USE OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES BY ZIMBABWEAN TOUR OPERATORS IN BUSINESS OPERATIONS
►Shepherd Nyaruwata, Dr. Edmund Marunda and Dr. Nyasha Kaseke
Information communication technologies (ICTs) are a tool that is used by a large number of stakeholders in the tourism industry for product distribution and transacting. This is a result of the development of technology and a response to changes in customer purchasing behaviour. The study aimed at determining the ICT adoption and use by Zimbabwean tour operators. The qualitative research method was used through face –to- face interviews with key informants from the tourism industry. The study revealed that the majority of tour operators had not adopted information communication technologies in their business operations. This was a result of a number of factors for example, lack of knowledge about ICTs, limited information communication technologies infrastructure in the country and lack of appropriate government policies on ICTs. The study concluded that if the tour operators continue to use the current outdated business models the enterprises will gradually decline and close down. It is recommended that the government implements training programmes that are aimed at improving the tour operators’ knowledge about the role that ICTs play as part of a business strategy as well as improving their general knowledge about the tourism industry. The study further recommended that local tour operators seek partnership with international tour operators selling holiday packages to Zimbabwe. This will help the tour operators to lip-frog the “digital divide” at the same time giving them a chance for long term survival.
Keywords: ICTs, Tour Operators, Adoption, Digital Divide, Tourism Industry.
JEL Classification: L86, L83, Z32