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The third part deals with methodological resources used on the research. In the fourth part, results are presented and discussed through descriptive and inferential analysis.

In the end, a few statements are presented on Internet role in hotel industry according to the results and main problems of the research.

A way found by the American hotel chains to streamline the reservation services was centralize this function in a main office serving the consumer better and offering a valuable service to the hotels belonging to that chain.

Although the reservation area became faster and more efficient, two large costs remained.

Those of telecommunications free telephone service payment and labor costs of the reservation agents necessary to answer the phones. The main focus in hotel and restaurant management has always been the maximization of consumer satisfaction and personalized attention. IT in its operations. The technology has been viewed as a hindrance to personalized service because it creates an impersonal, mechanical and cold environment with the clients.

However, the change of this belief is being changed within the hotel sector.

Nowadays, according to Sheldon , the establishments are noticing that IT can bring efficiency to the hotel, besides reducing costs and being a great potential to increase the levels of personalized service to the clients.

American and European hotel executives have performed plannings to use the technology to reduce operational costs, increase sales, improve the service to the client, increase the productivity of employees and increase the earnings of the hotel. In a research performed by Van Hoof et al. Those responding identified the front office reception and reservations of the hotel as the sector that can benefit the most from the use of the technology, followed by sales and marketing, accounting and the food and drink sector.

According to Van Hoof et al. Technological applications enable information and knowledge to bring competitive advantage to the future profile of the hotel.

Internet being used as a mean of communication gives several advantages or benefits comparing to other vehicles. According to Lage , when it comes to the tourist area, the main points are: the new relationship between consumers and companies, marketing for actively participating consumers, the importance of detailed information, self-service application, credibility and agility of communication.

Tourism is among the largest on-line industries and is one of the most important kinds of commerce through the web.

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This bunch of technologies provides many opportunities for the industry to interact with its consumers and suppliers. It is also possible that, through information technology, products and services may be personalized according to the tourist needs and thus becoming a differential feature for those who adopt it Buhalis, , Sheldon, For some clients it is more comfortable to book an air ticket through the company homepage rather than going to the travel agency Franco Jr.

No technology had ever had such full acceptance to allow that to happen. So it became easy for IT to link clients to suppliers and thus, many new ways of doing business have been created and also reshaping the industry and creating new intermediates in tourism industry.

In hotels, check-in processes can already be totally automatic, from the Internet booking until the moment the client takes his keys in an automatic dispenser. The result is that clients can become more informed and willing to have quick answers from the orders on-line. On the other hand, several authors have identified impediments to the growth of the Internet in the industry and hence, have reservations about the willingness of hotel operators to adopt the Internet wholeheartedly Wei et al.

These problems include user- friendliness, the quality and accuracy of information obtained from the Web, and the issue of data security Wei et al. That way, consumers have been slow to adopt the Internet as a means to make hotel reservations, only 4 percent of reservations are made online Maselli, In addition to this, many hotels still believe that conventional means of advertising, such as radio, television and printed material are the most effective way of promoting their properties.

However, these problems are diminishing with the growth of the number of Internet users. On a specific way, Internet provides an expansion on hotel services changing this industry and giving new opportunities to clients thus being a new channel to be developed.

Hence, the interactivity of the web provides an ideal medium for distributing accommodation online, consolidating itself as a very adequate platform for bringing information and services to the client in a very straightforward, efficient and quick way Blank, , Hotels, Its approach is quantitative, once the research used quantification not only in the data collection process but also in their treatment through statistical methods.

The organizational unity chosen was hotel enterprise with more than 40 rooms for in the researched area they are considered as medium to big-sized rated on the Guia Quatro Rodas Brazil The subjects of the research were the managers who were more involved with Internet use in his hotel. Small properties are out of the study for these sort of facility have less awareness on the importance of adopting technological solutions and also have less financial conditions to invest in IT Cooper et al.

It is also believed that could interfere in the perception of managers on the impacts of Internet. So, 35 hotels were studied and the managers used to spend 25 minutes to answer the questionnaire. This study is considered of unique transversal type for it extracted only one sample from the interviewees of the target-population and also the information was collected only once.

The first phase of collecting data refers to pre-test application period developed on the first week of August , in three hotels.

After that phase, some due changes were made and the questionnaires were then applied from August 14th to September 13th, In the descriptive analysis, software calculated the frequency table in each one of the variables used in the study and distributed in 5 parts of the questionnaire. On the remaining parts Manager perceptions, Benefits and Difficulties the variables percentages and averages were calculated.

The analysis of variance was used to check if there was any significant difference on the opinions of hotel managers according to the hotel rate. The ANOVA allows the researcher to compare averages of several different samples three or more with data from the ordinal level to determine if population averages from these samples have any significant differences Montgomery, Descriptive results of the research Sampled hotels and managers demographic profiles On Table 1 it is checked that most of the respondents were women In respect to their hotel Experience, results were concentrated on 6 to 15 years of experience Another data shows that When it was asked if the hotel used Internet to build up any kind of relationship with its clients, Another relevant information is that only four This indicates that hotels do not seem to consider the importance of using Internet as a communication and cooperation tool for their employees.

