You are on page 1of 11

Changing Facets Of E-Commerce: With Special Reference To Travel And Tourism Industry

By Amrita Thakre, Dr. I.C. Gupta 11/05/2011 11:45:00


Font size:

Tourism has become the worlds largest industry as international travel has emerged as a major revenue generating industry for many countries. In order to pull travelers to a certain destination, it is essential to understand peoples destination selection processes, in which they discriminate and choose a single destination from a larger initial choice set. E-commerce is bringing new business opportunities to the global travel and tourism industry. Tourism-related institutions and Internet companies are joining hands to unleash the potential market created by e-commerce. With penetration of e-commerce in the travel and tourism industry, the sector identifies a number of consistent customer experiences across different channels and involves both international as well as domestic travel in emerging economies. The travel and tourism industry is a worldwide industry, the global character, both from the demand as well as supply side represents one of its dominant features as well as challenges for IT and its applications. The present paper is an attempt to through light on the changing facets of E-commerce and how it has had an impact on various dimensions of travel and tourism industry. With new developments in information technology the past has taught that consumers change behaviors in relationship to travel and tourism planning, reservations, and purchasing. The success of a travel or tourism business is largely dependent on how well they make use of the technology that is available and developing. 1. Introduction: Tourism has become the worlds largest industry as international travel has emerged as a major revenue generating industry for many countries. Along with the growth in travel, the number of tourist destination choices has also increased as many policy-makers have recognized the value of tourism to the economies of their regions. As international travel markets increase in importance to destination countries, understanding international travelers preferences and behaviors has become a prerequisite for successful destination marketing programs. Tourism marketers are confronted with the dilemma of whether the standardization or the tailoring of the services, products and marketing programs for specific markets is more appropriate. Invariably, natural and built resources have to be balanced to meet tourist needs. While studies of the destination attributes are somewhat plentiful, there is paucity in crosscultural research, particularly in the context of international tourist preferences and the destination attributes, which appeal to different preferences. The fundamental questions in tourism studies are related to the reasons - why people travel and why they travel to certain

destinations and seek out certain types of environment. The literature on tourism often conceptualizes tourist motives in terms of Push and Pull factors. Push factors refer to sociopsychological and individual elements of these motives, which motivate the tourist to move (the push). Pull factors refer to the destinations and their features, which attract or pull the tourist. Tourism marketers today are constantly being challenged with the dilemma of whether standardization or the tailoring of services, products and marketing programs for specific markets is more effective and efficient. Travelers from varying cultural backgrounds seek different travel benefits and have different preferences for travel products and services. Destination attributes that the tourists are looking for are a reflection of their values and beliefs and a good predictor of destination decision making. Importance levels ascribed to destination characteristics vary among tourist generating countries. In order to pull travelers to a certain destination, it is essential to understand peoples destination selection processes, in which they discriminate and choose a single destination from a larger initial choice set. Proper understanding of travel Push and Pull factors help Destination Marketing Organizations to effectively market their programs. To effectively market a particular destination, it is necessary to understand both push and pull factors and the relationship between them. Knowledge about the interaction of these two dimensions of tourist motivation can help marketers and developers of tourist destination areas determine the most successful coupling of push and pull factors. This interaction based on tourism motivations may then provide a basis for segmenting those travelling for pleasure. Motivation based segmentation helps marketers to determine why visitors are consuming a product or service, and suggests the means by which visitors desires can be met. Therefore, tourist motivation studies are useful in developing product, promotion, and segmentation strategies. The push-pull framework provides a simple and intuitive approach for explaining the motivations underlying tourist behaviour. The inner motives and desires for travel (push forces), explain, why people travel, the pull forces (what the destination can offer to satisfy the travelers needs and desires), may actually explain their destination choices. The matching of Pull forces (internal motives), with Push forces (destination attributes), may prompt a traveler to select one destination over another.

