Impact of Organizational, Innovation and Environmental Attributes in ICT Uptake for Kwale Hotels, Kenya
Guyo, Abraham Galgallo
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In Kenya, tourism is considered an important industry that contributes to the economy of the nation. As such, the government carries out regular marketing campaigns to publicize the country to the outside world as an important tourist destination. Further, the fast pace of development in Information and communication technology (ICT) have changed the structures of tourism industry regionally and around the world. New technologies have emerged and the trend is likely to continue in future. While Diani Beach (in Kwale County) was rated as the best beach in Africa five years in a row (2014-2018) by World Travel Award, little is known about its ICT uptake. As a result, there is a need for an evaluation of the factors for the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) uptake by Kwale Hotels and how it deploys ICT resources to attain competitive advantage. The study examined factors that affect ICT uptake of hotels in Kwale County. Based on attributes used by various ICT researchers in tourism industry, the researcher sought to identify the impact of organizational, innovation and environmental factors and how it impacts on the use of information and communication technology by Kwale Hotels. The study sought to answer the following research questions: What was the level of usage of ICT by Kwale Hotels? Secondly, what were the effects of organizational factors on the uptake of ICT for Kwale Hotels? Thirdly, what are the effects of environmental factors in the uptake of ICT? Finally, what are the effects of technological innovation factors on the uptake of ICT for Kwale Hotels? The study covered 3-5 star and Boutique hotels in Kwale County. Further, it was delimited to the variables specified. The target population was 32 hotels but only 26 hotels were accessible. Since the accessible population was small, a census of all the 26 hotels was taken and 4 respondents from each hotel were included where the actual respondents of the study totaled to 104. Descriptive research design was adopted by the study while stratified random sampling was used to stratify the 104 respondents into 4 categories which included: Operations, reservations, Marketing and ICT managers. Questionnaires were used to collect primary data while descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. The results showed that there was significant uptake of ICT in all categories of the hotels. In addition, organizational, environmental and technological innovation factors significantly influenced ICT uptake of Kwale Hotels. Key recommendations of the study were more engagement in online marketing and diversification of the types of online marketing in order to optimize on visibility, enhance marketing funnel and ultimately increase profitability.