1.1 Background Of The Study
Hospitality and tourism industry is one of the largest and steadily growing economic sectors in the developed and developing nations. As with almost every industry, ICT applications have an enormous impact on the Tourism and Hospitality and tourism industry. From social media to smart phones and automatic check-ins, Information and Communication Technology effects even the smallest areas of the industry. ICT applications are evolving at an ever quicker pace and industries have to adapt quickly to keep ahead of the curve, or else risk falling behind the competition. In particular, social media has become a big player in a variety of industries in recent years. With the growth of Facebook and Twitter, many companies have found it an ideal way to promote and sell their wares. As it stands, it is difficult for travel related companies to utilise the likes of Facebook to its full potential. Unlike other, more physical technological advances, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter cannot yet keep up to date with live changes in flight prices and schedules etc. Products such as iPhones and tablet computers have quickly been adapted for flight and hotel bookings, as well as getting up-to-the-minute information on many different locations.
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are necessary components of business culture. In today's world using ICT is no more distinctive characteristic by itself, only an effective and efficient usage can help in obtaining a competitive advantage. When the right technology is available and it is correctly applied, a manager can obtain visible organizational benefits and is able to stimulate the growth of the company, in line with the market evolution.
The travel and tourism sector is known to be one of the world's largest and enduring industries. Its revenues support a significant proportion of the economies of many nations and it is one of the largest employers worldwide. Its contribution to gross national product, employment and regional development are well documented and, unlike many other sectors, it is forecast to grow in importance in the coming decades as leisure time increases. Tourism is acknowledged to be very information intensive. This sector is also open to the elements of the fragmentary developments in the information and communication technologies (ICT) field.
The exchange of information is very important at every stage in the sales cycle of the tourism product or service. Information must be able to flow quickly and accurately between the client, intermediaries and each of the tourism suppliers involved in servicing the client's needs. As a result, ICT (Information Communication Technology) has become an almost universal feature of the tourism industry. Its power allows information to be managed more effectively, and transported worldwide almost instantly. As a result, it has had (and continues to have) a major effect on the methods of operation of the hospitality and tourism industry (Nwakanma, 2014).
The uses of information communication technology has made possible the speed and efficiency with which information of the hospitality and tourism industry is developed, stored and recovered. Today hospitality and tourism industry is among the most important application domain in the World Wide Web. Demand for travel information is becoming increasing complicated and the hospitality and tourism industry employees have to learn how to use the modern technology so as to respond correctly to a wide range of needs in the industry. With the help of information communication technology (ICT), people can now go online and receive instant information for their holidays, hotels travel arrangement and booking e.t.c.
The internet technology continues to have effect in promoting the sharing of information, making possible rapid transaction among businesses and supporting global collaboration among individuals. To some organizations, the innovation of internet has become a source of accommodation reservation for the hospitality industry there-by increasing the sales of rooms; with the internet the rate turnover tensed to increase, compared to personal contact. The Fariah Suites Limited Bauchi, one of the hospitality providers today has integrated into its management various ICT database management and multimedia systems.
The emergence of global system for mobile telecommunication (GSM) has truly made communication dissemination less stressful to both guests and the management within areas of operation. Thus both domestic and international guests have opportunity to possibly enquire about existing product and costs offered for items.
ICT continues to have a profound effect in promoting the sharing of information, making possible rapid transaction amongst businesses. Hence this research work set out to investigate impact of ICT of the hospitality and tourism industry in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement Of The Research Problem
The vast majority of hospitality industry in Bauchi State is small— large size firms. For many of them, the problem is to able to have a clear frame work for applications (adopting) of ICTs and features which are related to management and economic issues. Management issues include strategic importance, level of integration in present environment, assessed on available software and hardware, products and packages and ease of implementation and use. However, economic issues include cost and benefits.
A new and effective method of satisfying guests cannot be achieved up to global standard without ICT. Unfortunately, in Nigeria and Bauchi State in particular most hotels are yet to adopt the use of ICT in their operation; they rely on the traditional method of operation which is characterized by a number of challenges such as slow pace of response to customers, dependence on paper documentation and wastage of power etc.
All these tend to affect the standard of operation by making it substandard uninteresting and discouraging to the customer who bears the brunt of poor service. This total lack of or partial adoption of ICT by hotels in Nigeria is worth motivated the researcher to set out to find out the reasons for this and what can be done to change the situation.
1.3 Research Questions
This research will be guided by the following questions:
- What is the level of usage of ICT by Fariah Suites Limited?
- What is the impact of ICT on the operations at Fariah suites Limited?
- What are the challenges being faced in the utilization of the ICT in the Fariah Suites Limited?
- What are the suggestions towards improving the general standard of ICT related services at the Fariah Suites Limited?
1.4 Objectives Of The Study
- To identify the level of usage of ICT by Fariah Suites Limited
- Examine the impact of ICT on the operations at Fariah suites Limited
- To identify the challenges being faced in the utilization of the ICT in the Fariah Suites Limited.
- To offer helpful suggestions towards improving the general standard of ICT related services at the Fariah Suites Limited.
1.5 Significance Of The Study
This research work is to show case the immense, value of ICT in the hospitality and tourism industry. This study shows the extent of ICT infrastructure utilization in hospitality industry in order to get a grip of the relationship existing between technological advancement and economical development trend.
This study will benefit the hotel industry by providing critical information to management in deciding on the areas which ICT should be adopted, such as room division or food & beverage division, as well as the specific technologies that would improve hotel performance. It also contributes valuable information to ICT marketing personnel.
The study will also create enough awareness on different types of ICT infrastructures used in hospitality industries today, help manages / stakeholders see ICT — based facilities as a tool that will provide greater competitive advantage or to blunt the advantage enjoyed by its competitors, increase profits/revenue, cut down cost and improve service delivery while doing so, also ease out employees work load, making his /her job easier and faster.
Once managers grasp the importance of ICT infrastructures, it will in return create employment opportunity for graduates in IT and IT experts, who will handle, install manage and train users of these infrastructures in the various hospitality industry that will adopt it.
1.6 Scope Of The Study
Although there are various ways in which ICT can be deployed in a hotel, this research work will be limited to the utilization and impact of ICT in Fariah Suites, Bauchi.
1.7 Limitation Of The Study
The study will consider ICT as a factor external to the hotel and analyze managers perceptions of the way their internal systems should and do respond to the requirements imposed by ICT. For the purpose of this study the internal elements of the hotels, such as corporate culture and working processes, will be considered as a picture perfect totality which changes in response to the presence of ICT.
1.8 Organization Of Study
The study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one deals with the study's introduction and gives a background to the study. Chapter two reviews related and relevant literature. The chapter three gives the research methodology while the chapter four gives the study's analysis and interpretation of data. The study concludes with chapter five which deals on the summary, conclusion and recommendation.