How has e-commerce changed the way tour operators do business? In what ways have holidaymakers become more demanding?

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E-commerce has changed all kinds of businesses. There is instant access to the best options and prices, as well as any sort of product you could want. In the tourism industry, this has driven competition but also has expanded the arena of locales and destinations. With tourism, if you do not have competitive prices or options, you may have been able to succeed historically because you are far enough removed or you have a certain amount of brand power to keep people coming to you (such as with competing theme parks). Now, however, people are able to compare the options and prices and more readily select what suits their needs and desires. In this way, it has driven professionals in the tourism industry to diversify and improve their product and offerings while also reducing costs.

Beyond that, it has also opened up the world of new attractions and destinations. Many people would overlook some destinations that were smaller or unrelated to major sights and cities, but because of e-commerce, the internet, and social media, they are becoming much more prominent and well-known.

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I think that people tend to know more about vacationing than before.  It used to be that everyone went to a travel agent and relied on the travel agent to know the area and make reservations for hotels and planes.  Now, you can buy directly from the hotel anywhere in the world if the hotel or tour company has a web site.

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