Web site accessibility of German and UK tourism information sites

Russell Williams (Independent Researcher, Germany)
Rulzion Rattray (Independent Researcher, Germany)
Alexandra Stork (Independent Researcher, Germany)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Publication date: 1 December 2004

Abstract

Information exchange is important in any transaction but is perhaps particularly important for transactions in the travel and tourism industry where information gratification plays such a crucial role. Internet‐based technologies allow organisations to exchange information with an often geographically dispersed and wider marketplace without a loss of quality. However, merely being online, publishing a Web site is not enough. Organisations need to ensure their Web sites obtain “traffic” or “hits” and, importantly, that the content of their sites is accessible. Accessible Web sites mean access for all, accommodating different user capabilities and needs. This research examines the emerging competitive and legal imperatives to consider the issue of Web content accessibility as well as what makes for an accessible Web site. In spite of the strong competitive and legal imperatives for accessibility, a survey of 100 UK and German‐based travel and tourism Web sites conducted here revealed disappointingly low levels of accessibility. As the Internet and Web come to play a more important part in individual lives, this finding suggests that many organisations need to work harder to ensure that their often considerable investments achieve what they set out to do – communicate effectively with what they hope is a larger marketplace.

Keywords

Citation

Williams, R., Rattray, R. and Stork, A. (2004), "Web site accessibility of German and UK tourism information sites", European Business Review, Vol. 16 No. 6, pp. 577-589. https://doi.org/10.1108/09555340410565404

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Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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