2. Introduction to E-Commerce: E-commerce stands for electronic commerce and pertains to trading in goods and services through the electronic medium, i.e. the Internet or phone. On the Internet, it pertains to a website, which sells products or services directly from the site using a shopping cart or shopping basket system and allows credit card payments. E-commerce is bringing new business opportunities to the global travel and tourism industry. Tourism-related institutions and Internet companies are joining hands to unleash the potential market created by e-commerce. With penetration of e-commerce in the travel and tourism industry, the sector identifies a number of consistent customer experiences across different channels and involves

both international as well as domestic travel in emerging economies. Information technology has introduced e-commerce through the development of the Internet and the World Wide Web. These developments have strongly impacted both consumer and industry behaviors in the field of travel and tourism. The last two decades have witnessed a large number of online travel buyers using search engines prior to making their purchases. In addition to the Internet, technology gadgets such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS's),, mobile phones, smart phones and hand-held devices have improved consumers' tourism and travel experiences. Information accessibility regarding travel, destinations, bookings, payments, hotels, attractions, and the quality of maps are areas for improvement. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), have affected the travel and tourism industry for at least 50 years, particularly in the areas of automation and networking of distribution channels. Local travel agents who used the global distribution system have modified and re-framed their marketing strategies to best suit the business. They also have expanded services in order to realize increased competitive advantage. Local tourism business comprehension and utilization of the Internet has permitted increased visibility in additional market segments. Businesses have increased services globally by registering with online travel agents, online advertising agents, and inter-organizational reservation systems. In addition, many businesses have developed websites which offer planning, booking and payment services online for added consumer convenience.

The travel and tourism industry is a worldwide industry, the global character, both from the demand as well as supply side represents one of its dominant features as well as challenges for IT and its applications. Travel and tourism industry accounts for approximately 11% of the worldwide GDP. There will be around 1 billion international tourists in the year 2010. It represents a cross-sectoral industry, which includes many related sectors like culture, sports, agriculture, entertainment, health, education, etc. this explains its heterogeneity and has a huge significance for regional development. When a tourist decides to go on a trip and to book an offer, the product does not exist materially. It cannot be investigated physically. The decision making process usually depends only on the information provided by the sources. Therefore the industry is highly influenced and impacted by information technology. The IT revolution has profound implications on tourism management by enabling efficient cooperation and offering various tools for the globalibalisation of the market by providing better and more information.

Today E-commerce is a byword in Indian society and it has become an integral part of our daily life. There are websites providing any number of goods and services. Then there are those, which provide a specific product along with its allied services. India has a rich history and heritage and e-commerce is instrumental, to a large extent, in selling India as a product, encouraging Indians as well as foreigners to see its multifaceted culture and beauty. A major Government of India portal, http://www.tourisminindia.com/, has a vast variety of information for a

potential tourist. The tourist destination sites are categorized according to themes like: i), Adventure - trekking, mountain climbing etc ii), Eco-Themes pertains to jungles, flora and fauna, iii), Beaches of India, iv), Architectural attractions, v), Forts and Palaces, vi), Buddhist attractions, vii), Hill resorts, viii), Desert treks, ix), Pilgrimage sites Allied services offered are: Passport and visa, Travel and accommodation information, Weather information, Festival and fair dates, Shopping, Tour Operators, Information on Cuisine and Restaurants, Car rental services etc. to name a few.

3. Literature Review: Information technology has played a crucial role in the growth and improvement of the travel and tourism industry. The lasting effects of technology are improved information accessibility, a higher level of competition, and a larger market of consumers. Even as late as the early 1990's, the role of the travel agent was to advise clients on travel destinations and to act as an intermediary in the complicated process of arranging travel bookings. The consumers booked cruise travel and tourism through travel agents as many companies did not offer direct bookings. In the 1980s, some travel companies who purchased blocks of unsold seats from airlines and were able to sell directly to the customer at a lower price than the travel agents could offer. These companies used global distribution systems (GDS), pricing. This trend fragmented the market. Customers became aware of the differential pricing strategies used by airlines and became more price-sensitive as a result (Gasson, 2006), Online travel agents started to use new technologies to access the direct reservation system to multiple services in real time, allowing individual and corporate customers to directly coordinate flight, car rental, hotel and other services. While airlines were developing information systems to exploit new technologies and structural changes in the competitive environment, travel agents were not in a similar position. Consumers no longer needed travel agents to access the reservation system, as they were able to manage their own travel plans efficiently. Since consumers had opportunities to find lower-priced travel online, many began to use the same method for additional travel needs such as car rental, hotel, and airline ticket as a one stop shopping. Information technology effectively had cut out the proverbial middleman. Online travel agents competed with traditional travel agents. They promised lower costs, greater flexibility and wider choice. The twenty-first century consumers have become increasingly familiar with the Internet, which is responsible for the replacement of traditional travel agents with online travel agents. Today's travel retailers need increased knowledge about product and service offerings. Knowledge plays a key role in not only selling breaks but cementing a customer relationship that will mean more business in years to come (Hale, 2006), As an initial response to consumer Internet use, airlines attempted disintermediation, by cutting out the middleman. By selling directly to the consumer, airlines offered prices and value-added services unavailable to travel agents (Khosrow-Pour, 2006),

