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Distribution Channels in the Travel Industry: Using Mystery Shoppers to Understand the Influence of Travel Agency Recommendations

Miller, G, Hudson, S, Snaith, T and Hudson, P (2001) Distribution Channels in the Travel Industry: Using Mystery Shoppers to Understand the Influence of Travel Agency Recommendations Journal of Travel Research, 40 (2). 148 - 154.

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Abstract

The objectives of this study were to understand the factors that influence travel agency recommendations in the U.K. The objectives were achieved using a mixture of focus groups, interviews and Mystery Shoppers. Exploration into the process of choosing a holiday showed that the brochure plays an important role for many consumers. However, for the travel agent the brochure is low priority, and even when the brochure is used, the travel agent often has a considerable amount of influence. Whether or not the agency is vertically integrated has considerable influence on the recommendation process. Based on analysis of the interviews and focus groups, a model was developed, and tested using Mystery Shoppers. Results from investigating 156 travel agents across the U.K. indicate that many travel agents owned by large tour operators, will attempt to push the holidays of their parent company rather than give impartial advise to consumers. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Economics and Law > Hospitality and Tourism Management
Depositing User: Mr Adam Field
Date Deposited: 27 May 2010 14:37
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 18:31
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/1081

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