E-commerce adoption of travel and tourism organisations
in South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda
, Ray Dawson, Janet Edwards
Department of Computer Science, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, United Kingdom
Received 31 May 2006; received in revised form 14 November 2006; accepted 18 November 2006
Africa, with its great wealth in wildlife and unique resorts, can beneﬁt from the ever increasing user population of the
Internet, particularly in the USA and Western Europe where most of the tourists to Africa come from (Internet World
Stats, 2004. World Internet Users and Population Stats. <http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats>.). A ﬁrst survey
was carried out to ﬁnd the nature and extent of e-commerce adoption by tourism organisations from South Africa, Kenya,
Zimbabwe and Uganda which are all popular tourist destinations in eastern and southern Africa. For comparison, a sec-
ond survey of tourism organisations from USA and Western Europe was also carried out. A total of 373 websites from the
four African countries and 180 from the USA and Western Europe were accessed and then evaluated against a list of
e-commerce features. The surveys revealed that few of the African organisations are embracing e-commerce and that,
although some websites were comparable to those of their western counterparts, the majority had room for considerable
improvements. The African websites were found to be generally informative but lacked interactive facilities for online
transactions. It is recommended that these African organisations evolve their websites into marketing tools to capitalise
on the potential Internet market.
Ó 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: E-commerce; Africa; Tourism
Today the Internet provides, at modest cost, an unprecedented level of connectivity and the ability to com-
municate eﬃciently and eﬀectively directly with customers. According to Yao (2004), the emergence of the
Internet has led to the rapid growth of electronic commerce (e-commerce), and this had an eﬀect on the nature
of business. Its potential to generate more revenue is no longer a matter of debate, but is acknowledged
as something the tourism industry in developing countries need (United Nations, 2001). In many develop-
ing countries, and in Africa in particular, tourism is now perceived as a potential saviour for their ailing
0736-5853/$ - see front matter Ó 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Corresponding author. Tel.: +44 1509 635649; fax: +44 1509 635722.
E-mail addresses: T.D.Maswera@lboro.ac.uk (T. Maswera), R.J.Dawson@lboro.ac.uk (R. Dawson), J.Edwards@lboro.ac.uk
Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
Telematics and Informatics 25 (2008) 187–200