Internet-based travel bookings have been consistently booming. In 1998, just over two percent of the travel market (by value), was transacted over the Internet. Analysts predicted a rise to seven and a half percent by 2003 (Khosrow-Pour, 2006), The proportion of online bookings tripled in 2004 versus traditional call-center bookings, and the issuing of paper tickets fell to an all-time low of only six percent from 24% in 2002. On average, the travelers saved $167 (25%), on domestic tickets by booking online in 2005. The reality is the evolving nature of the online booking engines makes them easier to use than ever before (Anonymous, 2005), According to Forrester Research in 2007, nearly 40 million US households will book travel online, spending $86 billion on airline tickets, lodging, cars, intercity rail, cruises, and packages (Harteveldt, 2007), New and returning consumers use websites differently due to levels of experience and information retrieval intention. Detailed services, product availability and more personalized information have become more important to frequent consumers (Xinran, Dae-Young and Alastair, 2006), Andrew Frew (2000),, explored the research corpus emerging through the application and interaction of information and communications technologies (ICT), with tourism. Buhalis and Law (2009),, reviewed the published articles on eTourism in the past 20 years. Using a wide variety of sources, mainly in the tourism literature their work comprehensively reviews and analyses prior studies in the context of Internet applications to tourism. They also project future developments in eTourism and demonstrate critical changes that will influence the tourism industry structure. Law and Hsu (2006),, opined that the introduction of Internet technology to general business has led to its wide-scale application in the hotel industry. Consumers have been increasingly using the Internet to search for accommodation-related information on hotel Websites. They further provide a better understanding of e-commerce, hospitality and tourism researches and have shown the importance of establishing content-rich and user-friendly Websites. The internet is a possible instrument to bridge the gap between local suppliers and the consumers (Werthner and Klein, 1999 and Gratzer and Winiwarter, 2003), Use of digital and electronic methods and tools to gather, process, share and distribute information and services to the consumers is a competitive advantage. The growth of internet and its powerful applications allows tourism providers to directly access prospective clients. The value chains within the industry seem to be changing rapidly (Poon, 1993),

3. Objective and Methodology: The present paper is an attempt to through light on the changing facets of E-commerce and how it has had an impact on various dimensions of travel and tourism industry. The study is conceptual in nature. Secondary data has been extracted from varied articles, journals, magazines and websites for the purpose of research.

4. Discussion: Tourism and internet are ideal partners for consumers, when they are planning a

trip to a destination they come across the problem of making a costly purchase without being able to see the product. Information technology provides them with the means to gain immediate access to relevant information of wider variety and depth. For tourism destination and businesses it offers the potential to make information and booking facilities available to mass consumers, at a lower cost. It not only saves times, money and resources but further acts as a PR (networking), tool. Tourism is different from other service sectors because its consumer goes and collects the product at the point of production (i.e. the destination), Thus, the sector avoids the need to deliver products around the world (Gondel and Hablani, 2007), E-commerce and online marketing have changed both the way we do business and how consumers percei ve the products and services that, the industry has to offer. E-commerce technology has changed consumer behavior for planning, booking, and payment processes. During the planning process, e-commerce created a virtual world that consumers were able to discover information about airfare, hotels, car rental, destinations and even directions. Tourists collected destination information prior to taking trips. Information gathering minimized consumer risk and uncertainty on the travel destination decisions and also maximized the perceived quality of travel experiences. As of November 2005, according to TIA, 79 million Americans used the Internet to plan travel. For booking and payment, consumers were able to access the third-party reservation systems anywhere they could access the Internet: at work, at home, and elsewhere via mobile devices. The expanded awareness of globalization and availability of technology also enabled consumers to access information and process transactions across the boundaries of countries, cultures and languages (Laudon and Laudon, 2006), The advancement in information technology has allowed consumers the time and tenacity to adopt a completely Do It Yourself (DIY), approach to travel planning. According to Ben Jackson, UK travelers are embracing the 'do it yourself phenomena in ever greater numbers and indicators suggest that this trend will only increase (breakingtravelnews.com), This new trend of consumers believed in putting effort into research and doing exactly what we want to do, with nobody telling us how and when. (stpetetimes.com), The opportunity for online, traditional travel and tourism agents comes from both the group of consumers who enjoy being served those who prefer the one-stop-shop approach as well as consumers who prefer the do it yourself method. Agents and tourism businesses need to increasingly find value added services and products that will attract two separate market groups.