A possible reason for this data is that some of these hotels do not use an Internet platform as a way of corporate communication and cooperation. Relating to hotel-supplier integration, only 20 percent of the hotels use Internet to purchase from the supplier. A little more than 90 percent of hotels already have their homepages and Most of these hotels are also using their homepages to offer web room reservation services, for 85 percent of them do have that service.

Wei et al. In fact, less than 1percent of the hotels had received more than 20 percent of reservations through the web.

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In the same investigation, most respondents It was found some common features on these web pages: photos of property features Internet benefits The Internet enables the hospitality industry to control costs, improve employee productivity and provide superior customer service Cisco Systems, As a result of this innovation, the hospitality industry has discovered that it is possible to cut labor and overhead costs without sacrificing product quality or customer service.

It is relevant to hospitality- related businesses of every size, from single-unit operations to multinational corporations Cisco Systems, Another benefit that also had a great result was the increase of sales and reservations through the web, 80 percent of the managers said it is very important for their facilities. However, there were two benefits that were mentioned by 5.

Increasing competition by competing with other 0. According to Table 4, for A reason that may justify this statement is that most hotels is quite simple and with less than a hundred rooms which may mean less financial power to invest time and money for Internet access.

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Client becomes suspicious about Through the results of the research it is intended to identify which factors contributed to the perception of managers relating to Internet use in hotels. The analysis was developed for four variables: according to the number of rooms and rate — both related to the organizational profile; age of managers and experience time in hotel industry- both related to individual profile.

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Inside each one of the profiles it was analyzed the perception on the importance of Internet use with the benefits and difficulties of Internet. In the area of difficulties related to the installation of Internet, only one variable had a significance level lower than 0.

Managers who were from 26 to 35 years old consider Internet more important to reduce costs than the ones who are over 35 years old. By using the Tukey test the conclusion is that from 26 to 35 year old managers agree that training for employees who do not have any knowledge on the web makes the use of IT more difficult than the ones who are over Effect of hotel rate on the perception of Internet use ANOVA test has found no significant result relating the effect of hotel rating to the difficulties of Internet.

However, as it shown on Table 7, the ANOVA test applied to the benefits of Internet to the hotel has found a variable with a significance level below 0.

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Internet use does improve the service to clients by providing information of the hotel through its web page and E-mail. Increasing hotel reservations and sales 4. Effect on the number of rooms in the perception of Internet use According to Table 8, the effect of the number of hotel rooms in the perception of the managers showed no significant variable related to the benefits and difficulties.

Increasing hotel reservations and sales 5. For Withiam , in the 21 st century an essential factor will be technological support, making it possible for computers to process information of reservation systems, affinity programs and marketing data banks. Improvements in the integration, centralized data banks and the use of web sites are some of the tendencies in the development of software for hotels Adams, Therefore, the connection of a hotel system to the Internet will integrate information of the internal system with the web site, and this will make a lot of information available to managers.

The new systems are being developed with this integration with the web site. With the increasing demand of information in the tourist sector the importance of IT use in this industry will only tend to increase in the future. Data-warehousing and Data-mining are technologies that are gaining popularity to analyze information about clients. These technologies may be used to help hotel keepers construct good relationships with their guests, increasing their loyalty to them.

Using the Internet in the hotel industry has good prospects of growth, though in many hotels the use of such technology is still moving slowly. It will be an important and strategic issue for businessmen to stimulate such Internet use policies inside the tourist trade so that they become wired to this new reality and can work on even terms with their competitors.

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The public could still be concerned about issues of security for financial transactions, or could not be satisfied with its inability to synchronize inquiries.

A low reservation rate from the Internet may also be partly attributed to the lack of certain relevant information, such as room availability, and virtual tours of the property not commonly included in the homepage Wei et al. In general, Internet does enable tourist companies to increase their competitiveness. One of the benefits reached is the reduction of the dependence on the middle-men in the distribution of tourist products.

Hotel owners should invest more money in technology besides concentrating more time and attention to subjects in that area. The American Journal of Sociology, 66, , Foci and bases of commitment: are they distinctions worth making?

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Psychologicol Bulletin, 2 , , In the area of difficulties related to the installation of Internet, only one variable had a significance level lower than 0. Inside each one of the profiles it was analyzed the perception on the importance of Internet use with the benefits and difficulties of Internet.

Think bigger. Effect on the number of rooms in the perception of Internet use According to Table 8, the effect of the number of hotel rooms in the perception of the managers showed no significant variable related to the benefits and difficulties.

Internet efficiency Companies in general use Internet as a marketing tool and specifically in hotels as the research has demonstrated. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 20 2 ,