Internet and the internationalization of SMEs in the tourism sector in Brazil
Considering the fierce competition faced by most companies in a globalized economy, it is important to increase bonds to customers. In a scenario of mutual enforcement of globalization and the information and communication technologies that enable it, increasing the access to information and connectivity among people offers several opportunities in the international tourism arena. The objective of this paper is to discuss the use hostels in the Northeastern coast of Brazil are making of the Internet as a “virtual shop window” to advertise their business proposals and to capture the attention of potential customers, specially international ones. In order to do that, a protocol was used to collect data from the hostels websites, with focus on four major issues: the first impression given by the website, its content, quality and design. Based on the analysis that was performed, it was noticed that the Internet is far from being used to its full potential. Very few hostels go beyond very simple and low cost functionalities. Although the first impression given by many sites is positive, important issues in the context of international competition are disregarded or given little attention, wasting the opportunity the hostels have to advertise and perform businesses.Key words: democratic virtual shop window, internationalization, SME, tourism.
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