In addition, agents need to adopt information technology to stay competitive and efficient. (Carroll, 2007), Travel agencies' ability to research, compare prices and book online has increased flexibility and control in order to customize travel packages for their consumer's as well. Increased competitions through globalization, changing customer lifestyles, and perception of risk consumers attach to air travel have influenced the air travel industry. Internet trends

include increased consumer knowledge about product offerings, higher customer expectations of convenience, added value through the customization of offerings, increased consumer affluence and the more intense exploitation of leisure time to get away. Customer relationship management software, with its ever-increasing sophistication of data mining and customer relationship management, seamlessly connects between systems and the ubiquitous availability of trust-worthy, secure online purchasing. Most consumers appear to have prioritized communication about delays and cancellations, which is a differentiated service opportunity for the right travel agent. Many online travel agents have updated the entire Internet consumer experience and the expectations for website design, navigability, online booking, search engine presence, and more. Additionally, in the future travel agents must keep pace with what competing destinations have offered and will offer in terms of content, value, convenience, and consumer friendly technical ease (Woolford, 2006), Besides the Internet, other technology gadgets, like GPS, mobile phone, smart phone and hand-held, have improved consumers' travel and tourism experiences. Standardization of communication technology enables worldwide access of mobile phones. Mobile technology has enabled travelers to check-in at a hotel or airport and given them peace of mind in case of emergencies. The integration of standard processes and technologies also has enabled the provider to reduce costs, and improve consumers' experiences. For example, the airlines industry introduced mobile check-in by integrating the check-in process with the latest cell phone technology. More air fines are going to introduce mobile check-in. In June 2006, the airlines launched mobile check-in for customers on domestic flights without baggage. In June 2007, airlines launched an ?-Boarding passes service, in which two-dimensional barcodes would be sent directly to mobile devices of customers checking in at Montreal, Canada for domestic flights. The customer would then scan their device at an airport kiosk and proceed to security. Mobile check-in has established a foothold in countries where mobile users have been keen to try innovative or experimental services. Finland and Japan are two good examples (Baxter, 2007), Mobile check-in increases efficiency for both the consumer and the airline. Consumers benefit with added convenience and the travel industry benefits from cost savings of replacing staff with kiosks. The internet is revolutionizing the distribution of tourism information and sales in the following areas:

Transportation - For today's consumers, booking a holiday can be a tough and time consuming process where the slightest assistance can help no end. Today's environment of long working hours and growing economic challenges, there is much that can be done both to make life easier for consumers and boost their travel business. To help consumers in the research process, travel sites should make more in-depth destination information available to users. Most people begin the holiday research process by searching for destination guides (typically through Google), By not offering this extra level of information, travel sites risk people leaving and finding this

information

elsewhere.

Online Bookings - Researching and booking a holiday is a very time consuming process and competes with other work and household activities. People have limited time during lunch break and evenings, meaning they're likely to get frustrated if it takes to long too find the information that they require. Recommendations from friends and family are an important source of information as almost all consumers take these into account when booking. Travel providers could facilitate these types of recommendations by offering email a friend' buttons.. Third party reviews are an important influencing factor, particularly when it comes to accommodation. Hospitality - While much dot-com e-commerce has either disappeared or merged and the market is experiencing a major shake-up in adopting the new reality, there are plenty of indications that consumer interest in e-commerce is actually picking up. The hospitality and tourism industry has not only survived the downturn in e-commerce and related technologies but also flourished when other industries are having a difficult time. New technologies are being introduced into the market almost on a daily basis, which in turn opens up new territories and new possibilities in hospitality and tourism e-commerce. With new technologies, new paradigms are being created, and therefore new strategies are being formed to compete in this ever changing but profitable world of e-commerce in the hospitality and tourism industry. The wide spread use of Intranet and Extranet by hospitality and tourism businesses has speeded up this convergence process. Destination marketing organizations (DMOs), begin to use the Internet as a central platform for streamlining functions of marketing, travel information distribution and customer service. Hotels' property management systems (PMS), are not only transformed by the use of Intranet, but also become accessible to customers by way of extranet, providing 24/7 customer service.

