Exploring the Impact of E-Marketplaces on Egyptian Tourism Intermediaries

Document Type : Original Article



More people are globally becoming attracted to buying and selling products and services via the
internet as the Internet is offering a vast opportunity and an easy way to book packages, search
for information and get reviews about services through Customer Generated Content (CGC). It is
claimed that both suppliers and consumers are working to push the intermediaries out of the
value chain; in order to reduce the costs. The Egyptian tourism market is based on the relation
between the three main partners in the supply chain: service providers “upstream partners”,
tourism intermediaries “downstream partners” and customers. Tourism intermediaries,
symbolized in tour operators and travel agencies in Egypt, represent the main partners
responsible for marketing and distributing the tourism services. Thereupon, it was of great
importance to analyze the current and future situation of those intermediaries, especially in the
massive changes resulted from the emergence of the e-marketplaces in the Egyptian tourism
market. The study aims at answering some research questions in order to decide which scenario
will take place for Egyptian tourism intermediaries amidst the new changes: Disintermediation
Re-intermediations or Cybermediation.
A qualitative research approach was used to answer the research questions. In- depth interviews
with Egyptian Tourism Intermediaries, represented in traditional Travel Agents (TAs) in Egypt,
Egyptian Online TAs (OTAs) and Egyptian Facebook Travel Agencies were conducted to
explore the effect of the e-marketplaces on their work.
The results showed that the Egyptian intermediaries were greatly affected by the emergence of emarketplaces and are taking serious steps to counteract the disintermediation effect to
reintermediate in the market. This was accomplished by introducing innovative products,
forming alliances, offering niche products and adopting price differentiation strategies. The study
also provides recommendations for stakeholders in the tourism industry to help them in persisting
within the changes of e-marketplaces.


Main Subjects