated that ICT can transform the nature of tourism and hospitality products, processes, businesses, and competition, and that tourism and hospitality organizations that have failed to master the right ICT systems would find difficult to direct and manage their information-intensive business damaging their competitiveness. Tourism and hospitality are social phenomena, and the industries associated with them are largely application oriented. Researchers in this field have conducted, and will continue to conduct, research that generates innovative knowledge that will benefit these industries and ultimately society.
As investment in and the adoption of ICT are now an indispensable components of tourism and hospitality business, ICT serves as a tool for both enabling and inducing change. As such, IT has recently drawn the attention of tourism and hospitality researchers worldwide, who have disseminated their findings in research journals. Niininen, Buhalis and March (2007) demonstrated that ICT support consumer centricity, with consumers being able to use technology to select and customize their products as well as to personalize their experience. It is advantageous for tourism and hospitality managers in general and marketing managers in particular to be aware of the recent changes in ICT and their relationship with customer service.
As IT development becomes more sophisticated, industrial practitioners, educators, and policy makers may find increasing difficulty in selecting, analyzing, implementing, and operating new IT systems. Research journals, as a vigorous channel of knowledge dissemination, can offer peer-reviewed and unbiased information on IT analysis, evaluation, and industrial best practice. However, despite the enormous amount of effort spent by tourism and hospitality researchers on investigating IT, there are only a few reviews of the articles published on IT or the progress of IT in the tourism industry since its rapid growth in the early 1980s (Frew 2000; Kirk & Pine 1998; Kluge 1996; Leung & Law, 2005, 2007; O’Connor & Murphy 2004, Buhalis and Law, 2008). Moreover, the review articles that do exist are limited, either because they examine only a few selected journals or because they cover work that is already somewhat outdated given the fast changing nature of IT and tourism. The study in this regard wishes to examine the impact of ICT applications on the hospitality and tourism industry using Tinapa Resort Center, Calabar as the case study.
1.2 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF TENAPA RESORT CENTER
Situated by the Calabar River, Tinapa is a business and leisure resort conceptualised to be an integrated business resort. It is a four phased development promoted by the Government of Cross River State, under a Private Public Partnership (PPP), and very close to Calabar Free Trade Zone.
It is the realisation of an exciting dream – the first integrated business and leisure in resort in Nigeria. Tinapa Free Zone has world class facilities that enable visitors to engage in retail and wholesale activities as well as leisure and entertainment.
Tinapa has let-table space for retail and wholesale, several line shops, warehouses etc. It also has an open exhibition area for trade exhibitions and other events, a movie production studio commonly referred to as “Studio Tinapa” or “Nollywood”, an entertainment strip that comprise a casino, an Eight-Screen Cinema, a children’s arcade, restaurants and a mini amphitheatre, a night club and pubs.
1.3 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
The hospitality and tourism industry in Nigeria has experienced a lot of decline in the areas of communicating their products to the general public as a result of poor information communication technology (ICT) implementation in the organization. Secondly the hospitality and tourism industry failed over the years to improve on their facilities such the availability of POS, ATM and other ICT equipments; the inability of the hospitality and tourism industry to make available the following has affected the rate of patronage in the hospitality and tourism industry. Lastly other researcher have focus their researches on the use of ICT in the hospitality and tourism industry but not even a single research have examine the impact of ICT application on the hospitality and tourism industry using Tinapa resort center, Calabar as the case study hence a gap in related literature.
1.4 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main aim of the research work is to examine the impact of ICT application on the hospitality and tourism industry. Other specific objectives of the study include:
1. To examine the role of ICT application in the growth and development of the hospitality and tourism industry
2. To determine the effect of the introduction of ICT on the rate of patronage and organizational performance in the hospitality and tourism industry
3. To investigate on the factors affecting the efficiency of Tinapa calabar as a hospitality and tourism industry in Nigeria
4. To determine the impact ICT application on the security level and safety in Tinappa calabar
5. To proffer solution to the above stated problem
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTION
The research question for the study will help answer the above the above objectives of the study. The research questions are stated below as follows:
1. What are the roles of ICT application in the growth and development of the hospitality and tourism industry?
2. What is the effect of the introduction of ICT on the rate of patronage and organizational performance in the hospitality and tourism industry?
3. What are the factors affecting the efficiency of Tinapa calabar as a hospitality and tourism industry in Nigeria?
4. What is the impact ICT application on the security level and safety in Tinappa calabar?
1.6 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: ICT application does not influence growth and development of the hospitality and tourism industry in Nigeria
H1: ICT application influences growth and development of the hospitality and tourism industry in Nigeria
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on the impact of ICT application on the hospitality and tourism industry will be of immense benefit the country in the following ways:
COMMUNITY: the application of ICT in Tinappa Calabar will be of immense benefit to the people of Calabar because it will provide job opportunities for the people.
CULTURE: the application of ICT in the hospitality and tourism industry will help in the promotion of various cultural practices in calabar.
THE GOVERNMENT: the study will serve as a platform for revenue generation for both the federal and the stated government of Nigeria
LITERATURE: the study will add to the body of the existing literature on the impact of ICT applications on the hospitality and tourism industry.
1.8 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on the impact of ICT applications on the hospitality and tourism industry is limited to the Tenapa resort center Cross River State.
1.9 LIMITATION OF STUDY
1. Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
2. Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.10 DEFINITION OF TERMS
ICT:Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is an extended term for information technology (IT) which stresses the role of unified communicationsand the integration of telecommunications (telephone lines and wireless signals), computers as well as necessary enterprise software, middleware, storage, and audio-visual systems, which enable users to access, store, transmit, and manipulate information
TOURISM:Tourism means people traveling for fun. It includes such activities as sightseeing and camping.
TOURIST: People who travel for fun are called "tourists.
RESORT: Places where many tourists stay are called "resorts.
TOURIST DESTINATION: Places that people go to for tourism are called tourist destinations
HOSPITALITY: the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers
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