In considering development trends in technology, you need to understand the needs of humankind for communication, information distribution, and business transactions. Just as the Internet is the result of our relentless quest for instant, real-time, and 24/7 communication, future developments in technology will need to solve the remaining issues for communication and business. * * * * Broadband Mobility Instant Convergence and Messaging of and speed. accessibility. (IM), technologies.

As a whole, twenty-six percent of the Global 2000 are already migrating towards a converged network, and 42 percent plan to do so within the next two years (Blacharski, 2002), There is a good reason for this trend. Companies not doing so could be in a serious competitive disadvantage. It's true that infrastructure investments can cost a lot of money, but they can save

revenue by reducing the total cost of ownership. In addition, there are other benefits in terms of business empowerment, which includes increasing organizational speed and efficiency, flexibility, and better support for a mobile workforce.

5. Scope for Further Research: The travel industry in the wake of information technology faces certain challenges also. Firstly, the marketers must continuously keep finding unique ways to attract and maintain consumers. Travel marketers need to consider their visibility and presence in the places travelers would look to shop for destinations both online and offline. Secondly, customer relationships have become the key to success in the increasingly commoditized travel and tourism industry. Therefore, an attempt needs to be made to identify and evaluate this extremely important aspect. There are a number of challenges for E-commerce in the travel industry. The challenge for airlines, in common with other businesses, is to offer a consistent customer experience across channels. Thirdly, more studies need to be conducted on the satisfaction levels of consumers, travel intermediaries as other service providers as regards the technology usage.

6. Conclusion: E-commerce encourages economic growth with accessibility, collaboration, automation, functionality, and flexibility. Opportunities around the globe for those in the travel and tourism industry as well as consumers have vastly improved with the advent of Ecommerce technologies. The consumer has vast amounts of information at their fingertips. Travel and tourism businesses focus on the consumer by using information technology to provide real time data and additional convenience to the consumer. Travel and tourism marketing strategies must continually evolve to match information technology advancement and consumer usage patterns. With new developments in information technology the past has taught that consumers change behaviors in relationship to travel and tourism planning, reservations, and purchasing. The success of a travel or tourism business is largely dependent on how well they make use of the technology that is available and developing. E-commerce, tourism, and travel complement one another by evolving through competition to provide a wider variety of selection and services to the consumer.

References: 1. Anonymous (2005) Travel Trends: Hospitality on the Rebound. Maclean's, Toronto: Oct 17,

2005. 2. Barnett, Martin and Craig Standing (2001), Repositioning Travel Agencies on the Internet. of Vacation Marketing, Vol. 7, No. 2, 143-152.

Journal 3.

Baxter, A. (2007), Board your flight by Mobile Phone. Financial Times. London (UK),: May

14, 4.

2007. Bonn, Mark A., H. Leslie Furr and Alex M. Susskind (1998), Using the Internet as a Pleasure

Travel Planning Tool: An Examination of the Sociodemographic and Behavioral Characteristics Among Internet Users and Nonusers. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, Vol. 22, No. 3, 5. 6. Carrol, D. (2007), The High-Tech Life. Travel Weekly, February 303-317. 23, 2007.

Cheung, Catherine and Rob Law (2009), Have the Perceptions of the Successful Factors for

Travel Web Sites Changed Over Time? The Case of Consumers in Hong Kong. Journal of Hospitality 7. New 8. and Tourism Research, Vol. 33, No. 3, 438-446.

Dale, Ceispin (2003), The Competitive Networks of Tourism e-Mediaries: New Strategies, advantages. Journal of Vacation Marketing, Vol. 9, No. 2, 109-118.

