Introduction There have been an increasing number of people purchasing products or services using Internet over the years noted Haig (2001). The many benefits of online purchases are the convenience of accessing the internet 24 hours a day, at anywhere and anytime at a low cost (Chaffey, Ellis, Mayer and Johnston, 2000). According to Briggs (2001), one of the many reasons why tourism and leisure are ideal products and services for online distribution is because usually holidays and leisure services are intangible products. The author maintained that it is not so different to purchase these intangible products offline as they are effectively 'virtual' and there is no 'physical delivery' for most tourism products, it is based on the perceptions of the services and experience that the purchase is made over the internet. The other benefits to tourism promotion on the internet mentioned by Ash and Lambert (2001) are; opportunity for 'mood-marketing' meaning that companies can segment much more carefully and promote according to mood, also frequent updates can be included on the web sites.
For instance, last minute sales since tourism products are perishable and a web site can help to promote and sell a product quickly. Nevertheless, the reduced cost of internet marketing to businesses is extremely significant. One good example of this is the corporate foreign exchange section of Thomas Cook which improved customer sales abundantly through its web site in relation to low variable cost of the Internet as a communication mechanism. (McDonald and Wilson, 1999).
MarketingWhether is for academic, research or business purposes the meaning of 'marketing' is continuously changing and 'Ã¢ÂÂ¦most considered it as much an art as a science' (Clarke and Middleton, 2001, p23).
Nonetheless, The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) defined marketing as "Ã¢ÂÂ¦the management process which identifies, anticipates and supplies customer requirements...