Developing Thai tourism c-Commerce service

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Software Industry Promotion Agency (Public Organisation) or SIPA has initiated Tourism c-Commerce Project since 2004, aimed at encouraging small and medium size tourism firms to adopt the use of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in order to increase their market opportunity as well as the competitive advantage. Over three years, the Royal Thai Government has specified the trade and export strategy by defining target industry to be focused on and set up criteria for supporting the tourism industry.

SIPA, under the ICT ministry, has started developing Thai tourism c-Commerce service intermediary system or TCC system, and encouraging the entrepreneurs to do their business by using this system as the tool to create the tourism community. By using the system, they can propose the products or services to the customers worldwide via Internet. The system consists of three parts — Central Repository, Public Relation and Collaboration features.

Central Repository, also known as Destination Management Information System, has been developed with several service functions like member registration, product searching and package creation. Furthermore, hotel reservation system, restaurant management system, car rental system, payment system etc. from third party can be connected in order to fulfill the service functions for anyone who access the system.

Public Relation is the part that would serve PR service for all members who want to make advertisement via the effective media such as IPTV, mobile phone, e-marketing etc. These channels will get the information from the system and relate directly to the tourists.

The Collaboration feature is also included in the system providing for members who want to do business together under the concept of sharing basis. They can search for the interesting products and select for creating appropriate package that can propose to their target customers. Searching, Collaborative guideline and Packaging development are the main features.

The members in the Thai Tourism c-Commerce would be able to register their products in the system, the information of which can be accessed by any Travel agency, Tour Operator, Tourists or even suppliers from anywhere in the world via the website. They can make the reservation, create package especially the dynamic packaging that can customise for the particular customers. The system is beneficial for last minutes sales, which the member can set up for promotion very quickly and sell to customers in time, especially, airlines seat reservation and hotels room reservation etc. The system would include a variety of products and packages that would provide benefit to all members as a whole. Through this, the members can have a better opportunity from cross selling or selling new packaging.

However, as mentioned earlier, Tourism c-Commerce System itself did not include any reservation, payment system or other systems that was initially provided by software developers. SIPA rather encouraged the software developers to connect their systems with TCC network. Either the tourists or Travel Agency can book for hotel room, spa, restaurant etc. by accessing via third party’s system. Two alternative ways to connect with TCC are linking by specified URL in TCC website or developing web service applications to enable peer-to-peer connection.

The target parties concerned with the system can be classified into groups that include travel suppliers who own hotels, spa, restaurants, golf course, car rental, souvenir shops etc. and also tour operators, who can create packaged tours and sell directly to tourists or travel agents. The travel agencies act as distribution channel. They are the sales representatives of the airlines, car, train ticketing etc. and other product form suppliers and sell to the tourists. The tourists can utilise the system by searching product information and booking or arrange their own packages. Service Providers are the software developers who provide system like Reservation, Retailing, eMarketing, Payment, CRM etc. to the suppliers or Travel agency.

Thai tourism system

Thai tourism system is the network that allows tourism firms to connect together in order to do business activities together via or www.thaitourism The system provides the necessary functions to support the business owners for registration, searching and package creation. They can gain benefits from the system on the collaborative commerce basis. The ultimate goal of the project is aimed to provide the one-stop service to the tourists from around the world and encourage them to come to Thailand since they can use this system for inquiries, information, planning their trips and booking the services for their visit.

In 2005, SIPA arranged a seminar regarding this issue for introducing the concepts and educate the entrepreneurs to acquaint them with the process and enable them to join tourism c-Commerce with tourism firms in Chiangmai, Phuket and Bangkok. More than 500 entrepreneurs participated and several of them showed keen interest in joining the network. The particular systems, V. 1 R 1.4, would be completed in July 2006, and aims to get implemented with the commencing of the mega event “Royal Flora Ratchaphruek 2006”, which will be held in Chiangmai from 1st November 2006 to 31st January 2007. More than two million tourists are expected to visit the expo during which problems of accommodations, transportations etc. might also come up. SIPA would accordingly provide the solutions by encouraging the small guesthouses, home stays, car owners, travel agencies etc., who can provide services to the tourists to utilise the systems that are able to serve tourists more efficiently.

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