Frew, Andrew J. (2000), Information and Communications Technology Research in the

Travel and Tourism Domain: Perspective and Direction. Journal of Travel Research, Vol. 39, No. 2, 9. 136-145. Gasson, S. (2006), The Impact of E-commerce Technology on the Air Travel Industry. IGI 2006.

Publishing 10.

Gondel, S and Hablani, R (2007), Role of E-Commerce in Travel and Tourism Industry.

Organisational Transformation Thorugh Information Technology: Issues and Challenges, 248 253. 11. Gratzer, M. and Winiwarter, W. (2003), The Role of the Internet in the SME Hotel Sector in Human Society @ Internet Conference 2003, Springer Verlag, Seoul.

Austria. 12. 2006. 13. 14.

Hale, M. (2006), Share Your Fountain of Travel Knowledge. Travel Trade Gazette: Apr 21,

Harteveldt, Henry 2007: Travel eCommerce, January 2007, Forrester Research. Heartland. (2001), E-commerce's Impact on the Air Travel Industry (Report SBAHQ-00-M-

0797), 15. 16. Holmes, E. (2007), Travel Watch. Wall Street Journal. New York, N. Y.: Apr 3, 2007. Jain, A. (2006), Online Travel Bookings Set for Take Off in India. Financial Times. London May 2, 2006.

(UK),: 17. IGI 18. 19.

Khosrow-Pour (2006), The Impact of E-Commerce Technology on the Air Travel Industry. Publishing 2006.

Laudon, K. and Laudon J. (2006), Management Information Systems Prentice Hall. Law, Rob and Cathy H. C. Hsu (2006), Importance of Hotel Website Dimensions and

Attributes: Perceptions of Online Browsers and Online Purchasers. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism 20. Research, Vol. 30, No. 3, 295 312.

Law, Rob and James Wong (2003), Successful Factors for A Travel Web Site: Perceptions

Of On-Line Purchasers In Hong Kong. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, Vol. 27, No. 1, 21. 118-124. Law, Rob; Kenith Leung and RJames Wong (2004), The Impact of the Internet on Travel

Agencies. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management Year: 2004 Volume: 16 Issue: 22. 2007. 23. O'Keefe, T., Zhao J. and Huang W. (2007), Preface to the Focus Theme Section: Business in China'. Electronic Markets, 17 (2),, 84-86. 2 Page: 100 107.

New Media Age (2007), Travel: Putting on the Squeeze. New Media Age. London: Apr 19,

'Electronic 24.

Olmeda, Ignacio and Pauline J. Sheldon (2002), Data Mining Techniques and Applications

for Tourism Internet Marketing. Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, Volume 11, Issue 2-3, pages 25. 120.

Park, Young A. and Ulrike Gretzel (2007), Success Factors for Destination Marketing Web

Sites: A Qualitative Meta-Analysis. Journal of Travel Research, Vol. 46, No. 1, 46-63. 26. Poon A (1993), Tourism, Technology and Competitve Strategies. Wallingford, CAB.

International. 27. Walsh, Gianfranco and Kevin P. Gwinner (2009), Purchasing Vacation Packages Through

Shop-at-Home Television Programs: An Analysis of Consumers' Consumption Motives. Journal of 28. Vacation Marketing, Vol. 15, No. 2, 111-128.

Werthner, H and Klein, S (1999), Information Technology and Tourism: A Challenging Springer Verlag, Vienna.

Relation, 29.

Woolford L. (2006), The Internet's Impact on Travel & Tourism, Part 1. USDM.net.Xinran,

L., Dae-Yong, K. and Alastair, M. (2006), The Effect of Prior Destination Experience on Online Information Search Behavior. Tourism and Hospitality Research; Feb 2006.

8. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Websites: www.cnto.org/chinastats.asp. http://jtr.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/39/2/136 http://www.hospitality.org/news/154000353/4031854.html http://www.stpetetimes.com/2006/01/01/Travel/Do_it_yourself_planni.shtml Breaking Travel News http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/article/200601 10121531 844 St. Times Industry Association Online

Petersburg 6. 7. Travel

http://www.tia.org/resources/PDFs/Travel_Insights_2.pdf

World Internet Stat http://www.worldinternetstat.com/stats.htm