The influence of the digitalization of distribution channels on the market structure of tourism industry

Magdalena Kachniewska


Digital delivery of travel and tourism services and the development of e-commerce and m-commerce have dramatically restructured global tourism value chain and undermined the role of travel intermediaries. The main goal of the research paper is to analyse potential and drivers of digital delivery of tourism services in Poland and to explore the process of disintermediation and re-intermediation within the tourism market. The paper is of theoretical and empirical character: it identifies tourism experts' and entrepreneurs' opinions on the usability and development potential of digital delivery in Poland. Its main thesis is the inevitability of the decrease in the number and importance of Polish travel agencies according to the model of Western European and American tourism markets. On the basis of the respondents opinions and the literature review the potential quality transformation of the tourism intermediation market were outlined: new entities emergence, new forms of partnership and industries interpenetration, new data analysis capabilities and tourism trends forecasting.


  • G. Archdale, The Internet in Context, „Tourism Insights”, July 1996, pp. 1-7.
  • D. Buhalis, eTourism: Information Technology for Strategic Tourism Management, Pearson Education, Harlow 2003.
  • D. Buhalis, Strategic Use of Information Technologies in the Tourism Industry, „Tourism Management” 1998, Vol. 19, No. 6, pp. 409-421.
  • L. Bujarski i in., European Online Travel Overview (Ninth Edition) , PhoCusWright, 2013.
  • D. Copeland, So you want to build the next SABRE System, „Business Quarterly” 1991, Vol. 55, No. 3, pp. 56-60.
  • Digital Delivery of Travel and Tourism Services, OECD, DSTI/ICCP/IE (2005).
  • G. Evens, M. Peacock, A Comparative Study of ICT, Tourism and Hospitality SMEs in Europe, [in:] D. Buhalis, W. Schertler (eds.), Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism, Springer, Vienna 2000, pp. 247-258.
  • Global Distribution Systems in the Tourism Industry, WTO, Madrid 1995.
  • ICT and e-Business for an Innovative and Sustainable Economy, European Commission,
  • M. Kachniewska, Wpływ kryzysu gospodarczego na metody zarządzania obiektami hotelowymi, „Zeszyty Naukowe Kolegium Gospodarki Światowej” 2012, nr 35, s. 61-75.
  • M. Kachniewska, Wpływ nowych technologii na rynek usług pośredników turystycznych, „Zeszyty Naukowe Kolegium Gospodarki Światowej SGH” 2011, t. 32, s. 239-259.
  • OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2013: Innovation for Growth, OECD Publishing, Paris 2013.
  • OECD Tourism Trends and Policies 2012, OECD Publishing, Paris 2012.
  • Tourism Information Technology, C.A.B. International, Wallingford 1997.
  • The European e-business Watch,



Warsaw School of Economics