What are the benefits and drawbacks of using these Web sites versus using a travel agency to plan a trip?

Site name: Orbitz

URL: www.orbitz.com/

Background information: Orbitz is an online travel company offering leisure and business travelers a wide selection of low airfares, as well as deals on lodging, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages, and other travel. The site was created to address consumers’ need for an unbiased, comprehensive display of fares and rates in a single location.

Site name: CheapTickets.com

URL: www.cheaptickets.com

Background information: CheapTickets is a leading seller of discounted leisure travel products online through its Web site. CheapTickets provides consumers access to its collection of airfares, and discounted travel products to include hotel accommodations, cruises, rental cars, vacation packages, condo rentals, and Last Minute Trips.

Site name: Travelocity

URL: www.travelocity.com/

Background information: Travelocity is an online travel company featuring deals on flights, hotels, cars/rail, cruises, last minute packages, and a variety of vacation activities.

Site name: Expedia

URL: www.expedia.com/

Background information:

Exercises: Expedia delivers consumers everything they need for researching, planning, and purchasing a whole trip. The company provides direct access to one of the broadest selections of travel products and services to include airline tickets, hotel reservations, car rental, cruises, and many other in-destination services from a broad selection of partners worldwide.

Exercises:

a. Describe the services these Web sites provide as compared with the services of a travel agency.

b. What are the benefits and drawbacks of using these Web sites versus using a travel agency to plan a trip?

c. What role do these Web sites play in the overall travel/tourism distribution system?

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